Expectations Of Families Of People With Disabilities

Expectations can neither be too low or too high, but in realistic reach” – Unknown.

Most families of people with disabilities want their family member to have the life that most of us take for granted-a rich and fulfiling life, surrounded by the people we love, living where we choose and with whom we choose, gaining employment and being financially independent. Parents want their child with a disability to have the same opportunities as their siblings and siblings want their brother or sister to have the opportunities as themselves.

Families want their family member to have meaningful activities in their life, to have socially valued roles that are seen positively, rather than negatively within the community-rather than being seen as the young man with Down Syndrome that goes to a day respite program, being seen as a young man who has a small lawn mowing business. Most families want their family member to be seen as a person first-not the label their disability assigns them.

Another basis desire of families of people with disabilities is for their family member with a disability to utilised the skills they have learnt at school, whether this may be in an academic sense, life skills to maintain independence or basic therapy programs. In some instances, the loss of academic skills has led to the lost of self esteem and confidence, as well as depression.

While the loss of life skills or the provision of therapy has led to the loss of independence- with the person becoming completely dependent on others. In more drastic circumstances, the complete disappearance of the array of therapy services that might have been provided to the person as a child, may lead to the slow deterioration of the effects of the person’s disability- meaning more medical interventions, as well as the person slowly losing what independence they have.

The most important expectation that families have for their family member with a disability is that they will be able to have a decent quality of life, a lifestyle that most of us in the community typically enjoy.

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