I’m often asked how I do it all, work full-time and raise a special needs child. The answer is simple: I have help.
When you first find out your child is sick you feel so alone. I equate it to being on an island with no one else in sight. But, little by little, resources start arriving with the tide. Sometimes they come in the form of free meals, new medical research, foundations and then there are the folks I call our good Samaritans.
We met one of those good Samaritans last March. We were attending a focus group at Johns Hopkins for parents who have a child who was treated in the NICU. One of the mothers mentioned her child attended a place called P.A.C.T (Parents and Children Together) in Woodlawn, the only medical day care in the area. It has several nurses on staff to dispense meds, take vitals and provide medical support. They also have physical and occupational therapists to treat the children.
We loved the idea of being able to centralize our son’s therapy services under one roof as well as the idea of providing him a safe environment to learn the critical skills he so desperately needed. My husband and I left that focus group on cloud nine. We may have finally found the help we needed!
Months later our son is thriving at P.A.C.T. It’s proven to be a lifesaver. Don’t get me wrong… we miss the love and convenience of the nanny who helped us with Connor during his first 18 months of life. But Connor has friends his age, he’s cruising, and learning to talk. Not to mention he is also gaining invaluable social skills and becoming the 2-year-old he’s meant to be.
Finding out your child is “different” can be overwhelming. It’s easy to retreat onto your own island and overlook the resources out there to help you. But, there’s nothing wrong with admitting you need help. After all, it takes a village to raise EVERY child, no matter their limitations.
For information on P.A.C.T, log onto their website.