These past few days I have been very busy putting the Miss Unstoppable Pageant together (a recap will be posted soon!). One question I was asked a lot this weekend is "are you stressed?". Now I truly believe this question come from the pure kindness of those around me. I have been doing many things the past few months and my friends and family are always making sure I am taken care of. However, after truly thinking about that question, I believe I have a response.
Yes, I am busy...no, I am not stressed.
Stress is being the parent of a child recently diagnosed with an intellectual or developmental disability and not knowing what resources are available.
Stress is trying to understand an IEP and your rights as a parent when it comes to your child's special education.
Stress is knowing that there are not enough government funds available right now to those with disabilities, causing many to continue living without the services and programs they need.
Stress is being known for your disability, not your abilities, in a society that is quick to label and slow to understand.
Stress is being stared at in public simply because you look a little different than others.
Stress is being on the Kancare waiting list for the seventh year in a row now, wondering if you will ever be able to afford the respit care your loved one needs.
Stress is seeing talk of shutting down living communities for those with disabilities that your child is currently a part of, knowing you are aging quickly and will not be able to care for them if they are forced to return home.
There are plenty of stressful situations in this world that we should care about, my busy schedule not being one of them. I am not stressed, I am motivated by those who are. I am determined to advocate for those with disabilities. I am determined to be a resource to parents of individuals with disabilities as they try to understand IEP's, state funding, and disability services.
I am not stressed, I am determined to make a difference.