Someone recently asked me how I manage with so many special needs children, and with multiples with special needs in particular...I couldn't give her a satisfactory answer and have thought about it for days. I'd like to share with you the end result.
F.R.I.E.N.D.S.H.I.P. S.U.P.P.O.R.T. E.D.U.C.A.T.I.O.N. H.U.M.O.R.
by Andee Dunn (Jan.1996)
How do you do it? Well, in no particular order...this is what it takes:
FAITH...that God will never give me more than I can handle
RESOURSEFULNESS...to find what my children need
INTELLIGENCE...to comprehend all the medical & technical knowledge I'll be given
ENERGY...for all the many trips to doctors, clinics, hospitals, schools, etc.
NEIGHBORS...and friends that lend a hand now and then
DETERMINATION...that my children will each reach his or her maximum potential
STRENGTH...to continue in the face of depressing odds
HUMOR...to teach my children there's joy in life with special needs
INTUITION...to be able to know the right thing at the right time
PERSEVERANCE...so I can fight for the rights of my children
UNDERSTANDING...for those times when they do what only multiples can do
PEACE...in knowing that I am doing my absolute best for my children
PRACTICALITY...so the dishes get done and the laundry too
OPEN-MINDEDNESS...when looking for the best therapies for each child
REMINDERS...so no one or nothing is forgotten
TENDERNESS...that I may not be too harsh when responding to ignorance
DEDICATION...to repeat thousands of necessary therapies upon my children
UNCONVENTIONAL...so I can make use of something not usually used that way
CONFIDENCE...in my abilities to know what my children need
ACCEPTANCE...so I can thank God everyday for giving me such special children
TRUST...in myself and those I'm close to
INSIGHT...to sense what's needed by a child that can't tell me their needs
ORDER...so there is at least a basic plan each day
NURTURANCE...giving it and getting it
UNRELENTING JOY...so I can feel it, teach it, and give it
MILDNESS...for those times when the kids are rivaling siblings
OPTIMISM...so I can see things from a brighter point of view
READINESS...for the unexpected
Yes, it's a lot! It's what I do, every single day, no weekends off. Our children are always going to need that special care. We provide it directly, or indirectly thru respite providers day in and day out, 365 days a year for the rest of their lives. We also have to help their co-multiple siblings to deal with these things.
And I wouldn't trade anyone, anything, for what I've got! Six wonderful kids: a surviving twin who will someday be on her own (as her days with intervention & therapies seem to be over); an undiagnosed special daughter who will always live with her weaknesses (but she has many strengths); a totally average daughter (that requires special care due to having five special siblings); a gifted son who will always have trouble seeing (and will miss his brother now & then); his co-quad sister who may never speak as we know it and will always be challenged by her lack of muscle tone; her identical sister who will not only battle with what she shares with her co-quad twin but will also need to cope with her potential loss of sight.
Andee Dunn (MOM to Bryana (7/82), CJ (11/85), Allyssa (7/88) and Mack (12/91), Rebecca (12/91) & Jessica (12/91) and married since 9/79 to SHAWN, the computer genius!) E-Mail BooksnDunn@yahoo.com You can reach all of us there!
Permission to duplicate or distribute this document on a "not-for-profit" basis granted with the provision that the document remains intact.