I would like to introduce everyone to my youngest daughter, Jaelyn. Jaelyn is 4 years old and loves music, watching cartoons on YouTube, and Mickey Mouse. She's very bossy ( as all four year olds are!) and has her Dad wrapped around her finger.
At first glance, Jaelyn looks as normal as a toddler can get.
But Jaelyn can't talk, or walk as "normal" toddlers can. And that's because Jaelyn has Retts Syndrome.
Jaelyn was born October 26th, 2012 in Savannah, Georgia. Everything was "normal"- until Mother's Day the next year, when she stopped doing things a 6 month old was supposed to do. After almost a year of testing, Jaelyn was diagnosed with Retts Syndrome; a neurological disorder that effects mosty girls. Even though Jaelyn is nonverbal and non walking due to Retts, she is extremely smart - smart enough that she's exceeded her special need's cirriculum!
Some facts about Retts Syndrome are:
1)Retts Syndrome effects mostly girls and very rarely in boys.
2)Retts Syndrome is rarely inherited - its mostly genetic. The probability of having two children with Retts is very low.
3)The skills mostly effected by Retts is Speech and Gross Motor Skills; like walking and using your hands.
Jaelyn has changed my family's way of thinking and treatment of special needs children. We're very sensitive of the words we say (the word "ret@rded is now banned in our household,) and we've learned that anyone could be special needs, even the ones that don't "look" the part like Jaelyn.
And she also taught us the best lesson of all: That you should love someone no matter what they have or how they look.
HI, I'm Kathy Bowen. I'm a California native but after being married to a now retired soldier I've lived all over the U.S. We finally settled in Atlanta 2 yrs ago. I have 5 beautiful children that keep me busy. Atlanta has such a great history and my family loves to get out on weekends and explore the city. I look forward to meeting you all at our monthly Girls Night Out and hear all about your journeys.