Some of our cultural belief about children disability is a result of punishment for the family’s previous sins.
LETS ACCEPT OUR CHILDREN FOR WHO THEIR ARE:
In the majority of accounts, the reason a family has a disable child is because the family is being punished for the bad things that they or their ancestors have done in the past
Because of this stigma, there is a lot of discrimination not only of the autistic child but also of the family as a whole because the family is seen to be a part of the illness.
Fear of discrimination and the stigmas surrounding disabilities lead many families to refuse to go to professionals to receive a diagnosis for their children. By refusing to be diagnosed, families can avoid having disability identities.
OUR 1ST GUEST WAS MARGARET COTTERELL
Margaret has a child with Autism.
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.
Margaret, Take us through your journey.
Well, Am a mother of Three beautiful Daughters:
My last daughter called Leanne was born a normal healthy girl. I had no problems during my pregnancy. Delivery was normal and she was also a healthy weight.
During Leanne’s first year, she developed as a normal little child, She interacted well with myself, her dad, and her two older sisters.
She walked at the age of 1, she could also say a couple of words such as mum dad piggy and also some sounds of farm animals.
Then what happened?
At the age of 14 months Leanne had the MMR jab. All seemed to be fine. Within about two months Leanne did not seem to have her usual spark and became clingy to us and her sisters and extremely quiet and less active. She became anxious when we had visitors and would cling on to us without looking at the visitor.
Eventually Leanne stopped walking. Her fine and gross motor skills were now being affected. She was almost a completely different child. She would not recognise her dad when he came back from working abroad and was apprehensive to come to me if I had changed my hair style in any way.
FULL STORY COMING SOON ON THE SPORAH SHOW
OUR NEXT GUEST WAS YVETTE SHAW
Yvette Shaw is a qualified, experienced personal fitness instructor trainer offering one-to-one personal training and healthy weight management programs.
Yvette has a Son with developmental disorders known as autistic spectrum disorders (ASD).
Yvette take us through your journey
Following the birth of my son, 18 years ago I was extremely overjoyed. Being in my mid-twenties and naturally ambitious and successful.
Unfortunately, however, with no highs anywhere in sight, my world came crashing down when I was informed after six months that my son was diagnosed with a condition called global developmental delay.
After receiving this news, the frightening reality of providing a lifetime of care for someone with a disability was hugely difficult to digest and accept. It resonated even deeper as I painfully struggled to come to terms with who that someone actually was – my only child!
Did you EVER wake up in the morning and say OOH GOD, I DON'T WANT THIS CHILD, I Would Love to have another child.
At that time YES, Although I loved him passionately and we had an inseparable bond, at times I battled with my emotions. I wanted a different child, one who was meeting his milestones so my self-worth would return.
Sporah, Every parent wants their child to be the smartest, and the most successful person. It’s tough to hear that there’s a problem with your child.
You do grieve about it, but you have to accept it and say, this is the way my child is, and we’re going to be the best at this that we can possibly be.
Sometimes i think a lot of parents really struggle at that moment, which is why there are so many divorces.
I think a lot of parents struggle with that and blame one another, saying it’s not my fault, it’s your fault.
So is it anyone’s fault?
No, It’s nobody’s fault, it’s just the way it is. After that you have to really get busy and find out what you’re going to do about it.
Some of our cultural belief about children disability is a result of punishment for the family’s previous sins: Did you get enough support from friends and family?
Whilst I tried to focus on my glass being half full in the presence of family, friends and those in the medical field, the harsh reality was that I silently felt it was empty. I lost a large part of my identity for many years, I read religiously on a number of topics relating to his disabilities, I was burnt out. Masking my own inadequacies and fears of how I would be perceived if I asked for additional help was torturous.
I was not taken seriously by my G.P who always said to contact my health visitor. In time she realised Leanne had changed but could not offer me any advice with what was happening.
My parents by that time was in their early seventies did not understand my concerns and said that Leanne was acting up and that she was stubborn and naughty, it got to the point that by the time she was four years old my parents were calling her a dummy but said they said it in jest.
I was so sensitive about how Leanne was being perceived I stopped going to see my parents for a while. I was unable to express my worries with my mum, she just did not understand my concerns coming from a different generation.
Feeling broken and helpless enabled me to finally accept that I could not care for my son all by myself. I deserved to be happy and fulfilled, and my son deserved to be given the opportunity to be and to do his very best.
My son was granted a residential school placement when he was nine years old, and since then he has continued to receive a modified educational program together with twenty-four hours of personal care as and when required.
Leanne was diagnosed as having classic autism and that her IQ reading was extremely low at 30. The tests results that were done with Leanne revealed that she was functioning between 18-24 months (literally no change to the previous years) and that she had global development delay. I went home pushing Leanne in her buggy feeling numb. Two days later the letter from the psychologist came through on black and white confirming what I had heard to days ago in her room. I was in shock, I cried so much that I felt empty and my heart felt heavy.
I ask God for health and strength to carry on each day. We know that there are still tough times ahead.
We are now very tight as family in our home, I still feel guilty and constantly apologise to my daughters about how I was feeling all those years ago when they were growing up that I did not spend as much time with them as I should have because there was so much going on with Leanne.
Any massage for our readers
One of the most common mistakes that parents make when raising disable kids is not accepting their child for who they are. Even after a doctor diagnoses their child with problem, parents tend to ask for another opinion. There’s usually a process of denial.
The only way to go forward is to accept that your child is autistic and move on from there. You need to resolve that you’re going to do the best that you can to raise your child.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. It inspires all of us and gives hope for all the possibilities that are out there.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with The sporah show,
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We believe that as the children of today are the adults of tomorrow, shaping positive ideas of disability will do much to help the cause of disability equality in the future.
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Its nice to hear that your kids are now healthy and happy.
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