A Parent's Journey

As a parent, we can remember that day when we heard the news, "Congratulations, you are going to have a baby." From that moment on, we immersed ourselves in planning our future as a "family."

Dreams and aspirations as a new parent

The dreams of a life as a family were all-consuming. You envision how to set up the nursery, all the cute clothes you will have ready, and the baby toys. Yes, as a parent, your dreams for this baby are all "happily ever after."

You cherish each milestone your precious child masters. That first smile, crawling, and of course that first step. This was our story and I understand every parent, especially a parent of a child who lives with a disability, has their own story.

Hitting milestones at a young age

Our son was on course and mastered these childhood milestones in our story. We enjoyed watching him grow into a happy playful boy.

We were oblivious to the future diagnosis. Two years later we welcomed our second son and life was feeling perfect for us. So now we have two beautiful healthy sons.

Since there were no concerns about Michael’s development, we just enjoyed watching both boys grow in those years. He walked at 11 months, and was able to ride his tricycle with ease. Never suspecting any problems.

But then again, he never ran as well while playing with others his age. There were no falling episodes. It was just that he was a little slower.

Beginning concerns about our son's development

Now we go into the time when his brother at the age of two was keeping up with him. One aspect that did strike me was that his brother could do the stairs easier than Mike. 

He would take one step at a time while holding onto the banister tightly. I’m sure every parent will recognize that feeling of concern when something your child is doing just feels suspicious. Don’t be afraid to act on it with your doctor.

I had mentioned my suspicions with our pediatrician and he just didn’t feel there were any concerns. After a diagnosis was given at St. Christopher’s Hospital, this doctor admitted he had never treated a patient with a neurological disorder.

The importance of a second opinion

So with that, I would say be vigilant until you get answers. After all, no one knows your child as well as yourself.

At the time of Mike’s diagnosis, I was nine months pregnant with my third child and was an emotional mess. My obstetrician gave me some great advice at this critical time. 

He said people are under the impression that we doctors are gods. We are not and ALWAYS get another opinion.

I know that as a parent we are faced with getting a lot of information on our child’s health and it’s difficult to process it all. We depend on the knowledge of the doctors to assist us in making decisions on their care.

I can say that you are their advocate who must take all that information and find the trust in your doctor to make the best decision. Whisper your prayer and trust in science.

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