Sunday, January 3, 2010

Steps 4, 5 & 6 of the Path process

Step 4 - Identifying People to Enroll. This step is where you list people, resources, networks and connections that will help Sam realize his goals.

Sam's family all jumped in. His brother, sister and cousin were top of the list wanting to help. The top of my list was Grandma, my mom, the woman who has helped me from day one, who encourages me, listens to me, cries with me and celebrates with me. She and my Dad are Sam's biggest cheerleaders and my number one source for encouragement. We listed Sam's home program NACD, we have a lot of work ahead of us and I know they will help to direct and guide me. We listed his Uncle Faron to assist with financial planning and special needs trust assistance. We listed his teacher, Special Olympics, his church, the YMCA, the state funding organizations, his boss (could be Ben or his Dad), the community, his girlfriend and his roommate. I have added others to this list that I want to work on specific areas with Sam. His Uncle Randy and Uncle Dave come to mind as two people who will help Sam realize his work goals, step by step, slow and steady.

His therapists, we have a lot of work cut out for us and I will need their expertise and help. I would also list organizations in the community we hope to expose Sam to in order to help him build his friendships.

Step 5 - Recognizing Ways to Build Strength. This step has to do with defining what knowledge does Sam need, what skills need to be developed, what relationships need to be maintained. In a nutshell, how do we keep Sam healthy and working toward his goals.

Sam's health has greatly improved with his diet changes, nutritional supplements and exercise. We will need to help guide Sam in making good food choices, remembering to take his supplements and finding someone to exercise with him or work as a trainer for him.

We still have a lot of work to do with Sam's speech. He has made wonderful progress since receiving his hearing aid but we still have a lot to accomplish. We talked about helping Sam increase his social awareness, having him do things that will help him to be respectful and respected. His faith is important and we will have to work with the church to help him become a confirmed member. We want to help him find a peer group, social outlets like 4H or the boy scouts. We need to expose him to what is out there and let him pick which ones he likes.

His home program through NACD, came up through most of the steps because we have made the most progress by following their recommendations. It will be with their help that we will help Sam reach his full potential and realize his goals and dreams. I feel so blessed having them guide me and always pushing me gently to expect more.

We determined we will need to define what a job at J & H could look like for Sam and the steps that will have to be put in place to make that happen.

Step 6-Charting Action for the Next Few Months. Honestly by this step we were losing a little momentum and getting tired so we took a break and had some birthday cake. Sugar will always give you a little zing to finish off the process. This step looked at what can be accomplished in the next 3 months.

We decided we could investigate what social outlets are available for Sam. We will check on the progress of his Family Support funding. Brooke and Danielle will try to arrange a play group or take Sam on some outings.

We will begin to work with the school, slowly transitioning Sam into a school environment mainly for socialization at this point, academics will continue to be taught one on one at home.

I would add to this list signing up Sam for the Challenger baseball league and Special Olympics.

My next post will deal with the last two steps of the Path process. Throughout this process and future Path sessions these last few steps are what will continue to push us toward the goal. One step at a time, but always, always moving forward.

I will leave you with this quote from Mark Twain:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

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