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MaryGrace Patterson

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Samuel, A Story of Overcoming Handicaps . Part One
By MaryGrace Patterson
Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rated "G" by the Author.

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This is the story of my oldest son, Samuel Joseph and some of the hardships he has endured and overcome during his life.

Sam was my first child, born Feb 10, 1959 in St Johsbury Vt. When he was eight months old he got meningitis and had severe convultions which damaged a part of his brain. We did not realize that had happened until he became older.
Sam was a little slow in learing things and it was harder for him to grasp the meaning of different words.

When he became four, he began having seizures. The doctor put him on medication. More tests were done. Specialists told us he had brain damage and was low normal. They said he'd never be able to live on his own and would always need supervision in a controlled enviroment. We took him to a private preschool. The teacher kept telling us he was different from other kids. We could not see it.
He was not allowed to go to public school. He had to attend a special school in town for handicaped children with various disabilites. This set him apart from society and other kids.
His younger brother Tim was fourteen months youger than him and soon was surpassing SAm in many areas of life.

Sam was shy and often played by him self. The specialists said he had to have his own room and toys. We tried to comply, but it was hard as he had three younger siblings. They didn't understand why they couln't play with their brothers toys. Needless to say , it did not work out very well. In retrospect , I think that it was better for him to have interaction with others.
We did all we could to improve his self esteem and values yet, he was always on the outside and left out of games ect. by other kids because he was different.

My first husband, Reginald, had trouble accepting Sams condition and never really came to terms with it.
He was ashamed to have a son that was mentally challanged and he ignored Sam a lot.

As Sam grew older ,the seizures continued. He remained in special education. Life for our family of six was hetic and filled with frequent hospital visits for Sam as his seizures were uncontrolable.

Reg accidently died when he was thirty five. We moved to Florida, where my mother lived and have been here ever since.

Sam was allowed to go to public schools in Miami. Many schools offered classes in Special Education on their premesis. His life changed a little and he began to develop a few more social skills. His seizures continued. My mom an RN, helped with the kids and I worked as a nurses aide. Times were hard and money did not go very far, but we managed to get by.

( More to follow about Sams teens and adult life in part two)....

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Reviewed by Lois Christensen 2/20/2009
I do think Sam needed the interaction with others and children like him. It is an amazing story and glad he had the opportunity to go to public school and intermingle with other children. All the burdens you have have made you a stonger person and one able to help others. Being kind and patient with others is a trait not all people have. You do and I love you for it.
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 1/28/2009

Compelling writing that tells Sam's story without embelishment; strength shines in these lines.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Jeanette Cooper 1/28/2009
Your writing skills shine through on this wonderful but sad story about your son. I'm heading for part 2 because it is so truly interesting I want to find out what the rest of the story is.
Reviewed by Rose Rideout 1/27/2009
Thank you for sharing MaryGrace. I can follow what you are saying here dear as we raised my nephew from the age of nine until he was twenty-six. They ran all kinds of test and said he had a slow learning disability and would always have to live at home and be under supervision, he went to special education but to everyones surprise is a married man today, even with his disabilities he seems to be happy.
Thank you for sharing.

Newfie hugs, Rose

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