Monday, September 5, 2011

Wake Me Up When September Ends

We have been so busy lately. I feel like I need to pencil in time to check my email and even take a shower! Don't worry, I always manage to get my shower in most days...even though it usually takes place at midnight.

I’m sure we can all recall (at one time or another) during our childhood hearing our mother or father tell us, “Well, that’s his or her loss” when you complained that someone didn’t want to be your friend or play with you that day at school. Austin's too young to grasp this concept just yet...and I feel like I'm too young to even think about having to give this "speech" as a parent.

I’ve been searching for a Christian Mother’s Day Out program for Austin to attend once or twice a week from 9:00-12:00. My sole purpose for putting Austin in a MDO Program is for him to socialize with other children and overcome his severe separation anxiety. I’ve been surprised with some of the responses I’ve received upon calling some of the programs. None of them (at least the MDO programs that I have called) have any sort of experience with children that have special needs. In fact, I could tell they really had no idea how to “handle” or even respond to my inquiry. Is it really that rare to inquire about enrolling your toddler who happens to have Down syndrome in a Mother’s Day Out Program? Part of me wanted to scream, “It’s just Down syndrome!” Another part of me wanted to cry because it was an unfortunate reminder that most people have preconceived ideas about Down syndrome. They believe the all too common stereotypes: All people with Down syndrome are the same…They are always happy. It must be really difficult to have a child with Down syndrome. I can’t imagine what I’d do if my child was born with Down syndrome? I feel sorry for that family.

Instead of crying, I will use my energy to EDUCATE AND INFORM because there is obviously a need for it! A diagnosis of Down syndrome isn’t devastating. It certainly changes things, but it’s not something I ever thought would “send me over the edge” so to speak. The truth is that my son’s extra chromosome isn’t the issue. In fact, Down syndrome (and all that comes with it) is a walk in the park compared to dealing with the different looks, stares and people who put limitations on my son just because his genetic make-up isn’t what’s considered “normal.”

I wish everyone would just treat Austin like “any other child.” When he gets older, I will expect him to have manners, say “ please” and “thank you”, raise his hand in school when he has a question, follow directions, rules, etc. We are blessed that our friends have never treated Austin differently. Everyone could learn a lesson from our amazing friends and family.

Austin had his 18 month well child visit a week ago. He weighs 22 pounds and 6 ounces. He’s grown vertically…so maybe that’s why he isn’t gaining weight? Dr. C didn’t seem too concerned because according to the growth chart, he’s proportionate. He’s a very finicky eater. In fact, I think we’ll start buying Pediasure by the case. He has sensory issues when it comes to food, but most of it is behavioral.

This week will be semi-busy, but next week is packed with our regular therapy and an appointment with the Pediatric Cardiologist AND the best Pediatric Genetic Doctor in the world! I’m nervous about the Cardiology appointment because I was told at his previous appointment that the hole in Austin’s heart will likely NOT close on its own. PRAY. PRAY. PRAY. I have Faith. God can do things that Doctors will never be able to explain. I pray that the hole will close on its own. I pray that the lord will heal my sweet baby’s heart. I KNOW that God can heal Austin’s heart. IN JESUS’ NAME I PRAY!

Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour. – Matthew 15:28

The JOY of the LORD is my strength!

Have a blessed week, my friends. Hopefully it's a 4-day work week for most of you!

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