In appreciation

When you have a family member with special needs, whether it's developmental delay, autism, dementia, or Huntington's Disease, you so appreciate it when someone who cares for your loved one "sees" them as a person, not as a set of issues or problems.

Last week, Alan had to go to a doctor for an urgent health issue, and I met Madeline and Alan at the doctor's office. Some over the counter meds were needed, so I purchased those and headed back to Alan's group home to leave them there. A new staff member will be working with Alan this weekend, and she was being briefed by the head of residential services. I gave the meds to Madeleine, and she told me that this new staff member would be shadowing her for a couple of days. I expressed relief that she would get to explain how to help Alan and how to react (actually NOT react) to his behavior issues.

I was almost shocked when Madeline said, "Yes, I want to make sure she understands what Alan is going through."

I realized that she sees our son as a person with a health issue that makes it hard for HIM to function day in and day out. Madeline does not see Alan as a set of behavior problems. This is also true of the two other main staff members that usually care for our son. I have come to expect many people to see the myriad of emotional and behavior issues, and focus on the growing number of them. It was like seeing an oasis in a desert.

Thank you to Madeline, Lena, and Mohammed. You are truly our extended "family members" and we appreciate you.

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