Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights. ~Pauline R. Kezer
Our only security is our ability to change. ~John Lilly
Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly. ~Francis Bacon
The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them. ~George Bernard Shaw
I’ve been thinking a lot about change lately. In a previous post I talked about Lauren’s reaction to change. Basically, she doesn’t like it. It’s hard for her to understand. Routine and structure in her life helps her to be secure and trusting of those around her. I react to her need by training DSPs to do everything the same. For example, I teach them exactly the order and technique to use to give her a shower. Trying to keep everybody doing everything the same way is not an easy task. And, someone pointed out to me recently, that it may not be the best thing for Lauren.
They noted that Lauren will have people providing her care for the rest of her life. I will not always be in control. Am I reinforcing inflexibility that will make life harder for Lauren in the long run? Maybe. I thought I was teaching Lauren’s caregivers the way that Lauren liked things to be done. But what I actually may be doing is teaching them the way that I like things to be done. Somewhere over the years, in my mind, the two became one. I’m sure there are things that are important to Lauren and some things that really aren’t. I just don’t know what those things are, so I control everything. Maybe I should let her caregivers bring their own ideas and preferences to tasks and let Lauren’s reaction speak for her acceptance or displeasure. Of course, there will always be some health and safety issues that will need continuity and structure, but not everything does. Maybe that give and take between Lauren and her DSPs is part of the relationship that they need to build.
I think major changes – the loss of a DSP, large disruptions in her schedule, etc. will always be difficult for Lauren. But maybe if she can find acceptance for the small changes, she will begin to find tolerance for the large ones.