As a parent of 5 children, I personally understand how important it is to teach our children life skills like how to communicate, time management and how to multi task starting at an early age. Parents of children with special needs share the same goals and dreams as other parents and their children too want to grow to be independent and happy adults. As I look around at our workforce in the world currently, I can’t help but feel that there is a special niche that is being left out of the game of sharing their mastery of skills. On every street corner in America , especially during the summer you can see a child’s entrepreneurial spirit by selling lemonade, mowing yards and babysitting. But just think for 1 minute if your child was unable to complete those tasks independently. That is a reality that millions of parents face everyday. But does that mean that they can’t live the dream of being an entrepreneur like other children their age that are typical? Absolutely not, it just means that they road to get there may not be paved the whole way and they may have to do some off roading it to reach the finish line.
When I think of what it takes to help children with special needs recognize that they have true skills, it has to start with their parents, the professionals that serve them and the friends and family that are influential to them. We as a community must raise these incredibly resilient children up by helping them identify their skills each day. Just think for a minute all of the things it takes to get ready in the morning before you or your child walk out the door. Brush your hair, teeth, get dressed, make breakfast, pack your lunch, put on your bookbag and jacket, and that is not even mentioning the sequencing of the tasks and the time you allotted to do each one. Now think of how many children out there can not do any of those tasks, how many parents would pay every last cent they had for their child to just be able to get ready with out a struggle every morning. These are real issues for real families that cost a really high amount of money for parents, insurance companies and schools to address and successfully treat across the United States and the world.
Now imagine if there was a place where these children with any physical, mental, social, economical or emotional need could find someone just like them. They could Connect, Learn and Grow by sharing their skills, helping others learn skills they have already mastered and tapping into a broad range of life and recreational skills from kids who have too have fought the same fight and won and are now ready to step up to the plate and pay forward their skills to your child. This is our life’s mission here at Therapals. We believe that every child with special needs has unique skills that other children and parents could benefit from. I can remember back when my daughter Malorie was struggling with saying the letter “r” and with reading and writing letters without reversing them. I remember how expensive it was to seek out private therapy, I remember how let down I was when she didn’t qualify for school based interventions and most of all I remember the pride and confidence she felt after reaching her goals through video based learning and now the empathy,compassion and motivation she has for helping me build this program for kids like her.
Our children do not need super high technology devices, our children need a simple platform that provides simple alternatives to traditional education. Peer to peer learning is powerful! Good or bad- kids just learn best from other kids. Especially kids who are just like them. This Niche can change the face of Entrepreneurship! We must provide them with the platform for success and just watch them build their own empire of social entrepreneurs who are making the world a better place.