The pain, struggles, constant tears and heavy heart didn’t start recently or years ago but began when I was 3 years old and my sister was 6. Realizing your only sibling is deaf and mute was one of the biggest shocks in my life. I had no one to talk to, share my thoughts with, or tell my secrets to and knowing she won’t be able to say “I love you” to me was devastating. I realized the Lord didn’t give me a special needs sister He gave me Sony, my sister. She always gave me love, care, and constant protection. We didn’t need to say words to each other. We only needed to look at one another to know how much we loved each other.
In 1999, Sony got married to a man who is deaf and mute like her. In 2004, my nephew Joshua was born, I was overjoyed knowing he was neither deaf nor mute. The happiness in our family was shattered when we noticed, at 3 years old, behavior changes such as consistent temper tantrums, incessant cries, and sounds that bothered him. His lack of focus and concentration made him unable to sit for 5 minutes. Even though, these things were on my mind, I was in denial that my nephew could be a special needs child. Finally, at the age of 6 years old, he was diagnosed on the spectrum, labeled as “ADHD”. The pain, struggles, cries and heavy heart continued throughout the years. Devastating teacher/parent conferences, constant phone calls from his teachers that he was bothersome. The constant battles and hardships at home. There weren’t any school support systems, mentorships courses, and a complete lack of teachers and coaches, to care for him or guide him.
Currently Joshua is 14 years old but reads, spells and writes on a third grade level. Even though maturity for a 14-year-old has not been achieved yet, he has come a long way. He is now able to handle personal situations, He has self-control, and has achieved self-determination. We are still working on behavioral issues, loud voices, maturity and how to make good and bad choices but I have hope and faith that we will be able to overcome everything ahead. All I can do is pray, pray for him to thrive, pray for his success, and pray he will be able to have the best quality of life.
I understand the struggles of family members, parents and teachers of special needs children. Your hardships and pain. I understand there are some good and bad days. Parents are willing to do anything for our children. We will move mountains for them to thrive and have a good and successful life. The reason I started Sharp Minds Academy is one simple overarching mission. I want children with learning differences and special needs to SUCCEED.