During Oprah’s last show (yes I watched her last show), she expressed her understanding that everyone wants to be acknowledged. Do you see me; do you hear me; do I matter? My son, one of my favorite teachers, communicates the same sentiment. He uses different words but the message is the same. Listen to me, pay attention to what I say, I have my own ideas, hopes and dreams, help me when I ask and not when I don’t, and do I matter? I believe that the role of Mi Via consultant is exactly that, listening, hearing, helping when asked, and affirming the participant worth. The expanded consultant role is exciting. It allows us to listen, hear, provide requested assistance, so the participant has a positive Mi Via experience.
I have varied interests and experiences. Each experience adds to my understanding. I know that parents of children with special needs have a lot of expertise. Maybe not be the same as doctors or therapists but just as valuable. Parents/family have the intimate stuff, the personal stuff from the hours spent with their family members. As a youth soccer coach, I used to say, “it’s all about learning.” I learned that it doesn’t matter if someone has a disability or not; everyone shares what is important to them, their hopes, dreams and issues. My other interests and experiences include: