3 Ways To Your Child’s Dream

Hello, everyone.

Today I want to talk about our children’s dreams for their future.  Whatever age a child is, he is aware that there is a future, and he assumes he will be in it.  Some children decide very early in life – age 8, 10, 12 – what their career will be, and that is what they achieve.  Some children have not decided later in life -28, 29, 30 – what career path to follow, and they are just taking whatever comes.  Life happens for both, but those who choose and contol their lives often feel they are more successful and have greater satisfaction.  We can nudge our children into a path of choosing a career by exposing them to  occupations, by helping them find hobbies, volunteer work doing things they love, and mentors whose careers pique their interest.

1.  I was a Girl Scout and earned over 100 badges.  Doing so introduced me to the basics of many occupations, various arts, sports, cultural aspects and affairs, study of what makes people and things “tick”, community involvement, and a variety of enjoyable things to do.  I can’t remember ever being bored, really, because my mind was always digging into something new or deeper into something intriguing.  Boy Scouts does the same for boys.  Many youth organizations achieve similar results.  All but one of the pastimes I love stem from those youth activities.  I frequently use something I learned back then.

Children with disabilities are often isolated from their peers by their differences at school, but parents who find these opportunities for them in the community help them develop a sense of belonging in their neighborhood, other people’s lives, and in their larger society.  It is this sense of belonging that will allow a child to reach out to build a supportive team at school and work so he can be successful at what he does.  This social participation sometimes creates the new advocates for our social needs–you know– the ones who keep reminding us that yes, we ARE our brother’s keeper.

2.  Volunteer work serves many purposes beyond helping other people or non-profit organizations.  Children who learn to enjoy volunteering also learn teamwork, selflessness, cooperation, empathy, social responsibility, improved social skills, and often, leadership.  Some find jobs this way.  It’s an excellent way to try a new work skill, expand a hobby, explore new ideas, make new friends. Some children who become fully engaged in a specific type of volunteer work they enjoy may use that experience as the springboard to their future career.

3.  Older children who have shown interest in specific vocations or careers can benefit from a mentor who is in the same field.  A child who is interested in accounting could be mentored by a bank employee, an accountant, a statistician, a software developer who specializes in the numbers of our lives and businesses.  A child who could sell you your own smelly socks would benefit from exposure to people in sales, retail, wholesale, and online, and if he’s good at writing, exposure to advertising and marketing people.  Is your child an animal lover?  Got a zoo?  Match!  Vet?  Match!  Animal breeder?  Match!  Biologist or biological industry?  Match!

You get the idea.  Our children’s job is to grown and learn.  Not all learning is done at school.  Parents’ job includes showing our children how to get out from under our wings.  Look around you.  It’s a big, wide world.  What does your child dream of doing in it?  What can you do to help him achieve it?

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ASD and DSM V

Folks, this will be short and sweet. if your child has or your suspect your child has a diagnosis in the Autism/Asperger domain, I want you to go to the article linked for you here and read every word. The new term for autism will be “social communication disorder.” It is important for us to understand that when the psychiatry profession changes how it views our child’s disability, many other things can change as well. In this case, how schools qualify or don’t qualify these children for services, whether insurance will cover their services, etc. hinge upon how these diagnostic standards are written. If you are unaware of how much potential change is coming for our children as a result of these decisions, you may be caught completely unprepared to help your child or your family. Please read the article, do some investigation, learn how you and your child are likely to be affected by this change in diagnositc standards. There may be a shift in how the public views the autism diagnoses in the future as a result of these changes–and you need to be aware of that, too. Go here: @socialthinking #The DSM-5 and #ASD: My Thoughts by Michelle Garcia Winner      http://ow.ly/axSbH.

Winner included the new DSM V criteria for the autism diagnoses at the end of the article. Read those, too and see where your child’s diagnosis is likely to fall. Does the new diagnosis describe a nice fit for your child? Or is your child bunted out of the description and likely to be left without diagnosis in this area? You need to start strategizing and working with your child’s professionals now as to how you can maintain your insurance and school benefits if the new diagnostic standards don’t fit your child well enough to qualify.