Making Our Partners Look Good: Activating the Elegance of Supported Living

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dance partners

“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it is spent.  Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. ~ Carl Sandburg

I love dance, its  elegance and the lessons it teaches us about life.  It is easy to focus on our unique moves, but dancers focus on making their partners look good, too. Supported living requires more than mom and dad.  Safety for our families members is contingent on powerful allies in our communities and within the service delivery system.

Most of us have experienced at least one surprising and heartfelt connection. One of the upsides of being a special needs parent is the beautiful people we come to meet along the way as we raise our children.  We love the special educator that “gets it”. We are delighted when a barista becomes a friend and trust advisor. And, we appreciate the policy maker who listens and implements our ideas.

Impressive teams, beautiful friendships, and cherished marriages experience the sense of oneness felt in dance. We keep our individuality, respect ourselves and honor our partners strengthen our relationships.

When we build extraordinary teams, we experience a sense of focused energy which is capable of producing astounding results. When your team comes together like this, your child’s goals become quickly attainable.

Try these ideas out.

  1. How can you demonstrate your gratitude to those who help you and your family?
  2. Go beyond your story. Look past your immediate needs and see members of your team from their vantage point. Try being the busy teacher for a moment, imagine her life. Look at the impossible caseload of the job developer who does care, but just can’t find enough hours in the day to get everyone a job. Observe the policy maker. Watch how a dedicated professional attempts to balance your families needs with a system in transition dominated by state and federal government.
  3. Figure out how to be a resource not a liability in their lives. Mutual support is the sign of a healthy community.

Do these things and invest in the relationship.  It will pay off for you and your family. And, your dance will be dazzling.

About Katherine Carol

Special needs & community expert, speaker, co-author of The Tango of Publishing and Shining Beautiful, with Mikelle Learned, book coach, mom, and community builder.

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