At the very same time that life has me so overwhelmed that planning for the future isn’t on my radar, thinking about the future and what will happen to my kids with Special Needs if something happened to me, is all-consuming. It’s sort of an oxymoron I guess because it’s like I’m terrified of the thing I’m too overwhelmed to think about.
It’s never too late to start planning for the future. This is very important but doing so can be extremely intimidating. I’m working with Voya Finacial, my brand partner, to help raise awareness for the importance of Special Needs families to plan for the future. Voya has some amazing resources to help you make sure your loved ones are cared for. It’s not something any of us want to think about but not thinking about it won’t make you any more prepared in the event that something should happen.
I’m now 18 years into this journey and things are beginning to pop up on my radar that simply didn’t until now. Maybe I was just so overwhelmed that I missed them before but now they’re staring me right in the face.
My wife and I are learning to navigate our oldest son Gavin’s transition into adulthood. I’d be lying if said it’s been a graceful process because it hasn’t.
We’re facing things now that we hadn’t thought about before.
Gavin’s an adult now and we’re trying to ensure that he gets as much independence as he can safely have. Part of that is continuing to build skills that can help him to care for himself, better navigate the world around him, and maybe even find some kind of job.
Gavin is challenged and while he struggles in many areas of his life, he’s not without his strengths or things that he’s good at. He has things he can offer the world, as well as employable skills. Until recently, we were so focused on survival, we failed to really prepare for this.
You probably don’t know this but October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and yes, it’s a mouthful. It’s also something that’s really important to become aware of. NDEAM is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.
The theme for 2018 is “America’s Workforce: Empowering All” and the trending hashtag is #GettingToEqual.
This is a time when we are reminded that people with Special Needs or disabilities have some amazing things to offer the workplace and have a right to gainful employment, as well as a fair wage.