Sunday, November 12, 2006
I logged on this morning to the Williams Syndrome Association forum and found a truly inspirational letter. A parent of a newly-diagnosed child with Williams Syndrome had written in, concerned and frightened about the news. A parent of a 20-year old child with WS wrote back; this was his response:
Nearly 20 years ago, I was devastated when my daughter was diagnosed as having William's Syndrome. The label of mental retardation was frightening. All the visions of a 'normal' progress through life vanished.
Now, with the benefit of hindsight, my fears were groundless. My daughter has brought more joy than grief. Actually, the only grief was the initial disappointment of not having a 'normal' daughter. She is strong, perceptive, caring and loved by all who come to know her. Certainly, she needs adaptations to succeed, and some tasks are beyond her abilities. But, with patience and encouragement she never ceases to amaze us as to what she can do. She works part time, and has the respect of her co-workers. She saves her money, and is planning to travel to her favorite destination, Las Vegas.
I meet a lot of people in my profession and hear the tales of woe they tell of their 'normal' children. I can honestly say, that I have not lost one night of sleep for worrying about my daughter.
My only advise is to be patient, be patient and when you are frustrated be patient again. Above all, enjoy and celebrate every accomplishment. Thousands of others have walked in your shoes.
What a wonderful way to start my Sunday morning! (And, by the way, look what Brady can ALMOST do! Pretty soon ... )