Here are the first steps

Your child was just diagnosed. The doctor has left the exam room. They shook your hand, told you to follow-up in six-months or a year but be sure to call them if needed.

Then they walk out.

You walk out as well, because that is what is expected. You are either pushing a baby carriage, holding tight to your toddler’s hand or trying to get your teen to look at you.

Your heart is in your throat. You want to throw up, but know people frown on that in public. You are doing your best to make it to the parking garage, to drive home, to get into the shower before you lose whatever strength is holding you together.

You cry, ugly and silently. You ask, what the freak do I do now? Continue reading

Oops I did it again

I have once again, in complete error, created a new behavior in Bridget. Bridget likes things a certain way. It’s easier to go along, than to fight all the battles. Take for example Fig Newtons. What could go wrong with a Fig Newton, you ask? They are after all one of the healthiest snack food Bridget could want to eat. They are compact, not really messy and healthy. What more could a mom ask?  Then this happened:

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Finding your way

When your child is diagnosed with cancer, mental illness, a Syndrome, ADHD, Autism, (put your child’s struggle here) or PACS1 a parents first thought is usually a variation of HOLY CRAP to what the heck do I do now?

The truth is, there is no road map to parenting a child who has more than typical needs.

  • Whether it is learning that your child is not suffering from normal teenage angst but a serious mental illness.
  • Whether it is learning that your child just isn’t making milestones but is seriously behind their peers
  • Whether it is learning the worst news a parent can receive, that their child may have a terminal diagnosis
  • Whether it is learning that your child has ADHD, something too many people think is a made up word for bad parenting
  • Whether it is learning that although you always fed your child healthy meals, that child is now bulimic or anorexic
  • Whether it is learning that your child committed a crime, even though they are a straight-A student
  • Whether it is learning that your child was killed in a drunk driving accident, even though they were sober in the car

When a parent learns any of the above (or worse), that is sometimes all they learn. They may be given a pamphlet of with website information. Their child may be placed on medication. Yet from this moment on, that parent is facing the battle to have their child survive without any clue of how to start. Continue reading

On the job training

Before you become a parent you do a lot of reading and researching.  You read What to Expect and (the more honest) Girlfriend’s Guide.  You sign up for every blog, baby website and scour the Internet for a small glimpse to your highly anticipated new life.

You give birth to a healthy baby and rejoice.  You ask Jenn before making any rash decisions. Then you quote her when you say, Well Jenn said it was okay to not the wash baby clothes before you put them in the dresser. You choose to breast feed or bottle, whatever is the healthiest choice for your family. Continue reading

This is the face

This is the face of a preexisting condition:

Boo 1m old in CHB

It’s a pretty face. I think it is the most gorgeous face in the world. I remember looking at this face and thinking how beautiful, simply beautiful my child was. What you do not see at first glance is this picture was taken at Children’s Hospital. This was Bridget’s third month of life and third hospital admission, after five ER visits.

This picture represents the face of a preexisting condition. Continue reading

It’s still complicated

To those in our Government that stood up against the repeal/replacement of the Affordable Care Act, I thank you. Even if it was for a reason I do not support. The work to save our system is far from over.

I’m not quite sure why you thought this would be easy, any of you that are for or against the Affordable Care Act.  Let me debunk a few myths: Continue reading

We can handle the truth

Dear Teacher and/or Educational Support Personnel,

You do a wonderful job of caring for our children. You nurture them. You hold a parent’s expectations in check. You challenge the child and keep the parents honest. Yet sometimes in your quest to be empathetic to our families, your kindness becomes a falsehood. Especially for parents whose child has a special need. You try to understand how difficult our life can be. You want us to focus on the positives, the milestones that are achieved and the goals that are finally captured.

You also lie like a rug. Continue reading

Simons VIP

On April 30, 2017 during our PACS1 Family gathering we were so thankful to have Dr. Wendy Chung join us for a mini-conference. Dr. Chung is a geneticist from Columbia University in NYC. She works with Simons VIP to provide families access to research opportunities, support and information.

Initially, Simons VIP focused on certain copy number variants associated with autism. They have expanded their research to include a wider variety of genetic events that cause neurodevelopmental disorders, (like PACS1).  The main goal of Simons VIP is to help provide treatment and care by identifying the genes that cause medical, cognitive and intellectual disabilities.
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This photo….

When I look at this photo, I remember Abby telling her kindergarten class that her new sister was in the hospital (again) but she was going to be home soon.

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When I look at this photo, I remember Abby telling her first grade class that there was nothing wrong with her sister. That Bridget just threw up a lot so if you want to be near her make sure you are not wearing nice clothing. White would be a good choice because then you can use bleach. Continue reading

It’s the last day of school…

It’s the last day of school. We have thanked the administrators and secretaries for the year-long efforts to keep the lights on, the programs running and balance the well-being of their staff, their parents and their students.

We have thanked our teachers and support personnel for giving our children the foundation of a fabulous education, the emotional support to get through 2nd period and how to maintain their balance on the beam.  They have received holiday presents, Valentines, and according to Bridget ate her cupcakes.

We have thanked the office staff and the nursing staff who healed the boo-boo and let our children call home when they needed. We have remembered them on teacher appreciation day, administrative professional day and on nurses week.

There are a few groups we often forget to show our appreciation.  Continue reading