I Will Do Whatever Needs to Be Done For My Kids

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Photos By: Felecia Causey
Written By: Taniqua Clair

Hi, my name is Taniqua Claiborne and I am a parent of two special need kids. Before having my children, I was enrolled in college to pursue my degree in Biology Pre-Med to one day become a doctor.

In 2012 I had my first son Mason LaShawn McCreary, also known as my pride and joy!

Becoming a mother was nothing I had planned however, I wouldn't change it for the world. When Mason was born ,the doctor brought to my attention that he had a small ear deformity but nothing too drastic. Later ,when Mason was only a few weeks old, I found out that this deformity was called microtia- a congenital deformity where the pinna( external ear) is undeveloped. I never heard of this condition nor have I ever seen it but, I was determined to educate myself on microtia. When Mason was only two weeks old, he began to see specialist from what started to only be for his hearing but, it extended to more findings along the way. Parenting a child with a disability was very stressful and still is from time to time this day. As a parent, you never really know how to not feel like whatever went wrong is your fault. Although I experienced many days of sadness due to this, the love for my child was beyond transparent and there was absolutely nothing I wouldn't do for him. One day while doing research on when kids should reach certain milestones, I noticed that Mason wasn’t speaking when he should. I reached out to special services for evaluation and was told that Mason had a severe speech delay but was mastering beyond his age in all other areas. Not sure what to do next , I often sat and wondered why is it that now there's a speech delay and what is next. I enrolled Mason in special services for speech therapy in which he still receives today. From further speech evaluations, Mason was also diagnosed with profound receptive delay and struggled cognitively as well. It was very hard for him sometimes to receive and understand what I'll being told to him or what is being asked of him. Most times when asking him things he would repeat (echolalia) where he should respond to the question. At this point in my life I tried to also re-enroll in a college more local to home because leaving him just wasn’t an option for me. THINKING THIS WOULD WORK , eventually failed because I wasn’t able to truly focus on my work and not knowing that since that point I would stray further and further away from that part of my life. Mason was only a few weeks old when it was requested that he see a variety of specialist from Ear Nose Throat doctors, to audiologist, therapist and Genetics as well just to name a few. While researching different procedures to correct Masons ear, I found a surgeon in California where I've taken Mason three times in the past three years to have his ear corrected. The first year I drove over 2k miles while 8 months pregnant with his dad for this surgery procedure. The following year in 2016 I flew just Mason and I and then Masons last surgery took place early January of this year ( I drove that time as well ). Everything seem to began to become more stressful and a total overload for both me and Mason. During a genetic evaluation , we discovered that Mason has two chromosome deletions . One deletion affection his bloodstream meanwhile the other affecting multiple parts from speech to behavior to even learning- autism and severe processing disorder. More diagnosis brings more doctors, more doctors bring more test more blood work more pain and more trouble in Masons life. THE FIGHT CONTINUES- No matter what Mason was faced with, I didn’t stop working on his behalf. I taught Mason everything before school because I didn’t want him to be behind and actually he knows more than most of the average person in his class. Many days and nights we had a lot of one on one learning from flash cards to learning in song to posters that you'll find in a classroom setting.

I totally became an advocate for my child and where doctors would tell me no or say things are more than what they seem I myself would stay up hours researching finding answers and trying to piece together this mysterious puzzle of my child life. Being this dedicated to the needs of my child made finding work very difficult. Keeping a job wasn’t going that well because of the time availability I would have or the days I would need off for appointments and etc. As the years go by I find myself wondering if I will ever get back to me and have the opportunity to complete the goals I once set for myself.

In 2015, I had my second son named Roman Alexander Cole McCreary ,who has such a big personality for the age of 1.

Roman also share one chromosome deletion like his brother Mason but only one not two. Now my life is hectic without a doubt because I`m always on the go to and from appointments or meetings and etc. Even though I have a full plate, ,my babies are with me at all times. I`m never one to complain or say I need a break or etc like other parents do who have practically normal children. I am a parent first, a best friend second but I'll always put my children and their needs first until the day I take my last breath on this Earth! Until that day comes, I plan to continue to do whatever needs to be done for the sake of my children and hopefully one day I will be able to get back to school and making more goals and great memories with the two most important people in my life! I THANK YOU so much for the opportunity to share my story with you and others!

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