N.S. mothers share the joys and challenges of raising children with special needs
A resource and community outreach program is bringing together parents of children with special needs.
Cheyanne D'Entremont, Lisa Anderson and Georgina Keinick have all created a special bond through the Progress Centre for Early Intervention program.
“We know what we are going through, what you're going through, what Georgina is going through, without having to explain it too much,” says D'Entremont.
D'Entremont's nine-year-old son Hayden has been diagnosed with a visual impairment called retinopathy. Anderson's eight-year-old son Kai was born with low muscle tone, a global developmental delay and is non-verbal. And Keinick has nine-year-old twin boys. Nate is blind and also has epilepsy, cerebral palsy, autism, delayed development, hydrocephalus and a VP shunt to treat it. Except for cerebral palsy, his brother Gavin has the same conditions.
“We've been set on a very difficult path. I guess the way I like to look at it, I am walking on this tough path but these great little stars, these bright little spots have come into my life,” says Keinick.
Each day comes with its set of challenges. Anderson’s son needs 24/7 supervision.
“My house is still gated for my eight-year-old. He will be in diapers probably for the rest of his life,” she says. “He's non-verbal, so that makes it challenging. I never know if he is actually hungry or if he has a headache or stomach is upset, I know none of that.”
The moms live by the motto, “He will have a disability if you treat him like he has a disability.”
“We have come a long way,” says D'Entremont. “I have a completely different outlook, but people starting this journey if they can find a Lisa and a Georgina.”
Although the journey isn't what they originally planned for, what's come out of it is beautiful children and their unbreakable connection.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ana Almedia.