There is a TV commercial that ends with the phrase, “Expect more”. The commercial had me wondering- “Expect more of what?”
I remember attending my first parent/teacher meetings. We all think we know our young children pretty well until we hear about how they act when we are not around. I found myself content when hearing what my kids were doing when I was not around. I would like to think that I had something to do with that, because I expected more of them.
When we expect less of someone, the person achieves little. When we go out of our way to make it easy for someone, we get exhausted by doing everything for them.
I am a little struck by our idea that we need to provide choices but are not always as focused on what choices need to be made.
- For dinner tonight:
Do we give people a list of healthy choices for dinner and ask them to pick from these?
Do we give people an unlimited list and leave unhealthy as a regular option?
- When doing chores:
Do we give people the choice to take out the trash or watch TV?
Do we ask which task would they prefer to do i.e. ake out the trash or wash the pots?
- It happens at work also:
Do we give someone the opportunity to try something new?
Do we say: “I will do that, I can do it faster and do it well.”
Most of the people we support need to make choices. Like all of us, we need to help each person make choices that will enhance their lives, their health, their sense of achievement, their personal belief that they are needed.
Having a choice is a right. None of us gets to make all choices. Human rights come with human responsibilities.
This week, I saw the preliminary results of our work with AVAIL. If you recall, AVAIL is an assistive technology with many features that runs on a smart device. This technology helps learners take charge of their own independence, and the support is mobile so individuals can carry the device in a comfortable small bag. With this new technology, we are expecting more: greater independence and self-direction. I am delighted. The folks that are using AVAIL are blossoming. There is a steady growth in independence for every person in our pilot. We are pioneering.
Click here to read more about our uniqueness in the AVAIL project.