Bianca E., Heeze-Leende Netherlands
These stories are not mine. They are the stories different moms told me when they were asking for help. There is a mom who was in a large shelter. Her child was constantly screaming because of the chaos and noise around him. Other refugees were harassing her about her kid behaving badly. He was bullied and beaten. She couldn’t even leave because there was a Covid breakout.
There was a mom worried sick. Her son stopped eating and drinking completely. Autistic children can be really picky eaters. Sometime they can only eat a specific variety of a specific brand, cooked in a specific way and served on a familiar plate. And there you are, being served bread for lunch. Her son just couldn’t eat or drink for over 3 days.
Many moms are desperate to get professional help and education. It takes most towns up to two month to arrange regular school. Only after that there is time for the special needs children.
But doctors ask for IQ, school results. Sometimes all they have is a picture of a medical file. They need to get it translated, try explain the individual needs of their child. Find out rules and protocols. They are all alone in this. And they are so exhausted.
Imagine having to flee out of occupied territory. With a child that is about to have a meltdown. And you still have to pass 14 checkpoints…
Then travel 14 hours in overcrowded public transportation. Holding on to their little hand like your life depends on it. Because it does! One moment of letting your attention slip and your child can be gone. Sometimes the moms haven’t slept in 3 days when they arrive. They can’t wait months to get help.
Many moms say they worked for years to finally see some development in their child. Small steps but they are what gives them hope. To see this result go down the drain in a few weeks is devastating to them.