Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The benefits of enablement and empowerment

I came across this story via a Facebook group this morning. It is the very moving account of a young girl with severe hearing impairment and her hearing dog. The change in this little girl's life is enormous... and it's all about empowerment. About enablement.

  • She has gained independence "she felt safer with Gem".
  • She sleeps better, "before we had Gem, Evie had never, not even once, slept through the night in her own bed. Now she goes to bed at 7.30pm and gets up the next morning at 7.00am," with the knock-on effect that her parents, now do, too.
  • Her behaviour has improved "her improvement in behaviour has also been noted by her grandparents and her teacher"
  • Best of all, she has grown in confidence "In the past, Evie has been very reluctant to speak in front of others and on many previous occasions when her teacher has asked her to talk about something she has said no. However, a half day was recently dedicated to Evie at school for her to tell the children about her new dog. Evie stood at the front of the class, and spoke non-stop for a full five minutes." I confess, I welled up when I read that. I am a sucker for stories of empowerment!
Not all enablement involves a learning solution. Imagine if someone had sat down and said, right, we need to send Evie on a training course to improve her behaviour!

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