Contributed by Storm Robbins
In today’s blog, I will talk about my goal of living independently one day.
The reason why I want to be independent is because I want to feel like I am able-bodied person instead of having to rely on others for help all the time. I worry about my future if something happens to my family and I can’t look after myself when they are not here anymore. So before that day happens, I need to learn life skills such as washing clothes, or driving a car to prepare myself for the next chapter of my life.
Some issues blocking my independence are getting through simple “road blocks” such as getting a driver’s licence. To drive a car is a challenge in itself because you have to be switched on all the time, remember the road rules, impress the driver/instructor and learn the different controls in a modified car to suit a person with a disability.
Another road block is the washing. It looks so easy when I see someone else do it and in my mind I know the steps on how to wash clothes. The problem is the execution of the chores when I do it myself. I see an able-bodied person lift the basket to put clothes in, but I cannot lift the baskets myself. So I came to the conclusion that every chore I do around the house will have to be executed differently as opposed to an able-bodied person but the same result is achieved at the end.
I have dealt with this issue using my own strategies for forward planning. Before I do a chore, I follow my own three rules:
- I make sure I have an idea of what the task is and what I am trying to achieve before doing it. I usually get an adult to show me how they do the chore. This is usually my mum.
- I work out what I can and cannot do. I will admit and accept my weaknesses in this regard.
- I try to solve things through trial and error because every disability has its certain strengths and weaknesses. And for this, I have had to find out what works best for me. For example I cannot carry the washing basket so I use the wheelchair put the basket on my lap and transport it that way.
Every day I try to learn more independence by watching and observing people and how they go about doing their chores and pick up small things that I can add to my independence to improve myself.
Overall my dream is to be more independent so I can improve myself as a person, and most importantly to experience life to the fullest using my own abilities.