Stephanie and JP's story shares their experience, joys and grief with other special needs families
It all started in November 2000.
I met Jean-Pierre online while searching on a personal's site. I didn't just want anyone...I wanted someone who would accept my 2 children, as well as the fact that I have Multiple Sclerosis.
I figured that I was in for a long haul. Who was going to jump into a relationship with someone with so many problems?
I found his ad, and he said he had custody of his 3 girls. His oldest, Elizabeth, was autistic. What the heck is that? I asked myself. We started to chat a bit, I researched autism, and after 3 days of chatting, we decided to meet for coffee.
My goodness, he was perfect...and we haven’t been apart since.
Our children melded as if they had always been together. We got married in June 2002.
Elizabeth is now 12, and doing better than she was this summer. We had her hospitalized in 2 different institutions trying to figure out how to handle her aggressivity. After 6 weeks of travelling to hospitals and appointments, and 4 months out of school instead of 2.
Elizabeth is on a medication regime that calms her aggressivity enough to let her participate in almost all of her school activities.
In the meantime, we were also learning how to deal with our youngest child, Angélik, and her dysphasia and ADHD.
She is quite far behind the rest of her grade 3 class, and requires alot of help and supervision to complete her adapted homework. At least we were lucky enough to get a teacher who would modify the curriculum.
In our area, children are not allowed or permitted to repeat a year in school. I personally don't agree with this, but we do what we can.
I have already told the school that if she is still lagging so far behind by the new year, I am planning on pulling her out and homeschooling her. I have begun seriously researching homeschooling, and gotten much support from our church.
The other kids all doing well at the moment, but for the grace of God, and are very understanding about the disabilities that their sisters have.
We recently moved into a house that actually holds all of us, along with our 2 cats.
I think that with time, more research and a whole lot of faith, we are going to make it...and stay sane.