Accepting the Changes of Life After my Child With Special Needs Turned 21
The moment my son was born we had mounds of support. There was a team at his birth hospital, as well as the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where Nate received most of his medical care. Prior to attending school we had a group of therapist that worked with my son to help him grow in his physical and mental development. When it was time for Nate to attend school, we had an awesome team of teachers, support staff, and a liaison that helped with coordinating services. We were also involved in programs for young children with special needs. There were many people and many resources, that made navigating life more helpful, while raising a child with special needs.
The moment Nate graduated from school at 21, it felt as if everything was gone. Although he moved into a residential community, which was good, it still felt that some of the support was missing. It felt like we were detached from a community that helped and supported us on his road of development. I could see it dwindling as he got older, now it was final. Reality hit that all the people, agencies, hospitals, and organizations that were apart of Nate’s life journey were now…. gone.
Yes, I understand that life is about growing up. These resources are for a certain time to help with a person’s growth and development. Yet, that still doesn’t take the place of loneliness or sadness of no longer having those people or agencies in our life.
I will be honest, I miss that time during Nate’s life. I miss him going to school, being involved with activities, some of his doctors who were supportive and encouraging, and some of the organizations that we belonged.
However, I have accepted the fact those people and resources serve their purpose. And I truly look forward to the future and seeing the awesome and wonderful things that will happen in my child’s life.