Friendships are one of the best things that life has to offer. Having people in your corner that will back you up when seeking out support, comfort you when there’s a no, and celebrate with you when there’s a yes can make life’s challenges easier to manage and overall make life better. It goes without saying that life’s much better when there are people to spend it with.
Although, it can be hard for some to make those connections. For them, taking that first step when forming friendships can be daunting, and they’d rather wait for others to take that first step instead.
CEO of KFI Barbara Beaulieu discusses how ineffective that mindset is, and how important it is to not fall into the trap of waiting for others to act. Taking the initiative of forming friendships with members of her community is what helped her and her daughter, Courtney, make the transition from the early intervention services to the amazing, independent life that Courtney leads today. She joined me this week to talk about the importance of building friendships that last, and the many ways that families can go about it. But the most important thing is that very first step. It’s understandable to want others to take that first step and make the world a better place, but if parents are not willing to do a lot of the front work first, then both them and their children are going to be a lot more isolated in life.
Barbara Beaulieu is the Executive Director of Todd and Friends Incorporated (KFI for short) in Millinocket, Maine. She is a licensed social worker, has a degree in public policy, and has worked at the company for about 21 years, supporting adults with disabilities. She’s a parent of a young lady who is now 28, and has been through early intervention preschool, the school years, and the morphing into adults’ services. She strongly believes in social justice for all individuals, and that people with disabilities can and should be leading regular lives and should not have to experience the “same but different” approach to things that are available to them.
Making that first connection can feel challenging, but once it’s done it gets so much easier to do it again and again. Listen now to learn more about how to build friendships that last, and how to gather the courage to make that first connection!
Resources & Links Mentioned:
- Join the Inner Circle (Previously named Inclusion Academy)
Special thanks to Barbara Beaulieu for joining me this week. Until next time!