All parents worry about their children’s futures, but as a parent to a child with additional needs, the fears of navigating the future can be further intensified. It is often a parent’s role to encourage young adults and to help them develop responsibilities and learning skills for greater independence, for example building lasting relationships and understanding the value of money. By embracing the future, taking the reins and intentionally planning the next steps, parents can remove the uncertainty, turning the unknown into an exploration of what’s possible.
As a parent to a child with additional needs himself, Graham Caldow’s new book What’s Possible? proactively drives the discussion around how to plan better futures for young adults with additional needs. Through the book, he shares his own experiences as a parent and the tools he has created to support parents and guardians as they guide their children to not only live independently but be fulfilled by finding their purpose.
Within the book, Graham unpacks how every family can create an easy to follow and actionable life plan, using the unique ‘Red Giraffe Route Map’. Similar to a train map, the map is comprised of four main ‘lines’ or sections, detailing a separate focus: becoming more independent, managing relationships better, finding a daily purpose, and organising finances, and how young adults can develop greater independence and fulfilment in each of these areas of life. Graham believes with a life plan in place, young adults with additional needs can have a secure future.
What’s Possible? also combines the Red Giraffe Route Map, with the VOCAL method, through which parents can work through each area on the framework, develop a Vision of how the future might look, Options to get there, and Create a plan. After a period of time, parents can Assess what’s working and what isn’t, and eventually achieve their vision, their Legacy to their children.
Full of practical, easy-to-implement ideas, What’s Possible? is for parents and those with parental responsibilities to help them push boundaries and explore potential, supporting young adults with additional needs to live the life they want, both now and in the future.
What’s Possible? Is published by Rethink Press and available on Amazon.