Developing a vision for your child

As parents and carers you know your child’s strengths, interests and needs better than anyone. Your knowledge of and goals for your child helps you to decide what you want for your child, including the most appropriate:

In making these decisions, you may find it helpful to consider what is important for your child in the longer term.

Some parents set short and long-term goals, and some also develop a “vision” which they can re-visit and adapt as their child grows and changes. As your child gets older, you can ask them what they want or would like to do.

A “vision” is simply a description of what you want for your child in the future.

A “vision”:

  • can serve as a guide for making current and future decisions for your child, such as your child’s transition to school
  • may emphasise your child with a disability:
    • being included in the same settings and activities as other children of their age
    • developing specific skills and having access to particular therapies or resources

There are no right or wrong answers for your child and family. You decide how far and how wide the scope of your vision is, according to your current needs and preferences.

Creating a "vision" for your child and family

Begin by writing a brief outline of what is important to your family in terms of your goals for your child. By writing or describing your goals, you gain a clearer picture for yourself and are therefore better able to communicate your vision to others. It doesn’t matter how you word this. What is important is that it is meaningful to you.

What are your long term goals and hopes for your child?

Examples of “visions” parents have developed for their child include:

“Van will make friends with other children his age and learn skills so he can live independently.”

“Sarah will be as independent as possible, make her own choices, have meaningful relationships and be involved in community activities that she enjoys.”

Some broad goals might include to:

  • enjoy school
  • learn skills which will increase independence
  • make friends
  • participate in leisure activities with their peers or siblings
  • make connections in the local community

For further information see the Resourcing Families website which provides information sheets, specific workshops and webinars around developing a vision for your child.

Remember, as a parent, you are the best source of information about what matters to you and your child. Information from other sources can gradually be added to your vision to develop plans.

Sharing your vision

You can use your vision for your child when participating in planning programmes, services and supports.

Prior to school this can be done at:

Once your child starts school this can be done at Individual Education Plans (IEP) meetings.