Growing Up Special

Parents of Special Needs and Adopted Children Seeking Excellence

Archive for November, 2009

Nov
30

Be Pepared To Meet The Needs Of Special Needs Family Members

By Rainy on November 30th, 2009

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Today’s post is a guest post by Connie Baum.  She is the author of : http://thehealthyandwealthyyou.com/blog/.   Connie knows of what she speaks regarding caring for loved ones with special needs.  Please read…this comes from her heart.

Toastmasters International stresses to their membership the importance of preparing each speech.  It is important to think each project through, outline it carefully, craft it, and rehearse the presentation to perfection.

 Preparing for our beloved special needs family members is even more critical; the quality of their very lives depends upon how carefully their family members have collectively thought out plans, outlined the needs, and decided together what would be the ideal scenario for the life of that special person in the family.

 Everyone in town knew Marvin.  He was a cheery, personable fellow with special needs and he lived with his parents until his elderly father passed away.  For a decade or so Marvin told everyone he was the man of the house now and was taking care of Mother.  When Mother died unexpectedly, Marvin was left alone, morose, and with no plan in place.

 It was patently obvious Marvin had been well cared for and dearly loved.  Close family members were seriously interested to help Marvin get on with his life after mourning his loss; but, they were unable to care for Marvin in their homes on a long term basis.  When his mother was gone, he was lost and alone.  After much confusion and a flurry of activity by family members and social service workers who intervened on Marvin’s behalf, Marvin was able to find a place to live with an agency well suited to meet his physical and social needs.  They even found work for him in their sheltered workshop!  Best of all, he could take a bus to his home church every Sunday morning!  His value and worth was recognized and all his needs were being met.

Things for Marvin worked out swimmingly.  Families who plan together for every eventuality, including burial and internment, can rest assured the needs of their special family member, whose needs are unique, will be properly met.  It does take some open and frank discussion, contact with trusted attorneys and/or social workers to create a workable plan for the future for the “Marvins” of the world. 

 Implementing these plans can often be painful for family and clients alike.  It can be reminiscent of the loss of death.  It is the demise of the familiar, the comfortable.  Conversely, it is entrance into a bright new world with exciting new opportunities, fresh new relationships and networks, as well as discovery of untapped skills and talents!  There are transitions that are smooth sailing; other times the move into the new world is fraught with difficulty and adjustment comes more slowly.

 Toastmasters members plan for successful speeches; loving families plan for successful lives-particularly where the lives of precious special needs people are their prime consideration.

 Connie Baum

Nov
17

Special Kids Encourage One Another

By Rainy on November 17th, 2009

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     I don’t know if you, the reader, are familiar with special needs kids or not; but if you are, you probably already know about the special friendship connection and support that some special individuals give to one another.  I know of a very special young lady who is doing her part to touch the lives of others with her poems, her words, and her website.   She is beautiful and caring; her name is Jackie. 

      Jackie is sharing her gifts with others here on her site: http://iamspecialneeds.com/ .   Jackie “met” a new friend named Michael on video; and, she  said to her mother…he is special like me!  I love that they accept one another for who they are.   Jackie and Michael have shared videos with one another, lending each other positive support and encouragement.   The whole world needs more people like Jackie and Michael.  

       In a world that is quick to look for negative things and point them out to each other…it is wonderful to find two individuals who have words of encouragement and love for each other.  Here is a link to Michael’s video which tells Jackie how he appreciates her new blog.   http://bit.ly/R432F

        If you would be so kind as to visit Jackie’s website and let her know how her site touches you…I know she would feel joyful to hear your comments.   Also, if you would watch Michael’s video and leave a comment I am equally sure it would make his day to hear your thoughts on his generous spirit of good will towards his new friend Jackie! 

        We need to teach everyone to love more, to criticize one another less…and we would all be our best selves now wouldn’t we?

     

Nov
02

Fear Of Down’s Syndrome Increases Abortion Numbers

By Rainy on November 2nd, 2009

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        I read an article that says that with prenatal genetic testing, performed before the 24th week of gestation that indicates a fetus will potentially be born with Down’s Syndrome, means that 90 percent of such parents have/or will choose to abort that pregnancy.  

        This means that less children are being born with Down’s Syndrome, it is a disorder that can affect the bodily functions of the person affected, they can have thyroid disorders, mental retardation, heart defects, reflux, ear infections, sleep apnea and some obvious facial cues such as a round face with small chin, and eyes that are almond shaped with an upward slant at the outer corners, they may have shorter limbs than the average person along with poor muscle tone.  Many people are fearful that they can not handle raising a special needs child who is affected by Down’s Syndrome because of ignorance of the disorder. 

           I wonder if by doing these prenatal genetic tests, parents are unprepared for the outcome of information.  Finding out that your unborn child has a disease/disorder/illness is only the first step.  What happens after that information is presented to the parents?   This information has to be dealt with in some means or fashion.  Sometimes there are procedures that can be performed on the unborn child to improve it’s health and well being; other times there is nothing to be done.  This is when some people decide to choose abortion as opposed to raising a child with special needs.   You can learn more about this disorder here:  http://www.ndss.org/ or here: http://www.nads.org/pages_new/resources/down_orgs.html

             Abortion is a forever decision…there is no do over.   What happens when one half of the parents wants to choose life and one wants to abort?  Or one wants to risk surgery or medical intervention and the other parent disagrees?  These issues can cause unbelievable stress and frustration…not to mention spiritual unrest when faced with a life and death decision regarding their child when it goes against their religious beliefs.   Time is often the catalyst for a hasty decision.  There were examples in the news story that talked about women/couples that made the decision for abortion…only to have future interaction with an individual with Down’s Syndrome, only to say later that if they knew more about the condition maybe they would not have chosen abortion. 

          Every life has value…fear is such a strong emotion that I think it can cause people to make a decision about abortion that they may live to regret.  If a person or couple truly feels that they are ill equipped to raise a child with Down’s Syndrom than I personally believe they should bring the child into the world and allow it to be adopted.   There is no shortage of people who wish to adopt and to parent a child…many people feel a calling to parent special needs children.   There are some people who consider the child born with Down’s Syndrome to be a “gift”; or to be endowed with an extra-ordinary ability to love unconditionally.   We should all be born with such a condition which causes us to love unconditionally!

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