Before meeting Eric Walker, and his family, I didn’t really have very much experience or knowledge of what it meant to have a child or sibling with Cerebral Palsy. Meeting with Eric, and his family, along with his speech therapist not only gave me an insight into what it really means to live with a disability and to care for a child with a physical disability, but also the opportunity for me to apply what I have learned in this class and other classes to a real life situation.
Upon getting the assignment and the information I was really apprehensive and actually nervous about the guidelines for the assignment. At the same time I was very excited to do hands on work, this is a great way to learn and I do love working with families. I was very concerned with the group and time elements of the assignment. I knew that this would be challenging for anyone but knew that it would be especially challenging for me and my situation. I found that it was easiest for me to let my group know up front, as well as Eric’s mom Melanie, the time constraints we had and also to ask Melanie first what was most convenient for her. Within the profession of working with young children and their families, the first rule is to consider what times and places are the most convenient for them. Turnbull list this as one of the principles when creating partnerships with families, to be available and accessible, and sometimes this means rearranging other commitments, in order to show the family that you really are not only committed to them but respect their time as well(Turnbull, 2011, p.147).
After talking with mom and getting the times that worked best for her, the group then came up with times that would work for all. All of us had many other commitments, and we all eventually realized, that we would have to give some other commitments up in order to complete the assignment. I know this taught me that we all need to respect individuals own times and commitments, but as professionals we have always put the families we are working with first. However, at the same time, we must also learn about how coworkers and learn best how to work with them and to work out schedules. I think the hardest about this assignment, is that while this is if school work in order to complete the degree many of us already have school schedules and work schedules, as well as personal and family commitments to consider. Hopefully as a professional, as individuals we will have to learn that we have to make time and have time within our schedules in order to meet families on their schedules.
After making the times and getting all the details about how and when to meet, the actual meetings went wonderfully! Before meeting with mom, I had talked to her on the phone as well as communicated by email. I had learned that she was a single mother, with two boys, who works full-time as a nurse, and that the boys father lives in Virginia. I didn’t have any real biases about the family, but also didn’t really...