“My son has Phelan-McDermid Syndrome,” (PMS) I declared as the nurse asked if my son had any pre-existing conditions. “What was that?” she asked as many have before her and many after her will as well. “It’s a genetic deletion,” I began as I always do, “it might be easier just to write down 22q13.33 deletion syndrome,” has become my default as many in the medical field may understand chromosomes better. However, they still have no idea what those numbers
“I meant to tell you it’s not Global Delay anymore. It’s now a diagnosis of Intellectual Disability,” I said to the nurse as she was presenting her portion of the IEP (Individualized Education Plan) for my son. She quickly questioned, “who gave you that diagnosis?” To which I replied, “he just had some testing done through developmental at (the hospital), and he was given that when they reevaluated his autism diagnosis.” She looked at me through the zoom meeting asking,
The world stood still for a moment as the freeways were silent, the skies empty of any planes, and the sidewalks were bare of any people. The uneasy calm mixed with fear in the air was a feeling I had known all too well. It was the feeling I had when we got our diagnosis. I was in a pure daze during that phone call. The world lost all sound, and it felt as if I was all alone, even
The best advice is the advice you want to share. Let me pass on to you what someone said to me once. Someone said, “you got this, momma. Trust your momma gut!” I don’t think I was even barely a mother at that point. I, like so many other parents, was looking around for help to a problem. Let me tell you why trusting your gut is the best advice you can be given, even when you feel they aren’t
When I heard the word “advocate” for the first time, I assumed it was very political. I am not political, I reasoned, so therefore I couldn’t be an advocate. Yes, I vote–but running for office is not in my future (although I have learned never to say never). Little did I know that being an advocate was not limited to politics. It is so much more. It is giving a voice to the voiceless, or those who are barely heard.
We know these people exist. The people who think that children like mine are drains on society. That if you don’t have something to offer the world, your life has less value. What we don’t typically see is someone posting their opinion on social media and not expecting that there will be repercussions for their words. The other night while scrolling on Facebook, I came across a post. Screenshot after screenshot of horrible, disgusting, “freedom of speech” arguments, stating opinions
“Your child won’t die from being home,” began the response that triggered this post. It wasn’t a response to anything I said or did. Still, a tightness grew in my chest as I realized this person had no idea what many parents and caregivers are going through at this very moment. This “letter” is for all the people who are wondering why others are fighting for their children to receive in-person education to stop continued regression even though I still