When people reach the end of their tether, they turn to a variety of places for help : some people confide in their friends or family and others pray to their God but sadly others withdraw into themselves and don’t seek help anywhere, but they spiral down lower and lower. When you have a child with special needs it feels as though you are often in need of help as even when one issue is resolved, it seems another one rears it’s ugly head to bite you on your backside . No wonder there is a patron Saint of Disabled people, Saint Giles, who I had not heard of until recently – probably because Giles is known as the Patron Saint of the Crippled, Beggars and Lepers so he doesn’t sound much like someone that I would turn to these days! But it would be good to think that there was some higher force looking out for Joshua’s interests and who we could turn to. I am glad that In my lifetime ,the handicapped are now referred to as the disabled or as having special educational needs, but previously he would have been described as being crippled!
If he had been born in earlier times, he would certainly not have survived his birth and if by some miracle he did, he would not have been able to live in his community, but he would have been kept away in an asylum, where he would have been left to fester. Nowadays there are special schools to encourage him to reach his potential and to give him some independence skills ,so that he could live in his local community. These days disability is not always understood, but it is not generally feared or regarded as a curse on the parents, a punishment for previous misdemeanours. I am sure that Joshua did not suffer a stroke because of anything that I did wrong, nobody needs to carry that guilt around with them all of their life.
So we have much to be grateful for that Joshua was born in 2001 and I am going to keep Saint Giles up my sleeve in case I need his help in the future 😉