You’ve probably heard the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” many times throughout the years. When you became a parent of a child with a disability, you likely have even asked the question, “Where is MY village?”
As the founders of Spectrum Linx, Wendy and I have thought a lot about what that phrase truly means. Of course, we know what a village is physically. But what value does belonging to a village bring to families that they otherwise cannot access?
Shared responsibility? Yes. This may be the most obvious aspect that people recognize and seek after.
Safety and security? Most likely, there will be a collective sense of responsibility for each child within the village.
Emotional support? I would hope families would support one another during challenges and struggles.
But the benefit that we at Spectrum Linx feel could be the most beneficial to families is not, however, one of the more obvious.
We believe that the wisdom gained from experience that can be shared from one person to another may be the most valuable benefit you will find from belonging to a community of other parents, educators, and self-advocates who have already traveled the journey you are now on.
In the tapestry of human culture and tradition, the wisdom of elders has occupied a place of reverence and significance. Within the confines of a village, the interaction between elders and the younger generation is vital for the survival of the community. Elders possess a treasure trove of practical knowledge – from farming techniques perfected over generations to natural remedies, from local flora and fauna knowledge to ancient crafts. Such information, when passed down from one generation to the next, not only preserves traditional ways of life but also offers sustainable solutions in the face of challenges.
On a personal level, the guidance provided by elders can be invaluable. They have the benefit of hindsight, having navigated the complexities of life, and their advice can help younger members avoid pitfalls, make informed decisions, and find their path in life.
Much like the invaluable guidance elders provide from their wealth of experience, the shared experiences of parents raising children with disabilities, the vast knowledge of strategies and techniques from educators and therapists, as well as the unique perspective of input from self-advocates, are crucial within our “village.”
- Parents raising children with disabilities, for instance, bring forth a profound, intimate understanding of the day-to-day challenges and triumphs they encounter. Their lived experiences provide both emotional resonance and practical guidance for others in similar situations. Their shared experiences are like guidebooks for those who follow.
- Educators and therapists contribute a professional dimension. With their specialized training, they introduce evidence-based strategies, techniques, and resources tailored to address specific needs. Their expertise often enables pathways to enhance a child’s cognitive, physical, and emotional development, ensuring that every child can reach their full potential.
- Furthermore, the voice of self-advocates — individuals with disabilities who champion their rights and perspectives — adds a crucial layer of depth to the collective wisdom. Their unique insights underscore the importance of agency, dignity, and inclusivity. They provide unique insight in a way that no others can.
The Spectrum Linx team has journeyed through the unique challenges and joys you may be experiencing now. By sharing their stories, successes, and even their missteps, they want to come along beside you with tools to navigate the complexities of your situations.
Just as the wisdom of elders helps younger members make informed decisions and sidestep pitfalls, we hope the shared experiences of our coaching team can become a beacon of understanding and guidance, helping you find strength, resilience, and the most suitable paths for your children’s well-being.