Today in Toombow Kids, Séverine V. will tell us about her daily life as the mother of a disabled child. Severine is a 41 year old housewife and mother of 3 children: Ethan (soon to be 10), Erwan (12) and Kilian (17). When Ethan was barely 6 months old, Severine noticed that something was wrong.
“He didn’t sit the same as my other children at the same age, he seemed to lack strength. Also, he could sit for hours on cushions without moving. That alerted me right away,” she says.
After taking her son to many specialists, it became clear that Ethan had suffered a stroke. Ethan suffers from hypotrophy, a delay in the growth of his body, causing him to suffer from insufficient development of his muscles and brain. When Ethan entered kindergarten, Severine told his teacher that she wanted to enroll him in a special school, but she still faced an obstacle.
“At school, they didn’t believe me when I said Ethan needed special help. They told me he would just need an AVS (a person who can help someone with a disability) when he had a lot of difficulties. But fortunately, because I insisted, I was able to get him into a special school. He is very happy there, he has made lots of friends and has progressed a lot,” she says sounding relieved.
When Severine was asked for advice to give to parents of children with the same disability as Ethan, she gave a strong message:
“Above all, never give up! You have to persevere, not let yourself go, and fight for your child. Look, if I had listened to most of the doctors, there was no point in me struggling to work on Ethan’s motor skills, because according to them, he would never walk. Yet, thanks to the efforts of my son, physiotherapists and specialists, he can run now! Today, I am proud that his pediatrician is using him as an example for his patients who are losing hope. My son is a fighter, I have to be like him to be able to accompany him, and you too must have this mentality!”
Severine concludes by saying that there should be mandatory training for all teachers to prepare them to welcome disabled children because unfortunately in France, they still suffer too much discrimination. For things to change, let’s all be benevolent like Ethan and his mother!