Vision for the Future

Part of what we read to the team at last week’s annual IEP meeting (ARD meeting in Texas) was our life vision for Chloe.

I wrote a life vision for Chloe for several reasons.

First, a lot of people have a difficult time seeing past Chloe’s (and other’s) disability enough to see a person.  It is hard for them to see Chloe as a person with potential instead of just getting stopped at her needs and deficits.  A life vision helps people see past Chloe’s disability.

Second, at a school planning meeting, the focus is on Chloe’s education for the next 12 months.  While it is important to plan for the next 12 months, it is ultimately important for the school team to understand that we, Chloe’s family, are planning for her life.  These teachers may only have Chloe for one school year, but we are in this thing for the duration.  We have plans that stretch beyond the next 12 months.

Third, it is a very important reminder for us of where we are going.  We’ve got to have a goal and a destination.  It is the bar with which we measure decisions along the way.  If what we’re considering doesn’t keep us on the road for what we envision 20 years from now, then we need to choose differently.  Having a life vision for our children — especially our children with disabilities — helps guide our decisions and our choices today.

So I read our life vision for Chloe at the meeting last week.  It was well received and appreciated, I think.  And I think it serves as a way to remind everyone of the bigger picture of Chloe’s life and what lies ahead for her depending on our choices today.

I’m sharing our life vision for Chloe with you today.  If you are the parent of a child with disabilities and haven’t written a life vision for him/her, I encourage you to write a life vision for your child today.  It truly helps guide you as you make decisions big and small . . . and helps assure that you won’t lose focus of where you’re headed.

Here’s ours:

We have a life vision for Chloe.

This vision includes independence and value.

***

It is important for everyone who works with Chloe and supports Chloe to have a clear understanding of our vision for her, for it is this life vision that drives every decision we make for her today.

***

In general, we will have succeeded in preparing Chloe for a life of purpose if she can:

  • have meaningful friendships and relationships with whomever she chooses

  • be an active and  contributing member of her community

  • feel valued as a person

  • pursue her own interests and dreams

  • utilize resources to support herself

  • have a job that pays better than minimum wage

***

Until Chloe can better tell us what her dreams are, we are basing our dreams and visions for her on her current interests:

  1. Chloe loves music and anything electronic.  We see Chloe as an adult maybe working with electronics and perhaps running a sound board.  Chloe has a fine ear for music and is adept at working different pieces of equipment.

  2. Because of Chloe’s gentle spirit and love of animals, we also see Chloe maybe working as a veterinarian’s assistant and caring for animals that come into the clinic or that are boarded at the clinic.

***

As Chloe shares her dreams and visions with us, this list of possibilities will no doubt grow.  For now, these are some roles we envision Chloe in as an adult.

***

With every decision that we as Chloe’s family are faced with, we must ask the question, “Will this option get Chloe closer to the vision that we have for her, or does this get Chloe off-track for reaching these goals and visions?”  And in the end, if the decision doesn’t get Chloe closer to reaching the life that we envision for her, then we must adamantly reject that option.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Wow. This is a powerful post. Thank you so much for sharing your vision for Chloe. You are so right, that to have this vision will help guide you as you make decisions for her, and will help people to see your point of view.

    I have some visions of Gracie’s future floating around in my head, but I never thought of writing it down and sharing it with people who work with her. I am going to do this as soon as possible!

    Reply

  2. […] as scared as I used to be since I have thought long and hard about Chloe’s future and have a vision for Chloe for long term. It helps to have thought all of that […]

    Reply

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