This article will hopefully shed some light on the Does and Don't of Raising A Disabled Child
Are you the parent i.e. "true or natural" adoptive, or kincare of a disabled child.
If you are, please take read this article with care so you don't make the same mistakes that a lot of parents of disabled children are doing to their children.
First of all, I, myself am a parent of an disabled adult child. I am furious in what I am seeing and what other parents of a disabled child, adult or otherwise is doing to their child just because they have a disability.
Disability does not mean they are totally disabled. In certain circumstances some children may so severely disabled that it will require that the parents put out 200 percent on raising that child.
Psychologists, psychiatrists, and other child development specialists only emphasize the "dis" in the ability and not the ability in the child.
We all have limitations. Let us not delude ourselves that we don't. We have characater flaws. If we don't admit it we are in denial. We all have disablities. Just that some people don't want to admit to it. This is because if they do it means that they are far from being "so-called" perfect.
None of us are perfect. All of us are far from it. None of us will be perfect in this lifetime. We blew it.
I am seeing now-a-days a couple of trends that only will hurt our disabled children if we go through with these two very stupid things.
1. When our children reach the age of eight-teen years of age. We as parents no longer want to invest in our child's vocational rehabilitation program which may lead to a successful vocation.
We would rather run down as soon as our child gets eight-teen and file for Social Security Disability Benefits. This way we can simply pass the buck on to the federal government in supporting our child who is disabled.
Rather than investing in our child's vocational rehabililtation program which is designed to help our child receive vocational training and leading to a successful job placement.
The second dangerous trend I am noticing is that parents think they are doing their disabled child, a favor by retaining their legal guardianship thus limiting the child to making any decisions concerning his/her own life or having any saying in his/or her own life.
HEY PARENTS!! Come down Mount Olympus ,please. We are all flesh and blood and none of us qualify for demi-god status or even god or goddess status.
Don't delude yourself that you are petitioning the Probate Court to ask that you retain your disabled adult child's guardianship. Even though it may be limited and it is also violating their constitutional rights.
If a disabled child or children are suppose to grow up and have any psyco-social skills, independent living skills, and inter-personal relation skills.
We as parents must not hinder our child's growth and development. We must not be like the "so-call" child development specialists and emphasis
the "disability" in the ability.
We must emphasis the "ability" and not the "dis" in it.
Labels are deterimental. Lableling your child is harmful to the child. It sticks with the child for his/her entire life.
Such labels as "developmentally delay", "developmentally disabled",
"learning disabled" and etc only hurt our child if we allow any one to pin a label on them.
We must put a stop to that. We must prevent allowing people to add insult to injury to our children.
A "limited" guardianship is just that.
It is "limited" but it is still keeping your child from reaching full emancipation and learning on how to run his or her own life.
Parents with severe disabled child should only seek the guardianship of the disabled adult child. I mean severe.
This means whereas the adult child can not take care of any of his/her needs, and make any of his/her own decisions regarding his/her own life.
This also means if the child is not educable and trainable.
Another trend I am seeing is that in some states agencies that profess to help those with mental disablities achieve the quality of life they deserve is involved in their lives.
Progress Industries is one such agency in Iowa. They serve no particular purpose but to control a disabled adult child who is mentally challenged
and with even a borderline Mental IQ of mental retardation.
From my experience dealing with this particular agency. They only provide support staff so the person will not be alone. They don't provide any real good programs to help the clients with psyco-social skills, independent living skills, inter-personal relation skills.
A good agency for the developmental disabled should provide services to help their clients achieve these skills so they can live as "normal" as the rest of us.
49 out 50 states require an abundance of medical evidence before the Probate Court will even consider awarding limited guardianship of an disabled adult child to his/her parents.
Iowa is not one of those states. They only require one report from a psychologist rather than psychiatrist that is a Medical Doctor with a speciality in psychiatry.
49 out of the 50 states require if they do grant the petition for guardianship that the parents must live no further than 10 miles away from the child they have guardianship for and the parents must live in the state that they the guardianship for.
They can not live out of state.
Guardianship is not about what is in the "Best Interest " of the disabled child. It is about retaining control.
Many will ask what is the "Best Interest of The Child"? Well no one state has the same definition of what is the "Best Interest of The Child" doctrine.
Below is the best definition I have found on what is the "Best Interest of The Child"
The Best Interest Of The Child Doctrine
The best interests of the child will truly be served
when the child is seen as a real person- not a fantasy child, not an idealized child, not a special child, not a commodity - but a child with his own genetics, his own talents, and his own identity."
The best interests of the child will also be served when our children are educated about their rights, and encouraged to exercise them in every aspect of their lives.
Many parents don't realize that by allowing one too many people in allowing to plan for their "disabled" child's future can hurt them and it can bring back what psychiatrist diagonose as a "dependent" personality disorder.
One only has to look up the definition of a "dependent" personality disorder.
If you are one of those parents. You are guilty as charged.
I know that I am only flesh and blood.
I am not a demi-god which means part mortal and part god.
Just as I know I will die one day and my daughter who was raised by others due to the CPS abuse of power will also lose her adopters by death.
However, these two people are under the delusion that they are going to be alive forever, need to come to terms that they are older I am and most likely will die before I do.
Parents need to raise a disabled child with positive affirmations and stress just because they disabled does not make them totally disabled.
When I was growing up my parents would not allow the schools and all the so-call "child developmental" specialists to fill my head will nonsense.
I was not treated special. I was treated just like the rest of my sisters and brothers. I was expected to do my chores, earn my allowance, and to do my personal best.
I did not do too good in High School.
In fact, I was told I would not succeed in college. However, I did and I showed those so-call experts how wrong they were about me.
I learned to do other things well if I could not somethings well. I did.
I was not very good in math. I,however, did very good in English, History, Art, Music, and etc.
We all do somethings better than others. We all have deficiencies. If we do not admit this. We are in denial.
Parents need to realize that their disabled child or children have rights as well. They have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
They have the right to making decisions regarding their own lives and the planning of it.
They have the right to being treated jsut as everyone else would be treated with dignity, respect, and common courtsey.
They are not any less human than so call "normal" people. None is normal.
That is just what society has people believing.
Many people have asked" what is "normal"? To that I say, " I don't know."
I myself am disabled. I have mental disablities such as dystonia depression, learning disabilities, and a mixed personality disorder.
I, however, went onto college and bettered myself. My parents did not retain my guardianship as they taught me at a very early age that one day they would die.
They did. My mother died shortly after I turend 21 in 1976 and my father died before I turned 38 in 1994. Proof positive we are born, we age, we live and we die.
I was not treated any differently from the rest of my siblings.
Parents please don't retain your disabled adult child's guardianship. It is not in their "best interest".
Parents please, please, don't rush down to Social Security and apply for Social Security Disability Benefits for the adult child who is disabled.
Do you have any idea what it is to live in poverty? Well that is what you are doing to your disabled child if you do manage to get them on Social Security Disability Programs.
It would make better sense that parents would put aside so much money when the child gets into Kindegarden and set aside enough money so when the child comes of age . They can use that money on a good vocational rehabilitation program which will let the child with a useable and marketable vocational skill.
Some parents may make too much for post-secondary vocational rehab services. So keep in mind, that if a parent makes over $29,999. The child is not eligible for state vocational services.
Parents are expected to pay out for these services that states render. This is because the federal government is the one that establishes the poverty guideline for state run social services.
If parents would set a side in a special needs trust fund $200.00 a month for 17 years by the time the disabled child reached 18.
The Special Needs Trust Fund would have in it $408,000 in the account.
There would be no need to even think about getting a child on Social Security.
However, a special needs trust fund does allow a disabled child to receive certain state services for the disabled.
Just with the interest alone. A child could live off of it. Not even touch the prime.
Most parents don't even consider that even with Vocational Services provided by the state it is limited due to federal and state funding.
Like all children, disabled children deserve the very best we as their parents can give them.
Disabled children need to treated just like the rest of the children who not disabled.
Special Education should stop by the time they reach middle school. When they do reach Middle or Junior High they should be mainstreamed back into regular education classes.
Disabled children need to be prepared for the challenges that await them when they do come of age.
They must be taught at an early age how to take care of themselves and all.
However, unreasonable expectations must not be placed upon of them.
We must love our disabled children for what they are and not try to change them into what we think they should be.
They are what they are. Acceptance is what is need here.
I hope this article will reach the mulitudes of parents who have a disabled child.
I speak with and from experience.