Welcome to the Island

There's a famous poem that circulates often within the special needs community called "Welcome to Holland". Many of our families find solace in that poem, and many do not, and a few have created their own.

Here's Nick Burton's version, "Welcome to the Island".

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip—to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. Michaelangelo’s David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting. After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, in midair, a hole opens in the plane's fuselage and you and your spouse are ripped out.

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A new diagnosis, a new treatment

Seizures have been a concern for much of Lucy’s life.

Initially, she was weaned off seizure medication before her first birthday when the seizures she had in the NICU hadn’t returned. That was until one day when then-two-year-old Lucy woke up and her parents knew something wasn’t right, later learning the seizures had returned.

In the three years since, the concern about seizures has always been present. But late last year, the need to do something became incredibly important.

 

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Teaching the world to sign

Thinking of her brother getting frustrated when others couldn’t understand him led a teen in the UK to start her own movement to promote knowledge of sign language.

Jade’s little brother, Christian, uses sign language to communicate, and is continuing to build his vocabulary.

 

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The color gray

Watching her daughter on stage, reciting a poem she wrote, is a memory Karla Contreras will never forget.

Karla was surprised when she learned her 8-year-old daughter Elisa, who suffered HIE at birth, would be sharing a poem at her school's poetry slam. But as soon as she got the note from her daughter's teacher, Karla knew she wouldn't miss it.

 

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Giving herself a gift

By Jamie Wyatt

When Cooper was born I was a mess and everything was so baby/NICU focused I realized I was neglecting myself greatly.

When I got some particularly concerning news one day, I went in to an anxious despair. I wallowed in it for about 24 hours then I gave myself a gift; I’m a very visual person so I visualized a beautifully wrapped square box.

 

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