Friday, August 21, 2009

Excellent Essay

This was posted on the list serve today and I thought it worth putting on my blog. I am sure we've all been questioned on why we do things the way we do and this particular mom wrote an essay to her school to answer that very question. Just yesterday I was talking to my sister about this, but this mom put it in much better words than I ever could.

To make a long story short, earlier this week a question was asked by
some nitwit official as to why there weren't more parents (of special
needs kids) involved in the local PTA and other issues that have come up
that directly involve our kids. His question, which was passed on to me
was, "Where are the parents?" I went home that night, started thinking -
and boy was I pi**ed - and banged this "little" essay out the next day
on my lunch break. By the way, I took copies of this to the school board
meeting that night, gave it to a couple of influential people and it
WILL get around...... .......

Where are the parents?

They are on the phone to doctors and hospitals and fighting with
insurance companies, wading through the red tape in order that their
child's medical needs can be properly addressed. They are buried under a
mountain of paperwork and medical bills, trying to make sense of a
system that seems designed to confuse and intimidate all but the very

Where are the parents?

They are at home, diapering their 15 year old son, or trying to lift
their 100 lb. daughter onto the toilet. They are spending an hour at
each meal to feed a child who cannot chew, or laboriously and carefully
feeding their child through a g-tube. They are administering
medications, changing catheters and switching oxygen tanks.

Where are the parents?

They are sitting, bleary eyed and exhausted, in hospital emergency
rooms, waiting for tests results to come back and wondering, "Is this
the time when my child doesn't pull through?" They are sitting patiently
in hospital rooms as their child recovers from yet another surgery to
lengthen hamstrings or straighten backs or repair a faulty internal
organ. They are waiting in long lines in county clinics because no
insurance company will touch their child.

Where are the parents?

They are sleeping in shifts because their child won't sleep more than 2
or 3 hours a night, and must constantly be watched, lest he do himself,
or another member of the family, harm. They are sitting at home with
their child because family and friends are either too intimidated or too
unwilling to help with child care and the state agencies that are
designed to help are suffering cut backs of their own.

Where are the parents?

They are trying to spend time with their non-disabled children, as they
try to make up for the extra time and effort that is critical to keeping
their disabled child alive. They are struggling to keep a marriage
together, because adversity does not always bring you closer. They are
working 2 and sometime 3 jobs in order to keep up with the extra
expenses. And sometimes they are a single parent struggling to do it all
by themselves.

Where are the parents?

They are trying to survive in a society that pays lip service to helping
those in need, as long as it doesn't cost them anything. They are trying
to patch their broken dreams together so that they might have some sort
of normal life for their children and their families.

They are busy, trying to survive!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Eye opening! Thanks for sharing this.