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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Danjack: Special Needs Parenting 101.
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Saturday, January 15, 2011

Rated "G" by the Author.

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A teenage boy is starting to spread his wings and fly.

Kelley Wilson here.  Thought I would share my story with you.

This story is about our teenage son, Daniel Jack, who is fifteen years old (or, as we call him, Danjack).

He was born with severe mental and learning disabilities that have left him with the mind of a five to seven year old child.  He cannot read anything above picture (or primary school level) books, and he cannot write (though he is learning how to at this time).  He is very immature, and I oftentimes worry about him because he is so trusting: Danjack has never met a stranger.

He loves everybody, even those who have hurt him.  If people have hurt him in any way, he finds it in his heart to forgive them and pray for them.

Danjack believes in God.  He accepted Jesus Christ into his heart when he was eight, nine years ago.  He loves worshiping at church every Sunday and listening to Pastor Hicks talk about God.  He would live at church if he didn't have a home; he can't wait to get back there! (We also go to church every Wednesday.  We are Baptists.)

Danjack loves to do many things: go to church twice a week, dance, sing, read his books (Dr. Seuss remains his top choice; he also loves the "Caillou" series of books), watching television (PBS; we tape the morning programs ... i.e., "Sesame Street", "Barney," "Mister Rogers", "Caillou" ... for him, so he can watch it later on in the day; he loves them!), play with his games, annoy his older brother Patrick (Patrick is seventeen), and go roller skating on Saturdays at the local rink.

We don't know what happened when Danjack was born, but once we got over the grieving process (that our son would never play football or sports, or ever go to college or learn to drive, live on his own, etc.), we decided to help him in any way to help him reach his potential.  It must have worked because Danjack is doing beautifully, even in light of his disabilities.

Danjack can walk on his own, but he's not very graceful.  He is like a big, overeager puppy wanting to play all the time.  Sometimes his aloofness and boundless energy can wear on a person, but inside, Danjack has a good heart.  People never stay angry at him long because he gets this look on his face that is guaranteed to melt your heart, so we end up giving in to him.

Maybe it's wrong that we've spoiled him, but despite that, he's a great kid.  We consider ourselves blessed because he's touched our lives in more ways than we ever thought possible.  We cannot imagine not having Danjack in our lives!  

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Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 1/15/2011
A heartwarming story for sure, the parents love is evident for there special child thank you for sharing
In Christs Love
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 1/15/2011
A heartwarming story, Karen, very well penned.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Cindy Tuttle 1/15/2011
Love this story Karen. As Always you make the characters come alive.

With Love,
Reviewed by Paul Berube 1/15/2011
Very interesting story, Karen. Well done.

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