|At the National Emergency Management Summit, the ReadyMoms booth received a lot of interest from attendees and speakers alike. One of the speakers, Rick Rader MD came up to us and we had a really interesting and useful discussion about preparedness in general and families with special needs children in particular. Here's Dr Rader's bio, from the conference manual:
Dr Rick Rader is the Director of the Morton J Kent Habilitation Center at Orange Grove in Chattanooga, Tennessee where he is responsible for preparing for the future medical problems of individuals with neuro-developmental disabilities. He is the President of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry and on the board of the American Association on Health and Disability. He is the Editor in chief of Exceptional Parent magazine and has served as a consultant to the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness regarding the special needs community. He was the first appointed Special Liaison for Family Health Concerns at the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities and has a Fellowship in the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. He has served as a consultant to three Surgeon Generals on healthcare issues and disabilities and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.
Dr Rader is the editor of the Exceptional Parent Magazine. During the conversation with Dem and myself, we brainstormed how best to get families of special needs children to become aware of the need to prepare, and to be inspired to do so, given they already have so many challenges. Dr Rader shared his experience that it is often best to just put the ideas out there, and let the audience make whatever they can of the information, cos you never know where something might happen. There have been times when you can spend a lot of time and resources with really high-powered people, and then after a lot of effort nothing comes of it, and then there are times when quite accidentally something triggers something else, and a chain reaction is born.
I was delighted with those thoughts, as they parallel my own experiences. One suggestion was for him to write about us, the ReadyMoms experience, of how parents can help themselves and each other. He wanted to interview me for his magazine. I said of course, I'd be delighted, but suggested that it may be even better to directly interview more grassroots parents (since I'm not the best or most typical prepping parent, to be honest) as to how they got themselves started and prepared, and how they work to spread the preparedness message in their communities. He also thought it maybe worthwhile if there are families with children with special needs who have already started prepping, if we can hear from their experiences, and maybe share some of that with the readers of Exceptional Parents magazine, in hopes that it may inspire some of them to take action.
So if anyone has any prepping stories involving families with children with special needs, if you are willing to share them, you can either post them here, or contact myself, and I'll put you in touch with Dr Rader.
And if we don't have such families among us, maybe it's time we ask ourselves why, and what we need to do about it!