Monday, April 9, 2007

Send in the Calvary!

A few weeks ago I wrote about how draining it is to constantly have to fight for the rights of our children with disabilities. The battles are, of course, worth every effort we expend. But sometimes, we need reinforcements sent in, and those reinforcements usually come in the way of other people who share our daily struggles. Like an AA meeting for an alcoholic, we parents of children with disabilities like to stand with others like ourselves, state our name, and share our challenges and successes. We need to know we are not alone and are not as crazy as some of the disability-unfamiliar would have us believe. Fortunately this past Saturday evening, at a time when I was finding myself really in need of reinforcements, they arrived!

I met Nawaka, the Missus, Crazyj8, and Rush for dinner. They are my internet forum buddies, people like me who have and/or support children with disabilities. We have shared our battle stories, our strategies and our celebrations for over four years now. We know each other’s children almost as well as we know our own. We write (and sometimes speak) in internet-speak, but the emotions are as real as life itself.

Through hours-long IEP meetings, mediation, due process and day-to-day battles, my forum friends have been there. We share the good as well as the not-so-good, and when I need to vent, I know I have a place to do that and people who will understand. And when I needed a night out, they also rose to that challenge!

So, thank you Rush, Nawaka, the Missus, CrazyJ8, and our members who couldn’t be there – Leosson, Silvio, Mashere and Snow. My life and the lives of my special children are better because of each and every one of you!

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