- Posted July 15, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Raising a special needs child
Two Times the MERLD
We have an eight year old son, ”Eli” with severe expressive and receptive language disorder, and a five year old daughter,”Nyalese” with a mild expressive language disorder. Of course no parent wants to learn their child will have special needs. When you dream of your children it’s of success in life…the whole shebang of school activities, prom, college, marriage and a family of their own. To have a thought that your child will not have an easy normal life is sad and scary. For Eli, because his disorder is severe and requires more attention. The moment we found out we found out about him, was bittersweet. We say bittersweet because before we knew, we were lost. We had no clue how to handle the situation. But once we had a diagnosis it was sweet to learn we had a starting point. For Nya, we had experience under our belts and wasted no time. Through our situation we learned to be grateful and not take anything for granted. Some people wish for something as simple as words. We learned how important communication is, to not be able to have a conversation with our son, is really hard and we appreciate when we get anything even one new word! Having children with special needs changes you completely. We found that we have become stronger for our kids, they make us better people everyday. Both of us are currently in school and for us isn't wasn't something we decided to do, it was a must. How can we afford to give our kids the best education and quality of life without good jobs and an education of ourselves??? When our children were born it was mixed motions; an unexplainable joy, a true meaning of love, fear. Fear of the past repeating itself. Our first born had hyranencephaly and passed away. What have been the most exciting milestones? One occasion was when Eli learned to express himself through sign language. We finally had a means of communication. Another time was, Eli once said he had a dream of a girl he liked in his school, he said she hugged him in the dream and it made him smile. It was a beautiful moment because honestly we never thought he would ever be able to tell us things like that. The greatest challenges has been SCHOOL, Eli has problems comprehending language. Which means he is behind in every subject that requires reading comprehension. At this age he should be retelling stories and doing multiplication and division. Nya, she isn't behind, which is a blessing. She feels often left in the shadows of Eli, Eli requires more assistance. It's a challenge everyday. Both have very different needs. Eli has a lot of Autistic qualities...anixety, OCD, ADHD, and social difficulties. Eli is well aware that he is different and that causes him to have low self-esteem. The hardest part is the whole diagnosis! Mixed Receptive and Expressive Language disorder is not as advocated as Autism. Even though they are very similar in a lot of ways. We feel that because Eli isn’t labeled Autistic, we have to work 10x as hard to get him the help he needs especially in school. Speech therapy isn’t enough and that’s all they offer for his disorder. It’s like going to China not speaking a lick of Chinese and sitting in a classroom trying to understand the lecture.