I would go to sleep at night listening to Mrs. Vizcarrondo's many daily parenting stories of raising children with disabilities. Like the ones she shared from when she woke up in the middle of the night to realize that one of her children was nowhere to be found. As years has gone by, she has done her best to outsmart her children's abilities to mastermind their way out of the home and to the outside adventures. With special door locks, child locks on the windows, alarms, and even ankle trackers, some how still find their way out. Each time she goes out to look for one of the children or to take them out to enjoy their environment, Mrs. Viscarrondo endures the criticism, judgments and mockery of spectators who do not realize the needs of these children.
She has share the many fears she has for her children as she loves them deeply and wants to provide them with the normal and very best life possible. It is summer and she makes the decision to allow her children to attend summer camp intended for children with disabilities. The morning is an adventure as her children must have their sandwich with a specific shape, no one can leave sight of their plates because one of the children is obsessed over meat and in no time, everyone's meat will be gone.
The "baby" has a big smile because its the day he gets to go to the pool and out to the summer camp. Later she gets the news that her child was found face down in the water unresponsive. It took several minutes of CPR but nothing. With fear of what to expect, she goes to the hospital just to show strong she is for her boys. The entire incident is under investigation but now Mrs. Viscarrondo has to travel back and forth from the hospital to her home to check on all of her children. This is all unexpected gas money. She must ensure that whomever she allows to stay home with her children has everything they need to care for them (ie. food, clean clothes, entertainment, etc...) as well as a stipend for the babysitter. It is unknown how long this 5 year old will remain in the hospital or what will be next now that he has opened his eyes.
Mrs. Viscarrondo now worries about the first day of school for her children. The 1st day of school is around the corner and with one of her children in the hospital, this has taken a very difficult turn on the family's financial needs. While having all of this to worry about, she continues to do everything she can to inform and/or educate everyone around her of the demands of parenting 4 children with autism. Many are in desperate need of trainings regarding autism including, school staff, emergency response workers, social workers, etc...
The Viscarrondo family has received an overwhelming amount of emotional support from the community and the many prayers have shown how miracles still happen. Now we must show the Viscarrondo family that we understand how expensive it can be when having a loved one in the hospital while also needing to care for her children at home. Let's help with anything we can as every little bit counts.
- Artemis Joukowsky
- Justin Ayala
Organizer and beneficiary
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