TIP of the WEEK: Saying Goodbye

Saying goodbye to paid support people is an inevitable reality of our children’s lives. There will be teachers, aides, direct care personnel, therapists, and doctors that will touch you and your child’s life in spectacular ways and saying goodbye to them will be devastating. Take comfort in knowing that right around the corner there are more wonderful people who will fight for, love, and support your child just as hard as the last person.

Here are some ways to help your child transition from the person who left and help them openly receive the new professional coming into their life:

  • Have closure. This can be anything from a one-to-one meeting, a short visit in the community (going to a coffee shop or favorite bookstore) or having a group goodbye.
  • Make something special. A card or a short story will allow your child to put down in words what that person meant to him or her. Often times there is regret on the child’s part for not expressing to the person who left how much they meant. Writing allows an expression of feelings when verbalizing them may be too difficult.
  • Assure your child that the person leaving was not because of anything they did or didn’t do.
  • Be careful not to make comparisons with the person who left to the new person in your child’s life. Most likely, your child will be looking to you for permission to like the new person. Be sure to give that permission openly.

And finally, it may not always be possible for the staff who left to keep in touch so you should avoid making that promise. Saying goodbye is never easy, but your child will come to learn that, when properly handled, it can open the door to more relationships and new friendships.

Patrice Carroll
Manager of PWS Services

Subscribe to Our Newsletter