Being able to manage challenges

How do you cope when something isn’t working for you?

How big an issue is it that you can’t do that skill or can’t complete that task?

Does not being able to complete a task stop you from accessing something? Are you able to attend the local school because you can complete the tasks at your grade level. What happens if the location of where you live doesn’t have another ‘type’ of school that provides different ‘types’ of activities? Where do you go? And if nothing else is on offer because of competition for such a small number of school places, how do you cope? How does each of your parents cope? How do your grandparents cope? What are each of them now required to do because there is no place for you in a setting that supports you and the ‘types’ of activities that you need to learn? Who does the work now?

How many times are you presented with these challenges over your lifespan so far? Could you get a place at the local preschool? Could you get into the specialist service? Could you go to the shops as frequently as you would like or is it overwhelming for everyone so you don’t go? How many schools did you try to get into for Kindergarten? What was the school that you really want to go to versus the one you ended up going to? How long were you able to stay there? Was it a program that only offered a few years of support and then you need to go through the entire process again? How’s your resilience doing now? Keep following this trajectory and see how much resilience parents and individuals with chronic conditions actually have. What they ‘know’ about how to deal with challenges compared to those around them. How they know how to deal with disappointment or lack of access to something and what they then need to ‘dig deep for’ in order to work out what to do next.

The question becomes how much is too much. When do we stop asking individuals and their families to stop living in chronic distress or chronic burnout and look at the pathways to alter them to make it easier. This is a natural part of learning. What works for me and what doesn’t work for me? As an individual and as a carer and as a family and as an extended family and as the place that we live and with the people that we interact with. Each time we get new information about what has worked we integrate it into the whole concept of our lives and the pathways that work for us and those that don’t. Our goals of education for children and to have each of our family members be healthy and happy requires an understanding of each of their pathways and obstacles that can present in front of them and how to manage those. Families of individuals with chronic conditions do a significant amount of research to try and find resources to manage these challenges. Every day. They are constantly trying to learn to adjust the pathway to make it easier for everyone. Being able to balance their own needs with the needs of others is a huge ‘task’. It is something that needs to be cognitively thought through and analysed in detail, broken apart and put back together again. That ability to forward think through challenges means that there is less likelihood that situations will come up where there is too big a risk of overload. The challenges that exist are not within our control all of the time. We are not responsible for the entire educational system, the entire health care system. Learning how to navigate through those requires significant resilience and emotional support and strategies to learn how to navigate health. A good knowledgeable team of professionals around the family can make considerable difference to individuals ability to cope with challenges.