Sidney and Deidre Warner
Age of parents:
43 and 37
Age: 4 Years and 3 months
Is this your only child?
No, he has an older sister, Caitlin (7 years old)
Diagnosis of child:
Apraxia/Dyspraxia, a speech and motor planning disorder.
What are the biggest challenges facing your child on a daily basis?
Evan’s communication has never been age appropriate. In addition to this, he struggles with sensory issues.
What are the happiest moments you have with your child on a daily basis
Overall Evan is a very happy child. He wakes up with a smile in the morning. I then make a point of spending a bit of time with him and fussing over him.
Are you married?
Has your special needs child had an effect on your marriage?
I would not say so. We’ve always known what our roles are in our relationship. It now just means that those roles need to be even more defined. My role, for example is liaison with therapists, specialists and school. That means my husband plays a bigger role in the upkeep of our household.
What has your child taught you about yourself, both positively and negatively?
I would say that he has taught me more positive than negative things about myself.
Postively: I generally do not have a lot of patience and I tend to want to plan everything to the n-th degree and far ahead. Evan has taught me some patience. I have realised that with him, we need to take it one day at a time and try not to worry about things in the distant future too much, but rather to concentrate on what needs to be done in the present to ensure a better future. He has also taught me to let go and share the reins with the team of therapists, teachers and tutors who are treating / teaching him. Because of Evan, I’ve realised that there is a need for me to use the skills that I have to make a difference in South Africa by raising awareness about the condition.
Negatively: I now have much less time on my hands than before. Having a fulltime job, raising awareness about Apraxia, overseeing our household, absorbing all there is to absorb about Apraxia/Dyspraxia, how to assist my son and being involved at our church, leave little time for relaxation. I sometimes feel extremely exhausted, but I would not have it any other way.
Do you take time out, if so what do you do to relax?
Yes, I do. My husband and I make a point of having breakfast together at least once a month. We are fortunate in that we have a few options for baby sitters (our parents, my mom’s sister, my siblings, my cousin, my parents’ neighbours and my daughter’s nanny) for our children. All of them have been involved in our children’s lives since their birth, so we feel quite comfortable leaving our children with them. Once a year, my sister and I with our female cousins go for a ladies weekend away and spend the weekend getting massages and relaxing.
What has made the biggest difference to your child’s quality of life?
The occupational and speech therapy that he has received has made the most difference in Evan’s life. We are very grateful to his team of therapists/specialists that have been advising us and treating him since his diagnosis. We are also extremely grateful to his crèche teachers who have always included him and are willing to work with the therapists to ensure that he progresses.
What is your dream for your child?
I dream that he will be self-sufficient and live a full and happy life, the same dream that I have for my daughter.