The Guide I Wish I Had For My Unexpected Journey

January 11, 2024
Personal Perspectives
By Bree Pennie
Image of Bree, holding her son Davidx via a brace, alongside her daughter Dylan at the beach.

My journey into parenthood took a sharp turn I never saw coming. The vision I held for myself as a parent – carefree days, structured routines, and predictable milestones – changed dramatically as my child’s development unfolded in unexpected ways. Early intervention became my new world, a whirlwind of appointments, therapies, and constant learning.

I Found Myself On a Path I’d Never Imagined

Suddenly, the rulebook I assumed would exist for raising a child vanished. Instead, I faced a vast, unwritten space filled with uncertainty and conflicting emotions. Should I prioritise another therapy session or squeeze in precious family time? How could I balance my child’s individual needs with the well-being of our entire family, myself included?

It was overwhelming; I felt lost and unsure of where to turn.

In recent years, the ENVISAGE  Families program has emerged. It isn’t a rulebook but a supportive map for navigating this uncharted territory. ENVISAGE Families introduces frameworks, not rigid instructions. These frameworks, informed by research and experience, became guideposts in the fog. It doesn’t dictate but empowers you to make informed decisions that prioritise your child’s well-being and your family’s happiness. It’s something that I wish I had access to in the early days of my journey.

A Tool To Chart Your Own Course

As an ENVISAGE parent peer facilitator, I can tell you the program’s strength is bridging the gap between your head and heart. When faced with scheduling another therapy session or cherishing family time, ENVISAGE empowers you to listen to your intuition and lead your life based on your family values. It validates the importance of everyday experiences and will show you that the most powerful therapy sometimes happens at the dinner table, in the park, or snuggled up on the couch.

Looking back, I wish I had known this sooner. I wish I hadn’t spent those early days feeling adrift, yearning for a map that didn’t exist and living a life consumed by therapy and appointments. ENVISAGE doesn’t provide a map, but it will give you something far more valuable: the confidence to chart your own course. 

This program is more than just a set of tools; It empowers you to make choices that are right for your family, ensuring that every decision, whether prioritising therapy or cherishing family moments, contributes to building a good meaningful life for everyone involved. 

It will show you that the best guidebook often lives within yourself, and sometimes, all we need is a trusted framework to illuminate the way.

…and beyond the frameworks, one of the program’s greatest gifts is connecting you with other families walking a similar path. Providing connection and support, and proving that even in the most unexpected journeys, we are never truly alone.

So, if you find yourself on this unexpected path, I encourage you to explore ENVISAGE, and find support and guidance through the challenges and the triumphs. Because ultimately, the journey of raising a child with disability or developmental concerns, while challenging, is also one of the most rewarding experiences life can offer.


Register for an ENVISAGE Workshop Starting Soon:

  • Thursday, 25 July – 22 August; Starting 7:30pm > Register
  • Monday, 29 July – 26 August; Starting 10:30am > Register

Bree Pennie

Bree Pennie

Bree is a mum of two, her second child Dax was born with Congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV).

Bree is Program Lead at Kindred and is a Parent Facilitator for the ENVISAGE Families Program.

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