We can stop being "helicopter helpers"—constantly hovering—and allow children and adults to make their own decisions (knowing they will
make mistakes and learn from them,
just as people without disabilities do).
Problem-Solving: A Most Valuable Skill
Many years ago, while learning from a variety of different authors (Edward DeBono, William Glasser, and others) I was introduced to the idea that problem-solving is a most valuable skill. Whether you’re the President of the United States, a stay-at-home-mom, a college student, a teenager, or just about anything else, you’re faced with problems—little ones and big ones—that need to be solved on a daily basis! And perhaps people with the most effective problem-solving skills enjoy more success in their personal and/or professional lives: their ability to problem-solve leads to less conflict, more tranquility, greater self-determination, and more.
Learning to problem-solve could be considered a normal part of growing up. As children grow and mature, they’re expected to figure things out for themselves and, hopefully, they learn from their mistakes. However, if children are not given opportunities to problem-solve on their own, they’ll remain helpless and dependent on others.
All too often, this has become the reality for too many children with developmental disabilities. We haven’t expected them to become problem-solvers, so we haven’t given them opportunities to problem-solve. Thus, many grow up to become adults who are seen as helpless, dependent, and incompetent, which leads to their spending their lives in sheltered, protective, segregated environments where others make decisions and problem-solve for them. This is a terrible tragedy! But regardless of the age of the person or the type of disability, we can take steps to prevent and/or reverse this dismal and tragic state of affairs. Click here to continue.
New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense