Sunday, May 29, 2016

I Hate the Curveball!

Life is about dealing with good things and bad things.  Sometimes we all get the pitch we are looking for and knock it out of the park.  Other times we get the curveball and we have to adjust our swing.  Here is the problem...


But those of us with special needs children understand that any change can be devastating.  Rules change, laws change, staff members change, caseworkers change, and so on.

Case in point, since Tyler moved in to his home 6 months ago everything has been quite stable.  However, here comes the stinking curveball.  Tyler's main day program caregiver has suddenly left the program.  This is a loss for Tyler because this individual was very dear to him and he was making a lot of positive progress in large part because of that relationship.

My first reaction was to mourn this loss.  And when I say I mourned I mean I cursed and kicked at the dirt and shoke my fist.  After all we had things working and now we had to make more adjustments. So now the oceans had just all overflowed, the moon had just crashed into the earth, California broke apart from the US, and beer would now be illegal again.

Only none of that was true.  And my next reaction was to get busy and dig in.  After speaking with this wonderful caregiver it was time to take action.  I first sent emails to the rest of the team to be aware of the change and to watch for possible behavioral reactions.  Next I called the day program to be sure the departure did not involve Tyler in any way (it did not) and to request that any effect on Ty be communicated to the team.  I felt we had covered the bases.

This is where an earlier discussed strategy pays off...having a diverse team.  Tyler does not rely on one agency or one person for every need.  His world is full of great people with different areas of responsibility.  As such, this kind of loss, while upsetting, can be recovered.  Just as important is choosing programs that have good groups of people so that a Plan B is always possible.

I still hate the curveball.  It's cruel and unfair to us and those we care for.  But they a fact of life.  And the message tonight is to continue to keep your team diverse, and when the curveball comes don't waste much time being angry.  Instead, use that energy to take action.  Communicate with your team and relay any concerns you may have.  Make any expectation clear.  If you have a good team they will take over from there.

It's ok to hate the curveball....but you still better be prepared to hit it.

Be well and God bless.  Tom.

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