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Brooke's Story: Living With Williams Syndrome. (Part Two)!
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado   

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An update on Brooke Paisley Yung, six, who lives with a little known disability that causes mental and behavioral issues.

Cassidy Joy Yung here.  Thought I would continue our story.

As you know, I live in Richmond, Virginia, with my husband, Park, and our two children:  eight-year-old Myles and six-year-old Brooke Paisley.  Myles is a typical, outgoing eight-year-old boy who loves sports; as for our daughter, she's quite the opposite.  She is in the first grade, but she goes to a special school for children with special needs.  She is handicapped.

Brooke was born with a little-understood condition known as Williams syndrome.  It caused her to have emotional and mental issues, as well as accompanying physical features (small hands and feet, snub nose, very curly hair, small eyes, small stature, etc.).  She is prone to temper tantrums and emotional outbursts; one minute, she can be just fine, and the next, she goes off on people by kicking, yelling, and screaming.

It is very frustrating to us because we don't know what will set her off; we just have to try to keep her calm and keep her routine as close to normal as possible.  Brookie doesn't handle change very well; when one does introduce new situations to her, they have to do it gradually, or they'll have a real problem on their hands.

We are doing okay, but Brooke's outbursts can make even the simplest family outing a real chore.  People tend to stare at her or say unkind remarks to us about her behavior, which, in kind, makes us uncomfortable.  We are trying everything possible to help her, but it doesn't always work:  Brooke has always been a very strong-willed child.

There is a chance that, as she gets older, her behavior will only get worse.  We hope not; we want to help her succeed in life, and we don't want to keep her drugged up on medication; that's not always the best answer.  Living with a child like Brooke can be daunting, but we are willing to help our daughter in any way we can.  If it does come to the time where we may have to put her in a home, we will do so, especially if she becomes violent in nature; we are ill-equipped to handle such extreme behavior. 

Yet, for now, we will keep her here at home, with us, and will promptly try to deal with her emotional tirades.

Soon, it will be summer:  the days are already warm and (for the most part) nice.  The kids will be out of school next month, and for our family vacation, we are planning a trip to the West Coast (California, maybe even Washington State or Oregon); we have family there.  It's been a while since we've seen them last; the last time we saw our family, Myles was only four and Brooke was only two.  I think a change of scenery might do both of them some good.  We'll see how Brooke's behavior pans out first before we make any final decisions.

We also plan on going to Richmond's annual Fourth of July bash; that's always a yearly happening in our world.  Myles loves the fireworks; Brooke, meanwhile, loves the parade (excepting for the sirens or the loud marching bands), and fireworks terrify her.  Whenever the fireworks go off, I stay with Myles while Park takes Brooke to an area far away from the fireworks and sits with her until they are over; I and Myles then rejoin them and we go to our car for the drive home once traffic clears.

Well, Brookie is calling; she is hungry.  I will go for now; until later, this is Cassidy Yung saying so long; I will write in here another day.  Take care and God bless!

~Love, your friend in Virginia, Cassidy Joy.  :) 

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