Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Welcome to Holland

This is a poem written by Emily Perl Kingsleyem.  I wanted to share it with you as someone did with me and welcome you to really is a beautiful place to be.

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this…

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, the Michelangelo David, the gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!" you say. "What do you mean, Holland?" I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy.

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to some horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy a new guidebook. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

The pain of that will never, ever, go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

As one journey ends, another starts

A diagnosis for K - which was once a dream has finally come to life. Yesterday 1/15/13 marked a week since her testing and we got the answer to our question that I started asking so many years ago. If you're not familiar, here is the beginning of our story My Journey with K.

K does not have the plague or a contagious disease. She is not deaf or dumb. She is a loving 10 yr old girl, that just wants to fit in. She has some challenges like anxiety, obsessing and audio processing. Her speech skills and understanding of communication are not up to par, which makes everyday things hard. K has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder Level 2 (ASD2) and I've known it for sometime.  As one journey ends, another starts - Getting her the help she needs to become the adult she will be in the future. To keep following visit Welcome to Holland.