FAMILY EMPOWERMENT

Module 1 Part 2  SPED 421 Fall 2016                                              

Read Overton, Chapter 2. Read over carefully our  course goals in your Syllabus, Module 1 Power Point and “Welcome to Holland”.     Considering the key concepts of “family-centered practices” and “empowerment”, choose 3 or 4 of them that  you would like to focus on during this course and why. How can you, as an educator support family growth and collaboration Discussion forum (please review the protocol for our Discussion forums found in your syllabus).      Your response should be 3-4 paragraphs in length. Include thoughts from the readings in your response.  

Key Concepts of Family Centered Practices

  1.  Respecting What Families Do For Their Child With  A Disability and Empowerment as partnership.

Overton, states best, the key role in families.  “Families serve as case managers, obtain and coordinate medical services, educational services, and therapies.  Families are responsible for much of what a child learns in the first years. The family typically teaches the child’s first vocabulary and fosters concept development, including color and number concepts and labels.”  (p.19, Overton)  

Overton also states “Another primary role of the family is to provide for the child’s emotional well-being.” (p.19, Overton), emphasising the sharing of affection, and the building up of self-esteem, teaching cultural beliefs, provide for economic needs, take care of the day to day needs, such as; cooking, cleaning, hygiene, health care, transportation.  Families also meet the need of socialization, and spend leisure time together and provide recreational needs for each other. Families are empowering to an individual evolution in their life, and especially to a person with a disability, having the family system of support to them is empowering.

     2.    Empowerment as Philosophy for the Family.

According to (Overton, p.24),  “Empowerment is an ideology with guiding principles and beliefs that stress the strengths and capabilities of all individuals, the value of diversity, and the best strategies for enhancing in promoting competence.”

     This is the value a family gives to an individual and especially a person with a disability.  The family gives guiding principles and beliefs to all individuals and especially those with a disability.  If the family is practical in their belief, they will instill this in their child with a disability. If the family has active addictions of any kind, the person with a disability will or maybe have a genetic trait to pick up some kind of addiction for dealing with their disability.  However, as with all addictions, these need to be addressed and monitored to not take over a person’s life, and this will include a person with a disability.

      3.    Empowerment as Process for the Family.I was just reading the recent Sept 2016 National Geographic Magazine, where they have an extensive article with beautiful heartwarming pictures of refugee families, who have moved to Germany.  They are pictured all together, and you can see their partnership of family in that photo. You can see these families build one another up and strengthen each other through their daily life, and especially if they have a child with a disability.  In Overton, says, “the dimension of empowerment stresses the interpersonal relationships inherent in effective helping styles, such as reciprocity, open communication, mutual trust and respect, shared responsibility, and cooperation.” (p.24). Overton also states, “Every person has unmet potential and dreams or moments that serve as snapshots of a better self.  We grow when this potential is nurtured. When people feel good about themselves and can recognize their strengths, they can utilize these strengths to grow. Respect and affirmation of our efforts fuels growth. The term empowerment has come to define this growth.” (p.24)  Overton states Empowerment as Process “Although the process of becoming empowered may vary greatly, it is influenced by the opportunities and conditions that support and strengthen family function.” (p.24).  This is very true, in that, if you have one person in the family who is in active addiction, then this affects, the entire family balance.

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:Kat: K. M. M.Ed

Author, Artist, Philosopher.

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