When Your Child Has No Words

Every night, like clockwork these days, I hear the sounds of my son as he begins the cycle of waking up. It starts around midnight. Then on and off for hours, he wakes, then goes to sleep, then wakes. During these times, I feel the deepest of my sadness that my son doesn’t speak. Most people would assume that a 5-year-old should be able to call for their parent, ask for a drink of water, or say they had a

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Global Developmental Delays to Intellectual Disability

“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,

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Grief in my Gratitude: My Son is Turning Five

Five years ago,  with only a few hours of labor, my son came into this world. He was bigger than his sister, quieter than his sister, and in that brief perfect moment that he entered this world, our family was complete. On his first birthday, we had a big party, just like we had done for his sister. I jokingly would say it was to celebrate us as parents making it a year because, after all, “these kids will never

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Mountains: The Journey for our Loved Ones and Ourselves

I remember when we started early intervention. The thought behind it is that with a bit of intervention, my child would catch up to his peers. The reality is, at the time, I didn’t know that my view, and of the countless other experts, of the situation, was completely wrong. “Let’s get him the help he needs to catch up,” they would say. Of course, we wanted that! I mean, look at his sister so happy and healthy, in no

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Anticipatory Grief: Sibling Perspective

Community Submission by: Ameera Rey One minute you are laying in bed. Eyes closed. Trying to go to sleep. Then you have an out-of-body experience. You are in the hospital. A doctor has just walked in and told you the person you love so much is dead. You are sobbing. So extremely angry. Angry you couldn’t save him. Angry you couldn’t protect him. Angry his body was riddled with a disease that stole his life. You’re so angry that you

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Fighting the Minivan

When we first got married and were looking for our first house, I told my husband I only wanted to live in a downtown area. I love the ability to walk to the train station, go to shops, walk to dinner, basically enjoy where I live. For our first and second homes, this was the case. But, after getting our son’s diagnosis (insert link to diagnosis story), we realized that he might not just grow into our home. Life is

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Missing Puzzle Pieces

My son is like a puzzle. One with no directions, no picture, and guess what, it’s missing a piece – or in his case 3 pieces. Sure, we know where the missing pieces are, or should I say aren’t, but it impacts other puzzle elements as well. There are days I look at my son, and I wonder, does he know he has an itch? Do you ever have an itch and think about it? I do, now, at least.

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Mile Markers: A Rett Syndrome Diagnosis Story

Community Submission by: Leslie Mehta Leslie Mehta is an attorney. She lives with her husband, Tarun, and two daughters, Brooke and Blair, in Richmond, Virginia. You can follow her advocacy journey at www.prettybrooke.com, on Facebook at pRETTy Brooke, and her YouTube channel of the same name. I met Tarun Mehta in law school. Five years and several bar exams later, we married near my small North Carolina hometown on August 11, 2007. Rarely did we discuss having children. We were

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A Tourette’s Diagnosis

Community Submission by: Kelda York Kelda York is married with three children and lives in NH. She is a pre-school teacher, an avid cook, and enjoys a good novel. My son has always kept us on our toes, even before he was born. There were concerns over a heart arrhythmia, which was detected at 16 weeks of gestation. He decided to join us 6 weeks early and spent weeks in the NICU to fix some lung development issues (his heart

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Our Diagnosis Story; or, a mad dash into a brick wall

I used to think that when people had children with severe disabilities, it would be something detected in the womb, or shortly after birth—that it would be obvious that something was wrong. But this was not at all the case with our son, Asa. Asa is the third of three boys. He was born after a mere two hours of labor, a big healthy baby weighing 10lbs exactly. I remember a hospital staff member saying, “Congratulations—you have a toddler!” For

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