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    Posted June 22, 2014 by
    colorado springs, Colorado
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Raising a special needs child

    Ups and DOWNS


    My daughter Elena has Down Syndrome and Autism…double whammy. Even with those two diagnoses we love her unconditionally. Some days are great, we call them UP days and some days are DOWN. I have so many funny UP stories to share but one DOWN has taken over our life completely.


    We're a military family, and as such we have overcome many challenges. One of our biggest challenges, however, is to watch our daughter struggle for breath after an injury sustained at a Colorado Autism Center in Colorado Springs.


    The business, offering ABA therapy to persons with Autism, is considered 'center-based' meaning you bring the child to them, at the center, rather than having a therapist come to the home. Similar to those around the country, it offers specialized one to one care to children with disabilities.


    On February 12, 2013 Elena was dropped off at such a center around 8:30 am. Less than two hours later I got a phone call indicating Elena had hit her head and they were asking that I come get her. A second phone call said that she was going to need stitches. A third phone call, all within minutes of each other, said they were calling 911, Elena had started vomiting blood.


    When I arrived, the scene was horrific. Elena was a mess, just covered in blood. She was in and out of consciousness. At the hospital she constantly stopped breathing. We thought we would lose her. The hospital sedated her for a CT Scan and applied staples to close a gaping wound.


    Now over a year later, the head injury has caused more damage than ever imagined. Behavior, such as aggression, has increased . So has her ability to walk distances and play like she used to. Elena could previously walk and play like a typical child but now she can't walk a few blocks without needing an oxygen mask. The Pulmonologist doesn't understand why her O2 levels drop and her Cardiologist said it isn't her heart. It must be her brain.


    After this event, we have made a personal choice to not allow our daughter to attend center based clinics. Therapies are done in our home and under my supervision.
    Again I wanted to share a story about all the good that comes when raising a child with special needs, but my heart was saying I needed to let people know there are safety issues with having a child with special needs. One example is most of our special needs kiddos can’t explain what happened when an injury occurs or abuse. So we take the word of professionals who are trained to be with our kiddos and keep them safe. I was told that her injuries were due to a trip and fall into a wall unit cubby that was about a foot away from where her foot caught on the floor and she fell. Look at her picture, you be the judge. It sure would be nice if my daughter could explain, but I’ll never know.


    I am trying to investigate this. I have a lawyer, but need proof and the only way to get proof is to get an reenactment done. I have set up a go fund me sight to help with funding. The sight is http://www.gofundme.com/6pp8yc. If you can help we will be forever grateful. If not please share Elena's story to as many people and we will be just as grateful. Thanks for reading. Sorry about small print. I didn't mean it to be that way and don't know how to fix it.



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