Upon first learning about your child's diagnosis of Spina Bifida, it is natural to become deeply concerned about the disability's impact on your child's quality of life and that of your entire family, so it is heartening to share good news after eleven years of parenting a child with Spina Bifida.
Teadora, my second of two children, enjoys a life that is just as fulfilling as her sister's. They both attend wonderful schools, and their afternoons are full of engaging activities. Teadora takes swim lessons, horseback riding, and religious education and, for the last eight years, she has participated in Dancing Dreams, a wonderful dance program for children with physical and medical disabilities.
Dancing Dreams has consistently been a positive and nurturing experience throughout Teadora's life. Teadora explains:
"My experience with Dancing Dreams has been phenomenal! It is a wonderful organization for kids with various types of physical disabilities. It has impacted my life by making me more independent and open to things. It has also helped me make more friends at school because I have become more talkative and confident. I genuinely look forward to Dancing Dreams dance class each week and am very grateful to be a part of this program!"
Yes, perpetually navigating the world with a wheelchair requires endless innovation, thoughtful planning, and can at times be frustratingly inconvenient. However, Spina Bifida itself truly does not equate to a lesser quality of life for Teadora or our family. It's not the load per se. It's how you carry the load and the support you receive that make all the difference.
Inclusive and positive programs, such as Dancing Dreams, offer that support in what is often an extremely hectic, harried, and sometimes isolating life of a child and family dealing with Spina Bifida. These programs provide the space for the child and family to fully participate, thereby contributing to a life that is rich and full.
We are grateful for such inclusive programs for lightening our load and, for this, look forward to the future with optimism and hope.