Family Experts guide Certitude’s work
Families need families – the most reliable, honest and helpful support and guidance families of young children with learning disabilities reported was that which they received from other parents and families. The importance of creating opportunities to bring families together should never be underestimated. What I also heard parents describing was what I would consider as peer mentoring – this standing side by side peer support is a life line to many.
Families describe ongoing frustration and vulnerability in dealing with professionals and regularly experience their child being viewed and described according to what they can’t do. This struck such a cord with me as a large aspect of our current work with adults is about enabling individuals, families and professionals to see each person’s gifts and talents. Person centred planning is the bedrock to enabling this and clearly needs to start from birth.
Parents of children with learning disabilities report spending an inordinate amount of time at medical and other appointments. Time is so limited yet simple, reliable, helpful information is not easily available at the touch of a button. Families and providers have learned so much over the years yet not enough of this learning is being shared with others or available to them when they most need it.
Towards the end of the discussions I was struck by the comment of one family member who said with some confidence that what families need isn’t rocket science. I agree – I also now believe more than ever that getting family support right from an early age will make such a difference to the life of the adult their child will become.
I am humbled and inspired in equal measure by this vibrant group of families. Here at Certitude, along with Helen [see Helen Sanderson Associates], we are excited by the opportunity of working with this dynamic group and offering our practical support to deliver on their great ideas.
It is therefore with this experience in mind that I whole heartedly say on this Carers Week that families are the future …….