Wednesday, June 8, 2011
For those of you who are regular readers, you're most likely aware that Mike and I have two children with special needs. 4 of 8 is hearing impaired due to a sensorineural loss call Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct and 7 of 8 experienced an ischemic neonatal stroke at birth and has been in physical and occupational therapy for the last three years.
I've spent a lot of time over the past decade in waiting rooms, therapy meetings, and doctor visits. From early on in this journey, I have always been so struck with the beauty of parents who advocate and coach and fight for their kids. And I've also been appalled at the financial challenges parents of kids with special needs face. Even with good insurance, by the time co-pays and deductibles have been met and medical devices and medications have been purchased, any discretionary income is usually shot. There are many, many parents out there who make 'too much' to qualify for certain medical relief programs, but use every drop of income to meet the needs of their kids. There is no room left over in the budget for their children to explore the arts, for mom and dad to have a date night or for any specialized tutoring.
It's bothered me.
It's bothered me for a long time.
And I dreamed of being able to do something about it, bringing opportunities in the arts for these kids and some 'me' time for these amazing moms and dads.
That dream is starting to come true.
Through the generosity of donors, we've launched the non-profit Legacy of Hope Austin, an organization dedicated to serving families with special needs in the greater Austin, Texas area.
I'm still having to pinch myself.
We are presently offering three programs, 2dance2dream, a dance program specifically designed for children with special needs, 2night2dream, a respite care program so that mom and dad can have some time out, and 2learn2dream, a tutoring program for children with learning differences. I'd love for you to visit the website and learn more about our organization. (Click here to learn more!)
And please, please, if you or someone you know in this region could benefit from these programs, please send them our way!
I'm still dreaming. I would love to be able to offer these programs across our state...and then our southwest region...and then from coast to coast. And I'd love to add a couple more programs to what we presently offer. I'm still dreaming.
And I hope this will allow other families with special needs to dream a little too.