Person Centered Planning
When you become a parent, the world is full of new adventures. When your child experiences a disability, those adventures multiply. Relationships change, family support looks different, and the paperwork can be overwhelming.
Through it all, families strive to stay focused on their vision of the future for all their children. Keeping that focus – with your child at the center of decisions – is essential. One way to do that is through a process called person–centered planning. Person-centered planning is an exciting and empowering process! Family, friends, and invited, interested professionals gather to answer open-ended questions that lead to a vision for your child’s future. The focus is on the strengths and gifts of your child.
With this information, you will create a plan for your child to begin building a positive and practical portrait of ability. It is a powerful way to communicate your child’s strengths, gifts, and capacity at planning meetings.
Person-centered planning is useful in many situations and at all ages. It is helpful when considering the many transitions you will need to plan for in your child’s life: future school situations, jobs, and living situations – and it collects and documents strategies for success. This portrait is helpful when introducing your child to new caregivers, teachers, friends, and people in the community.
As parents begin to consider new possibilities for their children, worry and despair are replaced with hope and dreams for the future. Families begin to celebrate a vision in which their child’s disability was just a small part of the picture, allowing them to see their child without the disability label.
Creating a Vision
Creating Opportunities can help facilitate Person-Centered Plans and arrange training opportunities for families interested in learning how to facilitate the planning process for themselves and others.