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People I've known

Added: Sunday, February 10th 2019 at 7:30pm by maggiesnextphase

One of the children in my class comes from a family where BOTH parents are mentally retarded.  She, from fetal alcohol syondrome, and he, from luck of the draw I suppose. 

Anyway, they both were educated to the extent they were able, and received extensive training on how to function independently.  They met.  Married.  Hold down jobs.  Qualified for a home loan.  Bought a house.  And now have two children, both of whom function very well in terms of social interaction. 

The grandmother does live with them, and so have an assortment of other relatives from time to time.  From what I gather, it is THEY who help others out in times of need. 

The grandmother living with them was planned for when they bought the house.  This all happened about the time their first child arrived on the scene.  These two people were probably capable of caring for the child on their own, but from what I gather, it's a Mutually beneficial arrangement. 

Before this, Grandma was struggling to keep a roof over her head... and now she doesn't need to worry about that.  She is highly experienced in raising children, including those with special needs.  As far as I can tell, neither child has special needs, so grandma spends time helping their 'intellectual development' in areas their parents may not be able to assist. 

The next family has a child with spinabifida.  She had just learned about it when she was asked to be 'Stake Primary President'.  They decided to take giant leaps of faith in accepting not just the calling, but also the challenges inherent in having a child with this condition. 

They bought a house about this time.  One with a "granny unit", so her parents could live there and help with the other three children while the new baby's medical needs were attended to.  Believe me... he had a LOT of medical needs!

That first year he was in the hospital almost as much as he was home.   Eventually they seemed to get his issues sorted out, and by age two, it looked like he was the light of this family's life. 

Today, I watched as he passed the sacrament, and later emptied all the classroom waste baskets.  He walks with a labored gait, but it doesn't prevent him from doing what most boys his age do.

Another family I know found out that their unborn child had a rare genetic anomaly that might require lots of care and attention.  They sold their house and moved in with the grandparents to form a framework of support.  

A sister also rearranged her living and work situation to make herself available to help.  In this case, the help was barely needed, as the child apparently had a very mild version of the disorder.  

I have always felt very privileged to know these people.  Their courage and family cooperation have been a wonderful example to me.  And they probably have no idea how much I admire them.



User Comments

Several years ago, my mom worked with special needs people. The only thing I can say about them is they have a heart bigger than life, and a love for all. If we all cared and loved like they do, the world would be a much better place.

I agree!

I'm with you Maggie, one cant help but admire and respect family's like this, it gave me cold chills reading about the first family, it is just wonderful to hear stories like this. May I please ask, what a  "Stake Primary President is".

In our church each individual congregation is called a 'ward'.  A 'stake' is a group of several wards.  Not sure if there is a set number, but around five or more wards to each stake.  In a ward, a 'primary president' oversees the children between the ages of 18 months to 11 years old.  She also oversees the teachers and music people in the primary.  A STAKE Primary President oversees the various ward primaries, and assists the presidencies (each president had two counselors) with their jobs, making sure they know their responsibilities, and have the materials they need.   Hope that makes sense. 

The woman i was referring to was president when we were part of a large stake that met a distance of a couple of hours away.  She had to travel a LOT!  I really don't know how she did it!

There truly are many Opportunities to serve.  Sometimes you do a LOT... and sometimes you don't have to do much.  And of course, you can always say 'no', but mostly we are taught to accept the chance to learn and grow.  

(I will delete the comment... because you asked.)

Thank you maggie. I just don't want to upset some of my other friends.

No problem. 

Life has it's challenges, but without life...no chance at all, right?



I love stories of real people that tells us what love is

Me too!  

Reading about the first couple I was thinking they have done better then people who don't have any special needs when it comes to education/jobs/home purchase/etc.

I totally agree!

What impresses me is how the extended families united and changed their entire life to do what needed to be done.  

That is what impressed me too!  It's how it's supposed to be, I think. 

It helps when you have family support to help out especially when both in the family have to work.

That's how I feel.  These people are blessed to have so much support. 


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