Planning for your child’s future needs may not be at the forefront of your mind when you’re focused on caring for your kid every day, but at some point, you need to start planning. There are various models available for planning the future needs of a child with special needs. One of the best, which has been around for a few decades but has recently gained much more popularity, is person-centered planning. It varies from other plans because it’s more of a discovery process that helps identify both what is important for your child and what is important to your child.
5 Tips for Creating a Person-Centered Plan for a Child with Special Needs
With a person-centered plan, you have more freedom to choose the types of services that best suit your child’s needs. And your child will play an active part in setting goals in collaboration with you and the care providers. Ultimately, a person-centered plan provides greater autonomy for how your child lives in the future and more individualized care. To help you get started with creating a person-centered plan, here are five great tips.
Talk to Your Child
The first thing to do is have a chat with your child. For some areas, mom is sure to know best. But a person-centered plan is centered around your child, remember! So, you must spend some time identifying what your child’s wants and needs are and what their aspirations are for the future. You can then begin consulting with others to come up with an effective plan.
Use Person-Centered Planning Software to Plan and Track
By using configurable electronic documentation software, you can build personalized plans and track the plan’s specifics as you and your child move forward. Professional care providers, ranging from those that provide therapy to those that offer disability programs, can make even more use of software that has been specifically designed for person-centered planning.
Meet with Everyone Involved in Your Child’s Life
When creating a person-centered plan for your child, you need to meet with everybody involved with your child’s life. That includes professionals like therapists and program providers, close and extended family members, friends, teachers, etc. Use a flipchart to identify your child’s likes and dislikes and what their regular daily routine is.
Then discuss how best to develop an action plan that works best for your child’s individual needs. By having everyone involved in the process, it will be much easier to develop an effective plan.
Identify Your Child’s Strengths and Weaknesses to Determine Future Possibilities
One of the most crucial things you need to do when coming up with an effective person-centered plan for your child is to identify their strengths and weaknesses in addition to your child’s hopes for the future. You can then more easily work out whether your child’s dreams are possible according to their strengths and weaknesses and how to adjust things.
When you spend time contemplating issues, it will be much easier to solve them, so you may be able to find ways to make your child’s dreams come true. You might need to implement some additional parameters.
Create an Action Plan
Once you have identified strengths and weaknesses and discussed possibilities with everyone involved in your child’s life, you need to create an action plan. Break down your child’s dreams and goals into small parts so that it’s much easier to attain them.
For instance, if your child wants to become more social, the first action you can take is to set up more playdates and get more involved with the local community. Your plan also needs to detail things like who will arrange those social activities and who is responsible for certain elements of those activities.