Thursday, August 23, 2012

Choices

Today's gift is choices.

Imagine if someone asked you a question and you could not give them an answer.  Imagine if you gave them an answer, but the other person still did what they "thought" you wanted or what "they" wanted, instead of what "you" indicated.  I feel like this happens a lot with my daughter who has Rett Syndrome.  We ask her what she wants, but do we really listen to what she says?  And if we listen for the response, are we following through with her answer or doing what we would have anyway, as if she never spoke her opinion.

Today, we were sitting on the back porch and we asked her if she wanted to go in the car for a ride with me and my mom (aka Mimi).  She had a huge smile on her face, that would normally signify, "yes" she wanted to go.  But today, I wanted to make sure she truly wanted to go with us and I didn't want to assume (as you know what happens when you assume....).  Her iPad from school has recently been updated and we noticed that her app for "yes and no" has been deleted since the update.  I have an email into school about this....so we had to go to plan B....which is either using my hands as her cards for yes and no....or making two cards from paper, with the words yes and no on them for her to chose from when I ask her a question. 

I opted to make cards for her and we asked her the question again...."do you want to go for a ride in the car to the store?".....and she signaled yes....to clarify that the smile was correct.  I was glad to see that her response was what I would have "thought" it was, as I would have felt bad if I assumed. 

My daughter is pretty much always happy and will go with the flow often.  But I do not want to take this for granted, as I always want to respect her opinion.  I feel like we "ask" but do not "follow through" with what she says, and I can only imagine how frustrating this could be.  We all have the freedom of choice and we all should be given the opportunity not only to voice our opinion, but for them to be heard.  Whether it is what she wants for a meal, what she wants to do during down time or if she wants a certain book to read at night, I will listen and look for what she is telling me, as she is making a choice, and I do not want her to think that I do not value her opinion or will assume she means something else.

Here is a quote for today...

No one else can ever make your choices for you.  Your choices are yours alone.  They are as much a part of you as every breath you will take, every moment of your life- Dr. Shad Helmstetter


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