I was recently asked to write an article on my years as an early intervention specialist and the current film that I am making. As I began writing, I realized the strong connection between the work then and the work now. Simple. It is all about re-building dreams.
Here’s an excerpt of that article:
When new families arrived to John Tracy Clinic, the then-director would stand before the parents at orientation and gently say, “Your dreams for your children have been broken. Now we need to rebuild those dreams.” Early intervention was key then and continues to be, in so many applications. What is early intervention about? It takes the notion that knowledge is power and gives parents that knowledge so they make the choices they need to take action. That is exactly what goes on when living with a chronic health issue. Intervene quickly and effectively so that people can resume their lives and what matters most. When people have meaning in their lives, they can then live to their fullest potential, no matter if it is with a special-needs child, a chronic health issue or a challenging circumstance to overcome. It’s all the same thing. When I worked with parents of newly-diagnosed hearing-impaired infants, I had to help them understand that though the fear, the anxiety, the anger they were experiencing was real, it must not paralyze them. They needed to walk with the fear and through the fear to take action. The families had to take advantage of those very precious early years to provide their children with what they needed. This same theme comes through in Life On The Bridge. The labels, the restrictions, the challenges must not hold you back. Whatever you are experiencing, do not allow negative societal beliefs to make things worse. Part of what I did in early intervention was help people break free of low expectations and old-fashioned belief systems. This is also at the center of Life On The Bridge.
Things happen. Sometimes the dreams that parents have for their children are shattered. Sometimes the dreams that people have for themselves are shattered. That, is often when the real work of one’s life begins.
As we begin 2015, may we all continue to learn and grow on our journeys.