Tag Archives: future

The Future (Part 2)

Getting a job and keeping a job isn’t easy for anyone these days. It is especially hard for individuals with ASDs (Autism Spectrum Disorders). Here is where we come back to the fear versus hope issue. We can hope the children with special needs of today become successful; we can fear that they may fail…but what can we do right now to ensure that we are providing the most and the best opportunities?

1. Teach Real-World Skills: A six year old with emerging verbal skills and a limited phonemic (sound) repertoire does not need to know his last name. It may sound like it’s a great idea at the moment, but typically it’s pointless. He needs to know how to communicate that he needs the bathroom. He needs to know that he must look both ways for cars before crossing the street. He needs to stop, turn around, and look at you when you call his (first) name.

What is Your Dream Job?

Earlier this month, I attended the Accessibility Summit at McLean Bible Church in Vienna, Virginia. Listening to Temple Grandin speak was an eye opener and John Sheptock’s story was an inspiration. Even presenting my workshop about helping parents of kids with special needs overcome grief and battle guilt (Can you believe over 40 people attended such a Debbie Downer workshop?) was a delight.

But for me the highlight of the weekend was the post-conference panel moderated by Donna Goldbranson. She’s the executive director of SPecially Adapted Resource Clubs (SPARC) at McLean Bible Church, and the panel consisted of several young adults who participate in the club. Some of them have physical disabilities and all have intellectual disabilities. By asking a series of questions, Donna helped us see beyond their disabilities and into their lives. Here are a few of the questions and a brief summary of the panelists answers.