I was asked today if I was able to have my dream job as a psychologist,what would it look like.
In 1972 two mothers, armed only with a dream and a passion and a raised $3000 opened school for their special needs children. The Little Light House was born out of a desperate need to fill a void that was dark and deep.
We had the privilege of being associated with the program while Benjamin was in kindergarten. That year remains in my heart as an oasis in a very dry, arid and frightenly vicious desert. Benjamin had a loving teacher, physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy. For 1 very blessed school year, we got to take our son to school and did not have to cart him back and forth to 3 differnt types of therapy ... PT once a week, speech twice a week and OT three times a week .. from the age of 9 months till 11 years old ... except the year he spent at The Little Light House. We got a desperately needed break.
Not only that, but we, as parents were loved and encouraged.
If I were to dare to dream ... this is what my dream job as a psychologist would look like. The desire, the dream, the drive coming from much the same place as the founders of The Little Light House.
If I had my dream job:
I would have a place that housed
Pediatric developmental specialist
Child Life Specialist
I would like there to be a small 'drop off'style day care where parents could drop the siblings of their child that is there to be seen, so they didn't have to bring them along to the appointment as an added distraction, hire a baby sitter or enlist family to help.
They would come in as a family, be serviced as a family and supported as a family.
A place where if an evaluation was done and it was decided that the child needed a certain specialist, they would be there, in that building, an appointment could be made.
You might be saying right now "That sounds like many children's hospitals all over america ... yes, probably so, but with one major difference: The family dynamic would be the focus.
The child's developmental needs taken into consideration, referrals would be primarily in house, saving on time, paperwork, lost communication and stress.
Therapies could be coordinated, treatments would be coordinated and the parents would be fully supported.
The child would get the developmental, physical and behavioral support needed. The focus would be on 'no ceiling' for the child, reach for the stars ...
The parents would be given the kindness, and support that is so often missing in the desert that is special needs. They would be given the tools they needed to feel like a competent parent. They'd be given time to enjoy their child .. to truly enjoy and laugh with their child.
If there was a school battle,we'd be able to help them. They'd be given the chance to form a stronger family unit. They'd be shown and told what they are doing RIGHT instead of the constant "you need to do this"
A fully integrated Clinic, prepared to fully deal with the dynamic that the child's special needs bring.
I am not a ground breaker, the chances are I will wind up at our already established Children's Hospital, I will work within an already functioning system ..
but ... if I had my dream job ... it would be one that helped the child reach for the stars and we'd celebrate with the whole family when the child does lasso their star!