Our Special Lives – Annabel

Our Special Lives – Annabel

CaféMom introduces the YouTube series Our Special Lives. Each episode features a different family with a special needs child and we’re able to take a look into their lives, their challenges and their joys.

In this week’s episode you will meet Annabel, her brother Issac and her parents Sarah and Mike. Annabel was diagnosed with Isodicentric 15, which is a chromosome abnormality in which the 15th chromosome has a partial duplication. As a result, Annabel has mild to moderate autism. Other manifestations associated with Isodicentric 15 are seizures (which Annabel does not suffer), delays in language development, motor skills, and low muscle tone.

“The second you find out you’re pregnant you have all these dreams and when you receive a diagnosis those dreams go away and you have to mourn them,” says Sarah. “You have to let them go. But once you get past that mourning period you realize that there’s a whole other world of possibilities and hope.”

Annabel started occupational and physical therapy at fifteen months old. She worked on “everything from trying to get her to walk and crawl to getting her to develop the pincher grasp and pick up blueberries and cheerios, things that come naturally to most kids.”

When she was 2 ½ Annabel started hippopotherapy. “The idea is, when you sit on a horse, your pelvis and your body moves the way that it does when you walk because the horse’s gait helps your body, teaching your body muscle memory,” explains Sarah. “Whether or not it was coincidence or cause and effect, she started walking a month after she started,” she adds.

“I never knew the depth of how patient I could be until I had Annabel,” Sarah tells us. “Parents of special needs kids, we have the same experiences, but they’re just much more magnified, and much more heightened when you’re parenting a special needs kids. The highs are higher, the lows are lower, the rollercoasters are a lot faster. Everything is just more.”

About CafeMom Studios
CafeMom Studios (www.youtube.com/CafeMomStudios) is a lifestyle network for today’s digital generation of moms that recognizes that motherhood isn’t all about parenting, but becoming a mom does change your perspective. CafeMom Studios offers a broad array of original content that transports viewers into the lives of compelling moms. The programming is entertaining and authentic, revealing the wonder and diversity of motherhood.

About CafeMom
CafeMom is the leading media company for moms, reaching an audience of more than 20MM across our properties (comScore, July 2012), which include CafeMom.com, MamásLatinas.com, CafeMom Studios, and the CafeMom Plus Network. CafeMom is the leader in developing custom programs for top brands, making it the premier strategic marketing partner to brands that want to reach moms in a rapidly changing digital environment. CafeMom lead investors are Highland Capital Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. The company was founded by Andrew Shue and Michael Sanchez.

About Author