Lijah & KJ
" At 2 years old, my son’s expressive and receptive language skills diminished. I also believed he had a few seizures. He wasn’t sleeping at night, he stopped talking and could not follow instructions. He was also in constant motion and somewhat of a daredevil.
Early intervention is paramount. As a parent, you are your child’s primary teacher. Through your local Early Intervention services, you will be empowered with the tools necessary to help your child through their developmental challenges, so that they may reach their full potential. Early Intervention can be effective in helping a majority of children make progress toward achieving age appropriate developmental milestones. Children receiving Early Intervention support may show potential for increased academic readiness and to better be able to interact with their peers.
Apart from the medical care and therapies that you may line up to help your son or daughter, there are simple, everyday things that make a difference: Focus on the positive. Stay consistent and on schedule. Put play on the schedule. Give it time and have an open mind. Take your child along for everyday activities. Get support. Look into respite care. Take care of yourself. Practice patience. Give yourself some grace.
My one and only child has special needs. For me, the hardest thing is the anticipated loss of the milestone moments (first girlfriend, graduation, college and my child's independence, grandchildren). If it weren’t for my resume writing business, there would probably be financial stress. I don't receive disability income because I am an IT Systems Analyst in the Federal Government by day. At times, it is the emotional stress from not being able to cure him. I take pride in being a problem solver.
As well as trials, there are some advantages to loving and parenting a child with severe and complex disabilities. The biggest advantage is the wordless, endless and unconditional love. Additionally, I have reconsidered my definition of normal, success and worth. I see beauty where I once saw pain and I appreciate joy after my tears a little more. Life becomes a gift never to be taken for granted. The Disney disability perks aren’t bad either!
I never played the blame game when it came to my sons autism diagnosis. They named it and then I spent my time and energy trying to find the best resources to make him the best possible version of a human being I can. He is a loving and smart child. He’s also very cute. This is a very hard job, but I’m honored and forever grateful to be his mother."
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