How thrilled we were when I gave birth to my beautiful son in 1973, a little playmate for my 3 year old daughter! As the months went by, we became aware that his very easy going demeanour and his inability to make babbling sounds were becoming issues of concern to us. Finally, after convincing our pediatrician to have him tested by a neurologist, we got the verdict that no parent wants to hear ….. our sweet son was indeed severely intellectually disabled and also had a seizure disorder that would prove difficult to treat.
Coming to terms with that diagnosis took some time. We had to accept the fact that all our hopes and dreams for our son’s future would now be severely compromised, but I was determined to devote my life to his care, happiness and protection. In fact, my mantra foolishly was …. I would live to be 120, he would live to 90, and then we would “go” together. I simply could not imagine any other option. It was a challenge every day to care for his many needs but I was resolved to do so.
But then, as they say, life and reality got in the way. My son was approaching 32 years of age and had been hospitalized numerous times because of his seizure disorder. One of the medications he was given to help stop the seizures caused his personality to change. He became fearful of everything around him, even affecting his ability to sleep! I also had my own health issues at the time but did very little to address them.
My daughter, in her wisdom, after observing the situation, knew she had to intervene so that I could get some much needed respite. Without my knowledge, she began to do research to see if a Jewish home existed that could meet the needs of her brother as well as my own.
Enter Treiser Maison Shalom
When she went to visit the home, her eyes filled with tears seeing the expert care, kindness, and love the clients received from the staff. This was the home she could envision her little brother living in!
It took some time, but she eventually managed to convince me to let him sleep over for one night……. which became 1 weekend …….which gradually became HIS new home …… away from home. I was witnessing a miracle in the works!
Fast forward to the present
My son has now been living at Treiser Maison Shalom for 8 years. I never in my wildest dreams thought that my son and I could separate from each other and that he would be ok. In fact, he is more than ok. He is thriving. All his needs are being met beautifully by the caring and devoted staff and I finally ” have a life” as well. Little did I know at the time that I would recently be faced with a life threatening illness requiring a long hospitalization etc.
What would I have done without Treiser Maison Shalom? It’s too scary for me to even think about it!