Sunday 14 December 2014

Special Needs Children - Angels that walk the Earth

Over the years I have had a fair bit to do with children with special needs and their parents. The sheer love and determination from parents of special needs children, shines though, and parents learn ways to manage different problems they have to overcome.
Years ago as a teenager I used to visit a friends brother in a residential care home for children. My first visit left me feeling sad and overwhelmed. Being a teenager and really thinking mostly about myself, I felt I had enough issues in my own life to deal with, growing up seemed hard enough at the time. So I choose not to go back and visit again. 

Something inside me keep bugging me and months later I returned to the home and my visits become weekly Friday night visits.  My love for these children grew and grew to the point I gave up Happy Hour at work. Remember I was a teenager, happy hour in the middle of town on a Friday night was a ton of fun.  Something inside me gave my night away in order to visit my friends at the home. To me it became a no brainer, get tanked or go and visit some kids that really enjoyed my visit.

Over the time I visited, some of the children passed away. I found that really hard at the age I was at.  I felt lucky that the friend I visited was still with us. I remember we changed our phone number and I rang him up and said “ Can you get a nurse to write down my new phone number” and he said “tell it to me, I will remember it”.  I told it to him, but doubted he would remember it, so I thought never mind, I will write it down on my next visit.
On my next visit I found out that one of the children had passed away, I felt devastated.  One day I went to visit my friend and he wasn’t well and in bed.  I was a bit naive looking back. I got a phone call the following Monday to come in, as my friend was poorly.  I went immediately and when I saw him I was told the news that he only had a few hours to live.  I passed a nurse called Sarah coming out of his room, she was an angel on earth, she walked out crying. I said, “Am I too late ? she said “No, but we are not assisting life anymore, so it wont be long”.

I went into his room, and there he was lying in bed, peacefully. The family was around the bed, the family dog was in the room. I talked to my friend, saying I was there and it was OK to relax. He stared at me for about 15 minutes and then passed away as we all held hands.  I was devastated.
At the funeral the family came and asked me to come and sit up front with them, it was then I began to realise the significance of my visits to him every week. It was also then I was told the story, of how my friend had gone unconscious, then came around and told the family to ring me and tell me to come quickly. His father said, “I don't know how to get hold of Kim, I don't know her number”,  my friend went back into unconsciousness, then he came back too, recited my phone number and told his dad to ring me and to come quickly.  It was then that I realised how significant my visits were, and from there on in, my friend made a massive impact on my life.

From there, I began to become supportive to special needs people and to their families.  Since then I have worked with young and old special needs people. They are a treasure on this earth, they teach us so much, they taught me to be humble and be filled with gratitude for all I have.

After I did my Life Coaching training, I was asked to work with many special needs children, however my passion more was in helping mum and dad. Mum and dad can easily become exhausted and become un-resourceful, so my coaching focus came around resourcing parents to be the best they could be, as I believe parents intuitively know what to do when they have the energy and time to think things through.

To this day, I support parents with special needs children, and I now have four gorgeous children, my second eldest daughters name is Sarah.

Kim McNamara

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