By Out-of-Sync Woman
There a line in a country music song about wide-open spaces and room to make mistakes by the group formerly called the Dixie Chicks. Having the space to learn and not be perfect is an important part of the growing process. I appreciate and understand what they’re singing about since I think it applies to all young people. I think it’s incredibly relevant to the special needs population because it may take longer and we might need to find different ways of doing things.
Having safe places to try and master new skills where failure is expected and taken into account. Preparation and planning in making someplace a safe area to practice take time and effort but it pays off. Having a designated place decreases the time to set up, in addition, I find that I concentrate and learn better in familiar surroundings.
Having the right mindset applies to teachers and students. Being willing to work hard but also understanding if a pause is needed to rethink an approach to something difficult increases the chances for success. Expecting that it will take time and lots of practice in many settings to become knowledgeable and proficient in a new area is necessary.
I know that if I don’t give myself enough time and plan for difficulties, I am often setting myself up for frustrations. I know it takes me longer to learn and that I might need different strategies to be successful. It took me many years to absorb the lessons I needed to learn to be able to take care of myself independently. Budgeting, cleaning, organizing, and self-care are a few things I need to live by myself. I didn’t just jump in, my parents started with easy things that built up to more complex tasks over time. They knew that I wanted a place of my own so it was a priority to teach me what needed to know to achieve my goals.
My parents didn’t know how successful I would be. I think they were trying their best to see what I could do with support and hopefully someday be on my own. I know it took lots of effort, money, space, and time on their part to get me to where I am now. I’m sure there were times when they wanted to give up and do it for me but they knew that I would live a more successful life if I could do more for myself. Knowing how to do more has given me a lot more freedom. I send a big thank you to all the people who helped me become the person I am today.