Saturday, May 18, 2013

Special Needs Community Outreach

I spent last Friday in the special needs program during one of their community outreach days.  The Community Outreach sessions are open to people in the community whose lives have been affected by disability. At these sessions, disabled individuals and their families receive input from a physiotherapist and a chance to encourage and share struggles with one another over a good meal. They invite a different speaker each month, sharing on topics such as ‘Feeding and Nutrition,’ ‘Epilepsy,’ and ‘Communication.’

Here are a few snapshots of my time:

She sits cradling the boy.  I wonder what thoughts pass through her head.  He is her grandson, one of seven who she cares for.  She digs to have food for hungry mouths and occasionally has a little extra to sell.  This boy is totally dependent on her.  He cannot even sit without help and his cries are his only means of communication.  He's growing bigger and he's heavy.  I watch her hoist him up and support him with the help of another grandchild.  Later as she sits and listens to the speaker I see the weariness and marvel at the fortitude that keeps her going.  A wheelchair is her only request. 

A boy arrives supported by his mother as he takes faltering steps.  Later I watch the joy on his face as he pushes a walker down the hall.
Her face is filled with love as she looks at her child.  I see her nod her head in agreement as the speaker touches on the pain and stigma these children and their care-givers face.  How glad I am that she hears the message that her child is not a 'burden' or a 'curse' but a gift to be treasured.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Cathie for these words and photos. X