If you are a parent or a therapist working with a disabled person of any age, it can be hard not knowing how much to expect them to be able to do. Doctors and Social Workers will quickly say to just put that person in a nursing home, I otta know. Every time I need to go to the hospital, they try to bill Medicaid because they don't believe I have 3 jobs and don't meet the guidelines to be on Medicaid. And, they right away try to do everything for me, goo at the smallest thing they see me do for myself, and wonder why I'm not in a nursing home. It's hard to remind myself that all these professional people with all this schooling, don't know any better.
Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". Easy to read, easy to say, but hard to believe. I think it's harder for the disabled community because besides Joni Erickson Toda, there are no disabled role models. No one to not only raise the bar, but to teach people how to reach the bar that has been set for them. And therapists are to a certain level are often lost because even though they have been trained to teach individuals how to do things, they often can't ask a disabled adult what would have been more helpful, or what they wish should have been done. Instead, they go by policies and procedures that were set up by a group of able bodied professionals that in reality have no clue what they are doing. If it looks good and sounds good, it must be good. (Right) It reminds me of a bowl of plastic fruit; that looks and sounds good until you bite into it. And unless you have spoken with a disabled adult and bite into what was helpful and what would have been more helpful, you are not fully dealing with reality.
I took it upon myself to do a series of dressing videos to show how I do things. You will have to forgive the camera work. If someone is standing watching me, it makes it hard for me to do things because believe it or not I'm camera shy. So I'm doing these videos myself so I don't feel under pressure. The advantage is, I can goof off until I can feel ok with the camera, then do the video. That helps! Plus I can start over if I need to.
These videos are not really a "How to", because everyone needs to find what works for them. But I wanted to do videos on how I do things so I can start to set expectations for others. I have a saying, "If you can't do it one way, you can always do it another". I don't expect anyone to do things the same way I do, BUT, I expect you to find what works for you! Having people do things for you is not an option! They can help you find ways to do things, but the goal should always be "Independence", rather than dependence. Because the more you can do for yourself, the more control you will have over your life.
These videos take me a while to do because I'm doing commentary to help everyone understand how I do stuff. More videos will be added to this blog as I do them. The only clothing I'm not doing is pants. I'm willing to do a video of it, but I really don't want the entire world to see how I put my pants on.
With that said, I'm willing to answer any questions that anyone has. I am also available to come do a workshop on dressing. I am not a professional, but being disabled myself I have been around disabled individuals all my life. Safety needs to come first, I'm actually far bigger on safety than I seem. BUT, the rule book goes out the window. If someone has an easier time doing things when they sit a certain way, I could care less about the policy on posture. The goal is independence, who cares how it looks or how it's done? My entire life all therapists have told me was "You're gonna have back problems later in life if you do such and such". Um, excuse me, back problems come from tying people into wheelchairs to the point where they can't move all day. I'm 45 years old, and because I do so much, I just never get stiff. And a real hot long bath helps me keep active. So in my mind, if it hurts, don't do it. If it doesn't hurt, it's safe, and the method doesn't hurt anyone else, they need to be encouraged. Any position that helps someone do a task, needs to be allowed!
I hope my videos will be helpful. These are only to inspire and motivate. How you find ways of doing things is up to you.