There are a number of scenarios that my brain automatically refuses to consider and if I was the superstitious type, I’d believe that I’m about to jinx things by now naming some of them. Of course, they all have to do with my child with severe autism and the scariest ones have to do with situations that arise out of nowhere, with little time to respond, such as an earthquake or other natural disaster.
Life has a way of giving us reminders, both big and small about the wisdom of planning ahead for such things. Hurricane Katrina’s effect on my family in New Orleans was a big one. With their house under eight feet of water, they found themselves displaced for months and while it was hard on everyone, it was particularly so for my nephew with special needs.
As was the case when the Seattle area was hit by a wicked winter storm several years ago. We were stranded at home without power for three days. Luckily we had a gas fireplace that provided some heat and candles for light but keeping our daughter away from them was an all-day chore. And of course, there was no electricity for her videos, no microwave for her mac and cheese, and no lights when she repeatedly flipped each and every switch in the house.
One technique that has always helped me face things I’d rather not think about is to imagine the worst-case scenario. If I can think and feel it through and plan for it, the fear loses some of its power. I realize I can’t plan for every eventuality but there are a number that are in the realm of real possibilities and for those I can plan.
And you can too.
Winter is just around the corner and whether it’s wind or snow, now is a good time to commit to making a plan for your family – just in case.
We found some great resources from our own Mama Doc, Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson and from our friends at The Center for Children with Special Needs. Check out the links below on how to get started.
Share your tips on making a plan that fits your family’s unique needs. Other parents will benefit from you!