Loving a “24-hour” Child
When you’re five, your day is full of transitions: it’s time to get out of bed, change your clothes, brush your teeth, use the bathroom, eat your breakfast.
For Jamal, a 5-year-old boy with Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder, transitions provide more of an obstacle him and his grandparents, who are raising him.
George and Susanna gave up retirement and ministries to guide Jamal through the transitions in therapy, education, and daily life. Recently, Shacoya Bates from Every Child, Inc. joined the process, validating Susanna’s wear- and wariness. Having a child with any kind of special need is an exhausting experience. But someone like Shacoya is there to hopefully help make that exhaustion a little less overwhelming.
Untraveled avenues that Shacoya finds, such as new therapies or ways to help Jamal stay at a healthy weight, are welcome bits of information; they’ll try anything. “He’s not merchandise,” George says. “You can’t just get over him or give up on him. He’s our grandson.”
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