There have been many occasions in my life where people have made choices for me. People would make choices for me about what to eat, what to drink, where to go, what time to go to bed, etc. People often assume what I want, rather than take the time to ask me what I want. Assumptions can be a hindrance to people with disabilities because they don’t allow them to have a say. I understand that some people with disabilities have difficulty making wise choices. However, having a disability does not mean losing the authority of choice.
When a person with a disability makes his or her own choices, it promotes progress because they have control over their lives. I serve on organizations that believe that people with disabilities should make their own choices. Sometimes people with disabilities need input from people that they trust before making a decision. I am a strong believer of supported decision-making. Making choices is a good thing because it allows people with and without disabilities to have control over their lives. Having control over your life is important because all human beings were designed to live in free will. We should always encourage people with disabilities to make healthy and wise choices.
The Musical Autist encourages individuals to choose songs that they want to perform whether it’s for a jam session or a sensory friendly concert. It’s empowering when each individual can propose their choice and work together to come to a collective decision. I’ve seen this power of choice on a more individualized level in music therapy, music lessons, and group performances. The Musical Autist presumes competence in the individuals that it serves, which gives them opportunities to make valuable choices. I am glad that I serve an organization that understands the importance of choice.
Here is the point I am trying to make: we all have the ability to make choices. There is power in making choices. Again, I want to encourage you to seek help if you feel you struggle with making wise decisions on your own. If the person giving the input believes that the choice is not healthy or good, you should work together to come up with an alternative choice. I frequently ask for help when I need to make financial decisions. Asking for help has allowed me to become more independent. I believe that making choices is one of the ways that we can live productive and fulfilling lives. Let us be people that make sound choices so that we can have control and autonomy over our lives.