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  Home > Drama > Stories > 'Is There Any Way You Can Help Me?': Special Needs Parenting 101.
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'Is There Any Way You Can Help Me?': Special Needs Parenting 101.!
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado   


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A father turns to others for help with caring for his daughter, who has significant special needs.

Image (c) 2011, by Karla Dorman.

I don't want to do this, but I am afraid I am going to have to.  

I am raising a daughter (aged 10) who has significant special needs.  She is severely autistic: nonverbal, not toilet trained, capable of dismantling the house if one isn't careful.  She seems to live in her own little world: no matter what we have done, we can't seem to break Carolyn out of her shell.

Carolyn remains as unreachable as ever.  It's as if she is severely mentally disabled, but we know otherwise because she can put jigsaw puzzles with 550 pieces together.  It may take her a few days, but she gets the job done, each and every time.  Carolyn also knows how to print her name and count up to ten, forwards and backwards.

The reason I am asking for help is this: I am fixin' to go on a business trip for a few days.  I cannot leave Carolyn by herself.  My wife works too, all the time.  Usually my mother-in-law watches Carolyn, but she's currently in the hospital with pneumonia: she is extremely sick and is currently in the Intensive Care Unit.  I am left without anybody to watch Carolyn.

Carolyn is our only child.  We try to keep her routine as familiar to her as possible: our daughter does not adapt to change very well, and people often feel intimidated when they see her "stimming" or lashing out in anger because her routine has been disrupted again.

No matter who I have tried to call, nobody seems interested in watching Carolyn.  They don't even want to bother with her: they treat her as if she has AIDS or leprosy.  They don't know how to deal with a child with her problem, and seeing that she is seerely disabled, well, the problem is only made worse.  I know that it's not her fault the way she is, but I wish people would learn to see that she is a child first and not just her disability!

I have even called several local chuches, but like everyone else, they don't seem to be able to handle a child like Carolyn.  I know there's a church somewhere that has got to have a ministry for families who have chidlren with special needs.  I've read about it in articles or in magazines.  If they can't handle a child like Carolyn, then there's something wrong somewhere because they aren't showing Christlike love or compassion!

They are being judgemental before they even get to know us or know Carolyn, and that is pretty damn sad if you ask me!

Who can I turn to? I'm at a loss here!  And I am desperate for answers as quickly as possible!  



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