I am a mom – I, like every single mom that I know, take that responsibility hugely seriously.
I have 4 kids. My oldest, D, is neurologically impaired; he had had a brain tumor – 3 surgeries and a spinal tumor and a stroke in one of his surgeries. I am NOT writing/ blogging to tell you his story. I am writing to tell you my story as his mom. I am his voice, I am his advocate, I am the responsible person here for him. He is now 24 years old. I’ve been what I term ‘swimming upstream’ all the years of his life- When he was young, even those that loved me and loved him, just didn’t or couldn’t understand or cope or embrace the realities of my son D.
The message that I want to get across is that at every turn there seemed to be a brick wall – school, family life, friends, medical interventions, government benefits, legalities regarding guardianship – on and on and on— NEVER for a mom of a child with special needs is there more than one little moment where you can sit back and say ‘AHHH! It is all in place and working! ‘ We are in a constant state of being ready, being on alert, being ready to enter into a struggle!.
I’m here to say, and many of you will have read many writings of mine over time, keep pushing. keep plowing: You are the mom. I sleep well at night grateful for my fortitude, for my smarts and for my ability to never give up. Every time I believe a brick wall is completely in front of my face with not an inch to turn in any direction, a new path reveals itself for me to go down in order to advocate for my son— It is a hard road- I am my son’s voice, he relies on me whether he or anyone else appreciates the extent or not, I don’t care. I put my heart and my entire self out to make his life the best it can be. Don’t give up, don’t be discouraged, and if you have to go it alone like I had to in so many ways, find a friend, an institution, an organization, a special mom’s group. For ever in my life I will be proud of myself and all that I have had to accomplish for my son – with obstacle upon obstacle in my way — remember there is always a higher authority; a lawyer, a congressman, your governor. Keep pushing up the chain as far as you need to go – I know emotionally it is so exhausting – but so rewarding to see your child be the best he can be BECAUSE OF YOU AND YOUR EFFORTS, your love, your concern, your perseverance. <3
Amy Lieberman, mom of 4 – I have a master’s in International Management but my education and career accomplishments are NOT what defines me – Being the best mom that I can be is what defines me. I’ve changed careers – I’ve attended LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities) training program and COPAA (Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates ) Special Education Advocate Training (SEAT). I am an on- the- ground advocate helping by being intelligent, experienced, diplomatic, kind and most of all by having heart.