Normally, I would not post a photo of children to a public site, but I’m ignoring my personal rule for this, because it’s important.
The young man in the graduation cap is my 19 year old son. And this Mom is very proud of him.
Troy was born 4 1/2 months early, you see. I was going through chemotherapy when I got pregnant and had to choose to stop therapy to ensure he was as healthy as possible, even though I knew the risks to myself.
Troy developed a severe respiratory infection in just a few months after birth. That battle lasted nearly 8 months. And yet, he survived.
By a year, I had realized that he had issues hearing, focusing his eyes and there was little coordination in his movements. He wasn’t developing properly.
By 20 months, he was making noise, but no attempt to form words.
It took years but I found the right doctors and therapists to help him. He’s spent years in speech therapy, physical therapy and pretty much any other kind you can imagine.
He still struggles with a learning disability to this day. But, he puts forth SO much effort to learn that I can’t help but be proud of him.
This week, I got to watch my son take his graduation walk. It’s something I never thought I’d have the sheer joy of watching. I cried through every moment.
The little boy in the photo with him is his little cousin who was born at just shy of 24 weeks. The young lady holding him is his Mom and my niece. He’s already showing many of the same struggles that my son did. They have a long road ahead of them, ripe with frustration, heartbreak and joyous moments where her son will exceed expectations.
I am not posting this for me today. This is for them. This is for every parent with a child who has a developmental/learning disability. I want you to know that the struggle, the tears, the anger and frustration, the failures.. They are worth every moment.
This is for every child who is struggling with the ability to do the simplest things, such as holding a spoon, or trying to learn a new word, or spell their name, or play a sport.
You can do this.