Authored by Patricia Stroh
A loving family's struggle with developmental disabilities and a dysfunctional education system.
As I drove down the thruway the day of the appointment, I did all that I could to distract myself from any sense of reality. Derek and I sang silly songs ... My son was the most precious thing in my universe and that was how it was going to stay.
I began counting all of our visits to doctors during the past five years, trying to come to terms with Derek's disabilities.
We'd trusted the opinions of doctors all these years. It only took ten minutes to come up with a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. Driving home, I started to cry. Derek reached over, patted my arm, and said, "It's okay, Mommy."
I looked at him, shook my head, and said, "I know, Derek, everything fine."
"What was she talking about? What do I have now?"
I thought for a minute and said, "Derek, as far as I'm concerned you suffer from what we will call the ABCDEFG disorder from now on."
"Let's face it kiddo. It doesn't matter what it is. CP, ADHD, ADD, or PD, you're a good person. We both know that you're smarter than everyone thinks and this doctor says you're moving on."
About the author:
Pat Stroh entered un-chartered waters when she was encouraged to write a memoir characterizing her son, the trials and tribulations of raising a child with special needs, and the people who were entrusted with his care. To date, her most prolific work has been that of an advocate for her son.
After decades of living in the Catskill Mountains of New York, she and her husband pulled up roots and now reside in New Bern, NC.