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This Exit, No Return

A Reader’s Theatre, By Joy Cowdery continued...

Dee: Chloe can be difficult. She never wants to come inside. Everyday when she gets out of the car from school, she throws herself on the ground, stiffens her body, and screams for hours. The neighbors are used to it and now realize no one is killing her. Every morning at school, the teachers are going through the same thing.

Beth Ann: Challenges? Well, beyond the obvious, we are poor. We are tired. Our family vacations revolve around whatever city the new doctor is in. I just wish we could find a DAN (Defeat Autism Now) doctor at a beach.

Jill: Challenges? The future. I will never hear him say “I love you, Mommy” or dance at his wedding, but I will delight in the huge moments of seeing him walk for the first time, clap his hands together on purpose or even be seizure free for a year. And although I may not ever hear with my ears, I will hear with my heart daily, just how much he loves me.

Karen: Joey is the first special needs child on both sides of our family, so no one knows what to think or do. They feel helpless because they don’t know what we are going through and keep telling us he will be fine. They couldn’t be more wrong, of course. They can’t understand why I just can’t pick up and go on with my life as before. How keeping Joey happy and content makes my life more bearable. No one knows what it is like until they have a child with special needs. Even then, each family, each person has their own “special needs.” Like all families, each situation is a different situation.

Beth Ann: I used to say I would never leave my kid with a babysitter until he was able to talk and tell me what had gone on in my absence (resigned laugh). What a twist of fate.
Craven will never talk. We cannot have the “kid next door” babysit. He takes 34 pills, 2 tea- spoons, 1 spray, and a shot each day. Who but us can watch him? But despite the expensive food, natural medications, private therapy sessions, in the end we would not have it any other way. Craven is a happy go lucky kind of kid. He loves to be outside playing in the dirt, grass, and water. Those moments are precious.

Karen: Too many people just pity us. I have learned to be patient in this game of life.
When people stand in the way of Joey getting the services he needs, I can do nothing but wait. But sometimes, I just jump the wall to get to the other side, ignoring the naysayers, and every time I do I feel a little stronger. You have to pick your battles, conquer the ones most important and leave the rest for later. It is like cutting brush, you have to start cutting where you see you can and work your way into the middle otherwise you get tangled in the briers and they pull you down and you see no way out. Sometimes I get angry. When I hear parents of typical children complain, I get angry. They should be glad their children are growing up and on; they should make the most of the time they have with their child. For me, I am elated in any little thing mine does. I have learned to appreciate what is really important in life and see the beauty in everything.

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