Helen Keller made an empowering remark on her disability: “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” This powerful quote has a special meaning to Chloe & I. As most of my readers know, I am a mother of two children with special disabilities. My 7-year-old daughter has a rare syndrome called Heterotaxy, Polysplenia Syndrome and my 4-year-old son has Atypical Autism. I often tell my children to believe in themselves and they can accomplish anything and to never let their disability get in their way. I also tell people that a disability or a syndrome does not defines who they are. What defines my children are their sweet enduring personalities. I firmly believe that if you have confidence in yourself and work hard, you can accomplish anything!
My daughter Chloe is special not because of her syndrome but because of who she is as a person. My daughter is my champ; I have such admiration for her! She is wonderful little girl with a unique personality. She leaves an impression on everyone she meets. Chloe does not let her health disability get in her way. However, she does have learning disabilities not otherwise specified (LDNOS) and at times, it is challenging for her, especially when she misses a lot of school. She struggles in school but her father and I do our best to help her. She also has a great support system in place within the school system. It also helps that Chloe has a good individual education plan (IEP).
My son Brady on the other hand, struggles with a language and social delay. He has a hard time expressing his feelings and wants. We attempted to toilet train Brady this year. However, it was too much for him and Brady became very anxious and started to stress out a lot. We are giving toilet training a break for now and will attempt it again in the summer. Brady still has a hard time interacting with other children especially if the other child is tough in nature. He does not know how to handle a situation yet where the other child is intimidating him. This is a work in progress but compared to where he was a year ago he is a different, much improved little boy. He now communicates in short sentences and can verbally ask for things. His eye contact has improved dramatically. My husband, mother, Chloe and I all worked very hard on his eye contact. It took a good year and half but we did it! I owe a lot of gratitude to Early Intervention and ABA therapy. It is so important to have these services in place to help our child. My family has learned so many important techniques that we faithfully use to help Brady. Raising children with disabilities is a team effort. It is so important to have a working relationship with your child’s doctors, teachers, therapists, family and friends.
Because of Chloe’s syndrome and Brady Atypical Autism, I realize that the human body is so very complicated. I have spent countless hours researching the internet, and reading blogs to learn as much as I can. I have also learned so much from my children. My kids have taught me what it means to be a mother.
I believe that all my life experiences have been necessary in bringing me to the point where I am at today. I have learned not to concentrate on the negative but solely on the positive. And thankfully I am slowly finding that happy medium in my life. I hope this new outlook on life will stay with me throughout the coming years. I believe God sent me my children to learn from them, to make me a stronger, more compassionate, and a better person. I feel this is what my calling in life is all about to be Chloe and Brady’s mom.