Author: Therese Vafaeezadeh, ARNP

Resilience – What is it and Why Does it Matter?

We hear a lot about “resilience” among those who live with chronic adversity. What exactly does this mean and why does it matter? Two veteran parents/providers take a look at this topic as it pertains to parents of children with special needs.

Therese and Lynn are moms of adult daughters with special needs. Therese’s daughter, Sabah, is now 32 so she has had many years to reflect on how parents build resilience in the face of adversity. She recalled the early years when she felt the guilt that many moms feel and her focus was on “fixing her” with many therapies and interventions. At the time, she wasn’t aware that she was grieving but she was. She wondered “why me” but also thought “why not me?” It was in Sabah’s teenage years that Therese shifted the focus to her quality of life. One thing that helped was that her family never did treat Sabah as disabled and always included her wherever they went. Therese also always had expectations of her daughter, not by any other yardstick but her own, meaning that she knew she could learn and grow toward whatever her capacity might be. Read full post »

Autism and Voting

At age 18, unless guardianship has been established, all US citizens obtain the legal right to vote. Some 18 year olds pay no attention to elections, while others may have more interest in the process. This is true whether a teen has autism or not. How does a parent know if their teen is ready to vote? As a parent you have supported your child through their first 18 years. Ideally you have provided them the right amount of support to be as successful and independent as possible. Over the years you have learned your son or daughter’s strengths and challenges and will have a pretty good idea if your teen is ready to vote. Some of the questions to consider are, does your son/daughter show any interest in the election process, do they ask questions regarding the candidates or ballot measures? If yes, then you can sit down with your teen once the voter’s pamphlet arrives. You will know how much time your teen will spend reading over the information and how much time you should allot for discussion prior to the election. Obtaining a mail in ballot allows the voter to take their time while casting their vote. Read full post »

Home Sweet Home- Where Will My Child Live?

As parents, we often dream of the day when our son or daughter will be able to move out of our home and begin to create a home of their own. But what happens when your child has autism?  Will they be able to live on their own or will they need support? If so, how much support? And who pays for all this? Read full post »