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July 28, 2019 2:04 am
Today, Terry and Donna share their powerful story of raising their child with “disabilities”. If this describes your experience or someone you know, we pray this is an incredible source of hope for you.
Series: Modern Family: a series on parenting
Hi, for the Salvation Army.
This is Bernie Dick Nelson, thanks for joining us and welcome to the wonderful words of life hello everyone and hey Sarah. This wasn't planned but how appropriate for our series today is happy parents day. I agree totally appropriate, but never heard of parents they do for parents daily mean full disclosure. I didn't know was parents to either. I'm sure Hallmark has a card we can IRS I guess. But in lieu of me not sending a card to my parents. Maybe we both take the opportunity to just say happy parents day mom and dad. Yes, we love you yes and and happy parents day to every other parent out there that's right.
This evidently this is a thing so what were you doing this today were celebrating parents and you don't have to just be parents of children. Maybe this is your parent of a petro parent of a significant other in your life in a sense, you are the parental figure.
Happy you day for sure.
I hope the series on parenting has been a blessing to you the next three episodes with Terry and Donna are going to be very powerful in today's episode will be sharing their own testimony of what it's like raising a child with disabilities and the spend the next two weeks discussing the pain of loss. Losing a child has to be one of the most painful things that a person could possibly experience it's it's such a blessing to have the Israel here willing to share their story of how God is carried them through such pain and it's our prayer, their testimony will reach someone in desperate need of hope.
If you know of someone who's experienced such a loss. Please consider giving them a heads up about these episodes and share the show with them and if this is you let us know how we can pray for you. Send us an email at email@example.com and be assured there are people praying here for you that nothing will be placed and see all the nothing.
The place that when all ways space the way you way and we welcome you back to our series on parenting materials role with my wife, Donna, and we have had this wonderful opportunity to go through the various challenges of parenting the opportunities the expressions of love that can be given.
Today we speak to a difficult issue for many people raising a child with disabilities now have the challenge and responsibility that you carried to that particular child but also seeing how that impacts your family dynamic, particularly when there are other children in the household, having a child with disabilities impacts the entire family and parents have to be especially mindful to care for themselves and not forget to take care of themselves.
Is there caring for their child with disabilities in our own family.
We have four boys. Our oldest boy of Matthew his brother Timothy and I said in an arc light and life child Zachary all were born healthy with no indication of any disabilities or any impairments and course.
We rejoiced in that when Nathan was five years old. Our family was involved in an automobile accident, and from that Nathan suffered a traumatic brain injury which eventually led to disabilities and his life.
Some of those were physical, although to meet him.
You would not be aware of that but many took place within the cognitive functions and became highly refined and very inbred learning disabilities. He was between kindergarten and first grade when that took place and so it wasn't long before we began to experience the equivalent of seeing a family member, child we had to raise with those challenges and what many would characterize as his disability. As things progressed in our son was able to return to school. I had to take on different responsibilities in my parenting and suddenly there were many challenges working with the school system and the classroom teachers and so this became a difficulty in our family and certainly must be true of every parent with a child with disabilities. You have the issue of dealing with their disability. You have the issue of school and social functions as well as what's going on in the family it can have the sense of overwhelming you and how do you sort this out for the greater good of your child, you want the absolute best for them for Donna.
Most of those challenges took place in dealing with the school we were in the very early days of schools being able to reach out to children with disabilities. They were just formulating their plan on how they would handle situations in each child, regardless of their disability is unique. There are no two children even if a diagnosis is the same. The disability is unique. So as you go through that you have to have a relationship with people in the school as well. There is this incredible dynamic Jeff to take on in parenting.
How are you going to raise that child in a previous episode. We discussed how Nathan's nature was one of very aggressive outgoing, almost stubborn, but just a highly active child and suddenly, much of what we knew about him and how we approached him took on a different meaning.
And so we very much had to adapt. How are we going to embrace this child as a family and not make them go through many of the things with which they are stigmatized in society and school. It's important to help them understand that they are unique to each of us are unique and we are created in the image of God, whether that be a physical disability, or an academic disability. God knows how he's created us and there is a plan for each of us. We have this wonderful attitude towards it, but there become some practical challenges with Nathan. There were therapies involved and so the family life begins to center around these various schedules of therapy and support services.
It's important for the other siblings to not feel like they are just the come along in with brothers responsibilities and disband therapies we a situation where Nathan had the opportunity to do equine therapy and while we would go and do that horseback riding for him. Our other two children would've had to sit for two hours while they waited for brother as it worked out. They both became involved in working with the horses and learning to ride and in the care of horses so that they weren't just sitting there waiting on brother in dealing with children with disabilities. It's also an excellent opportunity for us to establish a real value system with in the life of those who don't have the disability to identify with that and not so much.
Look at your own life of what you're losing but to say what would I expect if I were the one with the disability.
How would I want my family to be involved with my life is so in our own lives and as we've learned from others. It's really important that you begin to say this is the real role of a family to support each and every one while you may not have a physical or mental disability. There are so many things in the family that you're benefiting from and this is our opportunity to express our love and our support because we are family because this is our loved one and it's what we want to do through the love of Jesus Christ. There is one time when Nathan was being interviewed for a special on disabilities and the interviewer spoke to one of the other brothers and said do you have to treat your brother special, and he said yes and the civil Hattie tree says I treat him like a brother. It's so important that regardless of the disabilities that they know that they have a place in the family and that they are treated with respect. As you deal with those practical challenges the real evidence is that that individual that child is not viewed in the family is with the disability, but rather they have this wonderful experience of being part of the family acceptance and support.
Regardless of what others may perceive as an inconvenience or burden. It just simply doesn't play out in the practical challenges are realized because their expressions of love.
Thank you for being with us today.
If you are a parent with a child with disabilities. We certainly pray for God's provision to you and are grateful to you for the law of in the care that you give and express soreness in our next episode when we will go through the pain of loss. May God bless you as you join us in this series the Salvation Army's mission doing the most good means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army visit Salvation Army USA.org to offer your support and we would love to hear from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-229-9965 or write us at PO Box 29972, Atlanta, GA 30359 20 contact us will send you our gift for this series is totally free for listeners like you, one per household, while supplies last. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store and be sure to give us a rating to search for wonderful words of life follow some social media for the latest episode extended interviews and more. And if you don't have a church home invite you to visit your local Salvation Army warships will be glad to see this is Bernie date inviting you to join us next time. Salvation Army's wonderful words of life