Navigational Skills

Do you know where you need to go? Its fine to have a goal in mind but is that goal clearly defined? Is it visible the location of where you want to get to? The next part of it is the hardest. Are the steps visible to get there? Can you see all of the obstacles in front of you? And. Are those obstacles always there, or do they change in front of you as you start off on your journey? Or do they appear and disappear and alter in their size and complexity in front of you all the time, or only some of the time?

The reason that we bring this up.

Being able to work out a plan. When is the plan worked out? Who is it worked out by? Is the person who made the plan able to see all of the issues that are laid out in front of you? Are they there with you all the time to work out how to manage the issues as you go? Are they there to help you when the obstacles are too big and leave you on the floor because they are completely overwhelming your personal resources. Who is helping you? Do you have people with you to help you navigate? Do you rely on these people? Are they aware that they are a support to you? Would you be able to keep heading down this particular pathway without them? Why are they helping you? Do they offer stability in that role? What is their type of relationship to you?

Simple problem solving that happens on a weekly appointment basis can be keeping a family or an individual in a ‘coping’ zone. Without that support things might not remain stable and obstacles that have been there for a long time or new ones that can be added together in succession can be completely overwhelming. How many years have you been working with the same people? What happens when they are not there anymore? What advice and support were they giving? Were you able to achieve and meet newer goals with their support but without them you struggle? What was the ‘navigational support’ that they were giving you?

Being able to work through novel or new situations requires a huge amount of second by second analysis. Some times this is easy and other times there might not be an option, there might not be a way out. Resources such as lack of school placements can force families into making certain decisions that then cascade one after the other that they might not be able to predict in advance about the level of detail. But they have no choice. Families and individuals with chronic conditions have huge levels of resilience and are hugely successful at problem solving and knowing which resources to tap into to position themselves in the best chance to maintain as much resilience as possible. They’ve learnt what to do over time and continue to add new strategies all the time. Families comment that they still expect to be receiving the same support by the time their teen is then a 40 year old. The complexities that are present in the environment ‘are’ that complex.