In January, it began. I was going from an Investigator for the Children’s Division to working with a new culture of individuals: The Developmentally Disabled. Many people see that and immediately; as I did myself; judge that these individuals are not on a normal intellectual level. Little did I know, my assumptions were wrong. I’ve met 1 brilliant individual who has experienced life through a wheelchair. Despite the physical disability, this individual has made me laugh and see life through a different set of eyes.
So I’ve learned again, one should nor judge someone based on a title.
As an entry level career woman, I was not for sure how I would adjust to my new career or if the passion that lived in me prior would re surface. Many times, I recall conversations with my dear boyfriend who encouraged me, supported me & told me to give it time.
I listened, despite some part of me wanting to deny what he was saying.
I was used to hectic, not knowing and seeing things I would not wish to see, ever again. I was used to an everyday challenge, differing opinions and somewhere, feeling invincible.
I wondered, were these feelings a distant memory? Would I be challenged again and be able to use my voice to fight for the right?
The answer is, absolutely. And what’s even better, I’m on a different end of the spectrum. I’m the good person. The person that families look forward to seeing. The sometimes; peacemaker, mediator and voice when there isn’t one.
I’m the one who can talk to individuals pertaining to modifying their home to make it wheelchair accessible, who can help them find suitable employment, who attends IEP meetings as a listening ear and an advocate. I’m the phone call when a person or parent needs to vent or just another voice of advice; I’m a water temperature checker to make sure no one gets burned; I’m an activist when it comes to ensuring all rights are not being violated, a soft place and everyday, I am challenged. I use critical thinking skills pertaining to funding, making sure all individuals have appropriate housing, I am the one who can move individuals out of a nursing home into a lesser restrictive environment; the one who can high-five all my consumers and feel the positive, reciprocating. I’m the one who makes sure my individuals have everything they need such as, swim lessons; tutoring, adaptive equipment for educational purposes, a shower chair, sensory equipment for individuals who suffer from ASD; therapeutic horseback riding, Summer Camp Attendace and so much more. I can’t take all the credit, it’s definitely a team effort. And the best teamwork I’ve known to date.
I have not lost my voice, my passion or my drive. My mind has been challenged, I’ve been tested and I’ve grown.
Everyday life is less than perfect but my Monday thru Friday consists of being grateful for the life I and my loved ones have been given & the abilities I’ve been blessed with.
“The Only Disabilty in life is a Bad Attitude”