- Posted September 21, 2013 by
INNERview: It Will Get Better
INNERview with Judith Wilson Burkes on HAVE YA HEARD
YVONNE PIERRE: Please tell us a little bit about yourself, Judith.
JUDITH WILSON BURKES: My name is Judith Wilson Burkes, and first and foremost, I am a mother to two great young men; both of whom are very creative and also have what could be disabling conditions. I say that because in this family, we all deal with disabling conditions, but stay focused, and work hard to overcome challenges and reach for our goals. I am also a blogger, a disability awareness advocate, and soon-to-be founder of a local non-profit organization called Celebrate Connections. I also have a degree in IT-Visual Communications and ran a graphic design company for 10 years (1996-2006).
YVONNE: As a single parent of children with disabilities, what are your greatest challenges?
JUDITH: In the beginning, I felt my greatest challenge was keeping my sanity and staying organized. My oldest has autism and my youngest has a rare disorder called Dysautonomia/POTS. I myself, deal with visual, hearing and mobility impairments, so trying to manage everyone’s life, schedule and medical needs was very daunting. I soon realized I needed to develop a network of family, friends, neighbors and school personnel that could be part of what I called the “Success Team (ST).” The ST consisted of people I could rely on to help me get everything done within a timely fashion; especially if I needed assistance due to my own conditions.
Lately, my biggest challenges have been the continued fight to transition my young men into adulthood. Support for children with autism is finally something everyone knows about, but as these children grow up, where is the support for employment and housing? This is now on the forefront of my challenges.
YVONNE: Please share with us a little bit about your children. How old are they and what are their special needs?
JUDITH: My oldest son is 20 years old, and has been given the diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, which is at the higher functioning end of the spectrum. He also has scoliosis that has stolen almost an inch of his height.
My youngest son is 16 years old, and has Dysautonomia/POTS, which is a disorder that manifests itself as a malfunctioning autonomic nervous system. Although he is considered to be in remission (no faints in over a year), we deal with residual conditions, like heart palpitations, memory loss, and chronic fatigue syndrome. He also deals with mental health issues, and has been diagnosed with dysthymia (a form of depression) and anxiety.
Read this INNERview in it's entirety at http://hyhonline.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/it-will-get-better