Raising children can be joyful, rewarding, frustrating and downright difficult...and that could be during the course of a single, good day! Being a parent can be intimidating as well as humiliating, challenging every fiber of one's being! Imagine raising a child or giving care for an adult who is born with "special needs"! Everyone concerned can be or is caught completely off guard and the future may seem unpredictable, uncertain and possibly unstable. Parents, siblings, family members could feel an overwhelming sense of guilt, deer-in-headlights, questioning their own intestinal fortitude. How does one handle or sail successfully through these new and uncharted waters, for their child or adult with special needs?
"When Down Looks Up" debut author, Karen E Donahue, chronicles her journey through the many missteps, mistakes, pitfalls, of one such experience, unknowingly about to give birth to a child with Down Syndrome, while simultaneously breaking up with her husband! Karen was only twenty-four at the time. Married, as a navy wife for six years, having had two other children, she felt the weight of all the world landing solely and unfairly on her shoulders!
Through the years, Karen kept some semblance of faith and hope, attempting to successfully navigate this journey, determined to fulfill some measure of success for her family. Resurrecting these candid, somewhat painful memories in literary form, Karen is hoping each reader (whether parent, teacher or medical professional) turning these pages will be more enlightened, hopeful, sensitive and empowered. Glean from these pages, how BEST to move forward by reading her personal experiences and avoiding similar, emotionally caustic, mentally exhaustive mistakes!
It is time to start or continue the conversation in raising awareness and advocacy for those born with Special Needs and that conversation begins with "When Down Looks Up"