Listen: How Can I Help? Loving the Friend Who Has a Child With Special Needs
"Back to another episode of Risen Motherhood Hud I'm Laura Whistler and I actually have three guests joining me today you guys. This is going to be such an awesome show. It's one that I've looked forward to for a very long time today. I have with me of course. My sister-in-law Emily and then I also have Abigail Dodds and Katie Blackburn. These women are just amazing women that have become friends to me in real life and it's just a pleasure to be able to have them on the show today so I'm going to actually have them start by going around introducing themselves so you can hopefully fully start to learn their voice a little bit and then also have them let you know how many kids they have in total as you guys know. Today is a special show so I will also have up them. Speak about any of their kids that do have special needs and how old child is and kind of just some of the things that they're dealing with so emily. Why don't you give start? Okay yes Jensen I feel like. I don't have to totally. Yeah I have five children ages. Seven twins ends at our five Four year old and a two year old and it is my four year old son who has special needs and he has a rare genetic mutation. Dan That's extremely small and has only been known about for a few years and so there's not a lot of helpfulness and sharing the exact specific civic diagnosis but basically as a four year old he has you know Af oh braces on his ankles that help give stability to walk. He's is a transport. Wheelchair wheelchair does not walk independently. Much away from a walker at all and then right now. He's just pretty much non verbal so we do a lot of texts communications nations for those of you who are listening. It's like robbing pictures. Some signs but Yeah overall is pretty pretty pretty healthy but definitely a a lot of communication and physical challenges. Abigail yeah I'm Abigail duds Married to Tom and we also have five kids. Our oldest is is fifteen and she just got her learner's permit for driving. So that's exciting. Then it goes. Yeah yeah that's a whole different. Yeah yeah show that you could do some day but it goes down to. We have a son who's thirteen and then a daughter who's eleven and another daughter who's nine and then our youngest son is the one with special needs. He's five he'll be six probably when this show releases and His special needs in some ways similar in terms of the diagnosis. Just that we don't really have a real definitive one and whatever it is is not one that has been Tracked before what it looks like for his day to day. Life has just means kind of global developmental delay slower to walk slower slower to talk but he does do both of those things a lot and he. He's got a feeding tube so some of the parts of of his brain that are small. Just make things like swallowing and sleeping difficult. So yeah and seizures seizure disorder. So that's another big part of his of his special needs Katie. Yeah I'm Katie Blackburn and I also have five kids I don't think we did is but My oldest is six and a half and then I have a five year old and he was diagnosed with autism. His Um to when Just after his second birthday and then we have a three and a half year old and we just welcomed our forth biological Kohl titled Less than two weeks ago. So he's just downstairs sleeping right now and then we have a foster baby right now. Who is is nine months old? And so that kind of that that rounds out our crew but Our five year old image and he has autism and he is just the joy of our lives but his his challenges are primarily in Social interactions and then in communication. He's not nonverbal. But I'm pretty limited so emily we use lots of PECs to know. Just what but those are and they've been amazing. They're lifesavers actually for a child that struggled with communication and he's getting better he's learning lots more words and lots more sentences We do a lot of the same things in our house. A lot of repeating A lot of scripting lot of eating the same aim kind of five or ten foods so our our home life definitely has a a repetitiveness to it to just kind of help him feel comfortable and and like A. He has a somewhat predictable. Life but he's he's such a joy. He loves the school bus. He loves his friends at school and he loves his siblings so we learn a lot from him and yeah. I'm excited to be here to talk to you guys about this really really great topic today. Awesome well thank you guys offer sharing and for anyone. Who is new here kind of like what Emily said? I feel like I shouldn't have necessarily introduce myself. But just if you're new and haven't heard motherhood podcast before I'm I'm Laura and I have three kids so I'm the one out I need to get on that. I have a six year old four year old and a two year old so my two year old is the one who has has special needs and she has also something that doctors have never seen before. She's we've been told she's kind of the only one in the world who has what she has so we don't really have a a good road map for what will be happening. But she has some extra genes in her chromosomes. So this displays itself off in the other women shared kind of global developmental delays. And Right now. She's a scooter. She's bottom scooter and definitely on her way towards walking and we're really hopeful that she will walk and she's also nonverbal so it's kind of the way it exhibits for her okay so to dive into our show today. The first thing that I wanted to do for the benefit of our audience just let everybody know about a few weeks ago and this'll be like a couple of months ago once this show releases. We did a survey on risen in motherhood on our instagram account. In just asked our audience kind of where they are at and so these stats were really really interesting to discover and it. Maybe it'll just be interesting to you. See the makeup of our audience but thirteen percent of the risen. Other audience does have a child with special needs but seventy eight percent of our audience members know. Oh a fellow mom that does have a child with special needs and I thought that was just really interesting that like it seems like almost everyone is either personally affected with having a child with special. You'll need or they all know someone. So we're hopeful that today's show can just be really beneficial for so many of you in our audience. Not just for the Momma who is going through the Everyday Day with a child with special needs but also for those of you who want to support your friend in WanNa know how to love them and how to care for them well and the other interesting thing that we found out was that thirty one percent of MOMS who child with special needs don't feel supported by their church family. So that's something that we're going to talk about a little bit more specifically today how the church can help a family that does have a child with disabilities or special needs so that was just a stat that was sad not necessarily surprising but a hard stat to see so anyway. I think we'll just dive in here and we're GonNa let the conversation flow our hope. Is that you guys feel like you are sitting in a conversation with four MOMS Tom. Who are just being really candid? Invulnerable and honest about what it's like to raise a child special needs and how to just love a fellow mom who is in that spot so so for those women out there who may be are a little bit nervous or don't know what to say or how to move forward. I WOULD WANNA give them some more practical advice. I guess from from four Mama's who've been there let's just start with talking about how specifically can of friend support a mother or a family that does have a child with special needs. What have you guys seen done for you? Well on a super like practical level some of the most helpful questions for for whereas have been how can we include cannon in this. What places are easiest for you to get together And you know just the hint. Sometimes depending on the disabilities special needs families might need a place with fences or doors that lock or not a lot out of steps for easier access. You know things like that that it's not people aren't being selfish when they suggest that. Hey let's all go on a hike. They may just not realize that a backyard defense is probably more doable for families. But it's just I think it can be scary for people to ask that because they don't want want to bring attention to special needs in the wrong way or they don't want to hurt your feelings At all but just just keep asking those what how can how can we include and then what would be easiest for you guys today in this weather. Can you Even come out if it's the place that we're going to or this certain situation and that's been so kind and means the world to me when people say how can we include clued"