Our 2nd child was born with all the hopes & dreams that all parents have. It wasn’t long before we realized something was different. (We had always dreamed of going to Italy, but woke up in Holland-you know that poem) All his milestones were delayed, but the doctors said “ oh he’s a boy-they are different. Don’t worry.”
He started early intervention at 2 years old at my insistence. He did kindergarten twice trying to catch up, but something was just not right. After numerous specialists & doctors with many different diagnoses that didn’t completely fit he finally got an appropriate one of NVLD as a teenager. It described him to a t! He had an IEP and received OT, PT & speech therapy for 12 years at school & privately.
Having him find a physical activity that he enjoyed on a team & getting him a dog were godsends, but as a parent the heartbreak got worse as the years went by & we would see bigger differences between him and his peers. To say there were a lot of sleepless nights & tears is an understatement! He would be left out of teams, parties & dates. The kids on his cross county team would refer to him as Forest. I would often wonder where other parents compassion was. In high school there would be no dates, proms or driving. He has taken the driving test too many times to count. We wondered daily what the future would hold for our son. The doctors said “don’t waste your money on college because he’ll never be able to go or drive a car.”…..I asked the Dr “How do you tell your child this?” What would be his reason to get up every morning?
Well, his Dad & I decided to put on our kick ass “CAN DO” pants & enroll him in our local community college. The community college did not have the programs or support that our son needed & it was not looking good so we switched him to the local 4 year University. We drove him every day and I am beyond thrilled to tell you that it all worked out with lots of grit, determination & hard work. Our son will graduate on his 25th birthday with a bachelors degree in Liberal Arts….and a 3.5 GPA to boot. He does well keeping his mind busy. He works out & does meditation every day. I’m even thinking about inviting that Doctor to the graduation celebration.
…..Moral of this story-never give up, always believe, grab those boot straps & keep putting one foot in front of the other! Our next goal will be finding a job and a local NVLD social group.
Lemonade my friends, Lemonade!
Mother of a beautiful little boy, who is now a man. He has taught me more than anyone about the power of a simple act of kindness, about patience and about compassion.