Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility From denial to empowerment

From denial to empowerment

From Denial To Empowerment

From denial to empowerment

Written by a. Kholoud Al Amoudi

Psychologist and mother of two girls with disabilities

When talking about the world of motherhood, experiences vary, experiences are mixed, and personal experience always comes into play. There is nothing wrong with motherhood, as motherhood is one of the most special experiences a woman experiences that she lives with all her conscience and being. These experiences vary depending on the children and their personalities.

Having a child with special needs is not an easy thing to accept or understand. We may experience shock for a period, followed by denial, then acceptance. An experience I went through in my life was and still is the reason for refining my personality and is the reason I am the strong person I am today.

After my first child was diagnosed with a cerebral artery complication, It was like a lightning bolt of news. I was thinking about how I could bear this responsibility on my shoulders. My daughter was two years old at the time and suffered from severe weakness in movement. At that time, I was looking for clinics, centers, and places that would help me develop and enhance my abilities. I would visit some clinics in hospitals, and then I went to care homes and rehabilitation centers. At that time, I did not have experience with what my child needed in order to develop and advance. I was looking for a glimmer of hope that would help her be closer to a normal child and be able to live her life.

Then she gave birth to another girl who suffered from a lack of white matter in the brain, which affects the body’s muscles and skills. She then decided to enroll the two girls in rehabilitation centers to help them develop their motor and language skills.

During the research period, I was surprised by the centers’ lack of capabilities and lack of readiness, and here was the shock. My eldest child was beaten in one of the centres. This group is more likely to be exposed to physical, psychological, and even verbal harm.

My psychological state deteriorated for a while. I needed guidance at that time and knowledge of ways to deal with the two girls. I read and researched a lot about ways to train and rehabilitate them, but I did not know how to apply strategies and ways to deal with their needs and requirements. I couldn’t handle the tantrums and rejection.

Those years were among the worst years of my life, as my social life was cut off due to my lack of knowledge of how to deal with them. I could not bear the looks of surprise or pity when I was with them. It was very difficult to bear this responsibility alone.

Hence the beginning of my story with the decision to complete my university studies and develop myself to help them face life.

I graduated from university and decided to work hard on myself. I trained in many centers, and during the training period I tried to apply what I learned.

I then obtained a professional classification and decided to work in a place where I could be present with them because of my fear of these positions. From here I started trying to find a place, I actually found a suitable position and worked for a year. The staff was specialized, the administration followed up on cases well, and my greatest concern was for the place to be as honest as possible.

Then I decided to register the two girls with me in the same place. The place helped me a lot to develop myself and my abilities and to develop my children and their skills.

At that time, the training methods were very simple, but they took a lot of effort to implement, but I saw the simplest development in skill as a major achievement in their lives. Their health and mental condition was considered severe, and development and progress were very slow. My eldest daughter began to improve in movement and interaction, and my other daughter also began to improve. I was very happy with the development, After that, I regained my strength and confidence to face society.

In that period, the centers were simple and the training methods were based on speech and language, skills training, and problem-based behavior modification and solving. But now science has developed and training methods have become more sophisticated and advanced. Most specialists and departments now carry out professional development.

My work at this facility continued for seven years during which I developed myself professionally. Helping the development of the two girls in terms of language and developing daily life skills, The main motive was to provide support and assistance to the two girls.

From this standpoint, this was a great motivation for me to guide and help any mother in need of support and psychological assistance, because I feel the suffering of every mother. I devoted myself to this work, striving to be a part of the development and improvement of their children with disabilities. I was and still am trying to support mothers, and because I was at a stage in need of support and guidance, I try to be more understanding of families who need help or acceptance.

I presented many workshops and lectures to support families and know their psychological needs. And dealing with the psychological pressures that every mother of a child with a disability experiences.

I continue to provide support to every mother and child, and at the present time we need more than ever awareness and information and a qualitative shift in the way we deal with this group and take into account their needs. And highlighting all aspects of enhancing the protection of their rights in society.

Now I am working hard to obtain my QASP Autism Supervisor License. To help me develop myself, support families, and educate the community.