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Transitions: where new and old meet

Transitions are interesting moments in life... we prepare to leave a known (but not necessarily better) situation for a new unknown one. Wrapped all together is an opportunity to forge a better future - but then why do we often fear transitions? This is one of the questions that psychologists have grappled with for decades - During the Leadership Development programmes we run, we asked parents of disabled kids how they fared with transitions... here are some of their answers:

Joanne: I think it all began with individualized funding, Its been made possible. We’ve been using individualized funding for over seven years and gradually we have built up the confidence in networks and we’ve had (time to plan), time to dream. – Which I think it’s probably one of the big issues with family with children with young…. People that get so overwhelmed.

Lawrence: For those who are out there…  in similar cases like my family or starting their journey… I think there are a lot of potential and opportunities to look at. Do just (you know) give up in respect to time.

Philipa: The outcome of the navigation for me was it just helped me moved forward. I was very very nervous about Samarra starting school, worried about different scenarios and navigation really helped me transition from my feet worrying about her going to school (to attending school) and thriving now. So I guess as time goes on there will be other hurdles along the way, but yeah but this one was very very positive and am very very pleased that the navigation helped me and sort of make that step.

Sue: Katie doesn’t receive a full funding as part of the contribution the government provides to individualized funding and so we’ve had to be resourceful and innovative and looking at the different ways in which Katie can live well and live safely, and so we leave half our gaps between when a person comes into Katie’s home to support her and halve our gap before the next person arrives. So that in anyone part of the day for one and a half to two hours where Kate is unsupported. Now there are some very real risks associated with that; the planned risks, the calculated risks – so far nothings happened and what Katie demonstrated to us that she is perfectly happy and enjoys having her own home where there’s no one in there with her. And she is quite capable of getting on and doing what she needs to do and (you know) looking after herself spending time doing what she enjoys doing.

Andi: Very difficult, so having an invitation where someone just treats you with kindness and they open their arms and welcome you in when you are just confused. It’s just the best feeling to have someone saying it's okay “It’s okay we can help you, and what questions do you have? We can help you with everything you need”  which is what  Plumtree did.

Sam and Stephen: What I learnt in the process was that its okay to ask for help and to be a bit boldy? Asking for help. One of the carers doesn’t turn up. You know its normally okay, (you know) just shrugged my shoulders and we’d go perhaps go for a few weeks, no no, a couple of weeks like that or but the navigator made us aware that we must you know always follow up and make sure we have help.

Phillipa: This week she had athletics and she loves running and loves being outside and she participated and came fourth in the running race, and she just loved it and she just loves being with the other children, her social skills have improved so much since she has started school…. Umm yeah.. so yeah…  Its been pretty cool.
Joanne: We’ve actually had the space to say what do we want and we didn’t actually focus on what resources that we had, we focused on what does Jack need, what do we need.

Jennifer: The people that worked with whom have always had high goals for her looking towards what would happen when she leaves school identifying her strengths and just steering her towards the areas of her life that could be more meaningful as you grow older, so as a result of that even when while she was still at school, she was trained in the library, computing, shelving the books and just all the things that go with running the school library, so some of her jobs at the moment are in the local primary schools, she works in several primary schools and she is very much loved by the children. Yeah she can run the library without any other adult there.

Phillipa: I would just say, give it a go…. You don’t know what is going to happen until you start, and until you start… you are always going to be worried. So I think just try it, you can always pull them out of school if it is not working. Umm yeah, just have a go.

Lawrence: You would say it is a very challenging experience and a very fulfilling experience and for a family to look at if you do not feel that you have the “know how” or you do not have the connections… Just take one step at a time and be brave. I used to meet a different family by attending the workshops seminar and then connecting with people and I used to mention to them that “you are very brave” and you know, you got to be bold and brave, every step you take – please do not assume that you will 100% achieve it but you can fall down many times, you fall down ten times and get up one time and I think that is a huge big success you know, so over the years you will be getting better and better and then you will be surprised by the number of people wanting to help you, who are surrounding in your area or in your community and they will be most willing to help. – Just look at my case you know: I come here on a very minority perspective, but when you sort of not say no, you don’t want to take that in account… you just part and parcel of the whole landscape in your community, you know… all you have to do is be brave and ask… you can.

Kahu: [shows her ear] Ear…. To listen inside… in a “hearing” and that is a “Rongo”  (in maori translation). Thank you.

Link to the video