Katie shares her top tips on creating a One Page Profile
Katie is not only a parent who has used One Page Profiles for her daughter but she also delivers workshops to parents about producing a One Page Profile for their child. Today, she gives some of her tips and thoughts on creating a One Page Profile.
As I deliver training around the country I hear professionals talking about the “change in culture”.
For me that means changing the way we think and that is not just professionals but for us, as parents, to take that responsibility to make things better for our own children. If we can shift the thinking in our heads it makes it much easier to come together as families, as friends, as communities and with professionals to get the best for our kids.
When we create a One Page Profile, we must see our children and young people in a positive light, not something the system often makes time for. We are ground down by systems, services, appointments, reviews, assessments, and hearing about our child’s condition and what they can’t do. We are worn out by the medical way of thinking and all the labels places upon our kids. If we think positively then it helps us to listen to our young people and what is important to them. If we can get our mind set with a different outlook we are in a better position to help our kids come up with their own answers in seeing themselves as unique and individual.
The thing that bonds us together is that each of us wants similar things for all our disabled and non-disabled kids in the future – a happy, healthy and purposeful life. It does not feel too much to ask!
To get there our first step is to ask ourselves what makes our young people tick, what makes them who they are, what are their likes, their dislikes, what are their good points, what do other people really like about our own children? This may be the first time anyone has asked you anything positive about your child. Our children communicate in all sorts of creative ways. Listening to them takes time.
Sometimes, we are not in the right place to have the strength and resilience to see things in a positive way and our experiences can be very different from each other. How we see the world can be determined through our own parents, our upbringing, culture and education. Some of us have more mountains to climb and more challenges to overcome.
When we used to go to my daughter’s annual review and go through her statement it used to send shivers down my spine. So much so, that I refused to sign the statement until we had a real pen picture of my daughter and who she was to me and those who took the time to get to know her. It was full of things she could do, the things that brought smiles to our faces and the things she loved about life. I wanted other people to see her and not her impairment. I wanted people to see beyond the wheelchair. She is now an adult and makes her own decisions and knows her gifts and strengths.
Doing a One Page Profile is a good way to help others see your child and not their disability. It is a way for your child to feel valued. It can be the cultural change within all of us.