As the parent of a child with disabilities, I know the importance of medications, exercising, therapies, and nutrition. Each of these things is vital to the health of my child who has health and motor challenges.
Without feeding therapy, my daughter might be forced to use a feeding tube, which would greatly affect her life. Without intensive physical therapy, she may not fully recover from a major surgery. Without proper medication and nutrition, her bowels will not function well and will cause many issues for her.
These things are vital and important for her health and wellness. Her life depends on them. It is my job to ensure that she gets the things that will keep her well and moving forward in life. It is also my job to teach her their importance and to help her make good choices that value these essentials.
But if the only emphasis in her life were these good health essentials, her quality of life would be greatly lacking.
So it is also my job to ensure that her life includes things that are important to her. It’s the things she enjoys and the things that bring her joy that make her life worth living. These things she enjoys are important to my daughter. They make her happy.
Music is important to my daughter. She enjoys listening to music, dancing to music, and playing music. She likes to choose the music that is playing.
My daughter has an iPad that is important to her. She has apps, music, games, and photos that she chooses. She takes it everywhere she goes. She uses it for entertainment and communication. If she doesn’t have her iPad, she doesn’t really know what to do.
My daughter also has some toys that are important to her. She has lots of musical, talking doggies that she enjoys holding and playing with. Anytime we get in the car, she chooses a toy to bring along.
If my daughter’s life only consisted of the things that are important for her (medicine, exercise, nutrition), she would not be a happy person. The things that are important to her (music, iPad, toys) are just as vital for a full life.
A life that includes important to and important for is a full, happy, and healthy life. This combination keeps my girl happy and healthy and moving forward in life.
You can find more information on this website on helping your child build their independence.
Living with a child who has mental health issues can come with a lot of unknowns just like having a child with physical health issues. But society can treat both children very differently.
I have two boys. One is 10 and the other is 8. Both of my kids have disability labels. One has a physical disability and the other has emotional and behavioral issues. One disability you can see, the other you don’t – but it is there.