I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.
I was recently asked about my wife’s participation in the parenting process. I have asked her to write a guest blog, but I have decided to put my two cents in first since this is my blog.
Angie is a great mother and wife. She is the one who finds the necessary resources for our son Tyler. Through our involvement with the Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin (DSAW) http://www.dsaw.org. Angie has been able to be on top of the educational things that Tyler requires. Angie was able to get Tyler in the Birth to 3 Program at Curative in Cudahy. Angie was prepared for the transition from Birth to 3 to early education at JE Jones. Angie was prepared for the IEP (Individual Education Program) process each year. For those who want more information on IEP’s please see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individualized_Education_Program
Throughout these early years, I was just a bystander in the process. I went along as support for Angie and Tyler, but it was Angie who took the lead on these issues.
For 3 or 4 years, Tyler would have constant crying spells, some lasting from 10 minutes to an hour a couple of times a day. Because Tyler is non-verbal, we were not able to truly find out what the problem was. Angie did not accept many doctors response that it was a Down syndrome thing. Tyler had real tears and you could tell he was in pain; it had nothing to do with Down syndrome. Through Angie’s determination she was able to find out that Tyler had chronic constipation. After natural medications, the problem disappeared.
It was Angie who early on thought that Tyler was also autistic. Again, may people attributed his actions to a “Down syndrome thing”. Angie did not just sit back and accept this. Through research, see found the ARCH Medical Center in Franklin http://www.archmedicalcenter.com/. Working together, Angie was able to get the “official” diagnosis of autism. Working with ARCH, Tyler has been on a vitamin therapy and it has really made a difference in his focus. Anybody who deals with autism knows what a challenge this can be.
While watching 60 Minutes, Angie saw a story on how a mother was able to able to get her son to communicate. The HALO Program (Helping Autism through Learning and Outreach) is based in Austin, TX. HALO was also featured in an HBO Special, A Mothers Courage: Talking Back to Autism. Angie was able to get an appointment in this Clinic. We took our family vacation to Austin so Tyler could attend the clinic. He attended 2 daily sessions for 5 days. While attending the classes, we found out that Tyler’s favorite color was blue. It was because of Angie’s dedication that we found this program. Angie and Tyler are actually going to attend a refresher class this Sunday at ARCH. Here is a link to Halo: http://halo-soma.org.
Angie found a SPRED (Special Religious Education) Program in Milwaukee. Tyler has received the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. Here is info on the SPRED Program: http://www.spred.org/
Angie is just as dedicated to our two other kids. Just as I am interested in sports, Angie has interests in the arts. We have taken the kids to see Wicked in Chicago, The Lion King in Milwaukee. Tyler takes drum and percussion lessons, our daughter Madi takes violin and Spencer has interest in guitar.
We seem to work well together on the aspects of parenting. Angie is the brains and I am the brawn.