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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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A Small Fish In A Big, Big Pond: Special Needs Parenting 101
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Monday, September 17, 2007

Rated "G" by the Author.

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           >> View all 7,357

A mother writes about her son, Zachariah, who has Down's syndrome.

My son, Zachie--Zachariah Ezekiel--is ten months old, a cute little guy, if I do say so myself, but people don't understand what raising a child like him is like. They don't know of his physical struggles (hearing and cardiac issues, mental slowness, clumbsy nature, etc.), his personal needs (medication, oxygen, the normal "baby things": diaper changes, feedings, love/attention, taking care of him when he cries, putting him down for his nap, trying to clean up or wash up after him, etc.), or the stress that his medical problems have been putting on us as a family.

I am a tired, worn-out, frazzled mother who is at the end of her rope. I hardly get out because I am usually tied up with Zachie. My husband, Howie, is at work--he works over 60 hours a week--, and I am left to deal with not only little Zachie but our other children, five-year-old Louisiana Genevieve and ten-year-old Roger Haines.

When they are home, they help me with their little brother, but even then it's not easy, particularly if he is having trouble with his heart/breathing again or has to go to the hospital emergency room for whatever reason it may be.

Sometimes I feel like Zachie is like a little fish in a big pond: there are plenty of sharks or other dangerous fish who are more than willing to gobble him up at the least little opportunity. This is when my mothering instincts kick into high gear: I want to do everything possible to try to protect him; yet I know if I do, I may be ending up doing more damage to him because I didn't let him grow, or let him experience life on his own.

That would be even more detrimental to his (lagging) development.

At times I feel like I am the only one going through this. People have no clue whatsoever what it is like to raise a handicapped child. They are free to give me any advice, but I tend to ignore it: I have heard the same old song and dance numbers before. I know what's best for my child, and I am going to raise him as I see fit.

Doctors tell me the same thing: I am coddling my child. Maybe so, but I am not about to let my son be hurt by a world who doesn't understand his disabilities, and I am not going to hide him from sight. If people can't accept my beautiful son or his handicaps, then screw 'em. I don't need that in my life!

I will be writing in here again; this isn't the last time you won't hear about me or Zachariah. People may see a handicapped child when they see my baby boy, but I see a child, a child who has a lot of potential to succeed in life!

~Written by Zachariah Ezekiel's mother, Trudy-Lee Madden, Grafton,  Ohio.




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Reviewed by Joyce Bowling 9/18/2007
The world is a cruel place at times, especially those times when people don't understand those whom are a bit different, or those who have is a mother's instinct to protect, shelter, and nuture their child shielding them from the cruelty that others might impose upon them...a wonderful write my friend!
Joyce B.
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 9/18/2007
Very informative offering....this touched me because this boy has almost the same name as my Zachary!!

I thank the lord for those who care enough to give to another!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by Sage Sweetwater 9/17/2007
Hard deal a small fish in a big, big pond...swimming in different waters is always a challenge when dealing with these types of is such a huge responsibility but coping is an even bigger pond...patience and faith in one's god or goddess is key to nurturing these kids to the gills...this write has a great hook, well, you and Karla...

Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 9/17/2007
As always an informative and excellent write
God Bless
Reviewed by Felix Perry 9/17/2007
It is often hard to see the wild rose bush grow in a forest but the sweet scent of it's fragrance leads you to it every time if you take the patience to find it. So is the way of all handicapped or disabled old and young alike.

Reviewed by Georg Mateos 9/17/2007
Another one from the pen of one that cares, and bottomless well of love for the less fortunate.
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 9/17/2007

No one knows what someone goes through until they've walked a mile in their shoes. You pen the journey honestly, realistically and powerfully. Well done.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.

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