The Importance of Having Support, by Eileen Herzog

By July 6, 2018NVLD Bloggers

Being told you have NVLD often brings many concerns for your family, as you fear the worst. One of the ways these fears can be minimized is to connect with a family who also has a child with a disability. It may be from a personal connection or joining a support group. It doesn’t need to be NVLD, as each disability, while different, is also very similar as each disability brings daily challenges.

Three friends sitting around the table drinking coffee

Image by Helena Lopez from Pexels

In my personal experience, it doesn’t matter if they are your age or not as you are still able to be a strong support for each other. Honestly, having the support of families with older children is a tremendous resource in many cases, as they can share their journey to help you navigate life since they have already been there. This was the case for our family and through this experience, we discovered we shared so much common ground. For example they wanted their special needs son to reach his maximum success level, believe in being inclusive, their gifted children to take advantage of the new experiences available to them, and for their children to pursue their passion among many other things. They were truly the model family for valuing individual differences and for understanding everyone is blessed with their own unique special qualities. My parents truly considered them as their role models.

Looking back I remember having a few wonderful conversations with the Mom and their special needs son at spaghetti dinners about their experiences. However, the one that had the most impact on me was how many hours they spent doing homework together so he could succeed. I thought wow; we do this too and thought to myself our moms certainly have spent many long nights to help us. Afterwards, I realized my situation wasn’t that abnormal and thought how good it felt when the hard work paid off. I was also able to sense how happy this family was and was able to feel confident that everything would be ok.

Another way to help a student with a disability is to encourage them to join an extra-curricular or community group. These groups often provide much-needed structure, which can expose you to more strategies to help facilitate overall growth. I know in my case joining the cross-country team and track team helped me learn how to achieve my goals.

Overall whether receiving personal or community support it can make all in the difference in the world. My advice is to take advantage of any and all support you can and to be honest about everything. I know honesty helped my parents as they learned friends of theirs were in a similar situation and as result, it developed into a stronger relationship than a typical social friendship. Our families truly set a great example that using the support available to you is extremely beneficial. Yes, your support will be different however; I truly believe it would help make the journey easier.

Eileen Herzog

I am a true believer having great support is extremely important for success.

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