Special needs parents become accustomed to being their child’s primary caregiver. After all, no one knows them better than us. We are the ones who have been there for them every strep of the way. Every doctor’s appointment and new diagnosis, every hospital stay and medical procedure, every illness nurturing them back to health, every late night meltdown and every miraculous moment they overcame an obstacle put in their way.
As our children get older and become ready for their next transitional step, whether it be starting preschool, mainstream school or attending a medical daycare facility, it never gets any easier as a parent to give up more of our caregiving role and put our children in the hands of someone else. However, this is a necessary step and important for the development of the child and the relationship they have with their parents and the outside world.
Last week marked the start of a new chapter for our almost six-year-old daughter, Alyssa, and our entire family. Alyssa will now be attending a daycare facility for medically fragile children called PediaTrust in Columbus, MS. She gets picked up from school and transported to the center, where she spends the remainder of the afternoon until they bring her home. At the center she receives therapy, works with a special education teacher during a designated time, participates in group activities such as arts and crafts, story time and music therapy. She also gets one tube feeding during lunch time while she is there.