Giving Back

The first few years in Precious’ life were pretty hectic. During the first year, she sometimes had 4 appointments a week, and I had a 2 year-old and a 3 year-old at home with their own activities and appointments. Now that Precious is in the Primary Special Needs class for next year, and the other two have a good daycare situation, things are stabilizing. I think we’re more of less given up on trying to figure out why Precious is developmentally disabled, and we’re in a steady state, with peaks here and there. Most of her therapy takes place at school, and by the time we get her from daycare, eat supper and do an activity or homework, it’s bedtime, so we can’t really cram anything else in and I’m o.k. with that.

All this to say that I am finding that things are a smidge easier than they used to be, and not one to rest on my laurels, I made a decision that I wanted to start volunteering somewhere. I knew this would be a win-win situation as I would learn to be a more well-rounded individual and pick up new skills, and I could help out as I feel I have a lot to offer. I already volunteer on field trips at school and coach my other daugher’s soccer team, but I was looking for a kind of professional volunteer opportunity in advocacy or support for parent’s with children with developmental disabilities.

The timing was great as a local advocacy group which deals with the provincial government was looking for members for their steering committee. We’re very lucky here in Ontario, Canada that we do get funding for some of the services we get for our children, but the group’s mandate is to make support for people with developmental disabilities an entitlement, just like education and health care. They want to see all programs centralized into a single pot of funding, with parents able to use the money for whatever services best suit their children. The co-chair of the committee was so inspiring and motivated, that I found myself crying at the annual general meeting.

I’m very happy to have been invited to join the steering committee for this group of united families. I’m part of a group of very experienced parents with some of them having children older than me, as well as some that have younger children, like me. I know we can help each other and I think this group will be a very good door into the world of disabilities, so I can go in and explore the services and people that are there.

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