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When They Grow Up: Caring for My Special Needs Daughter as an Adult

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My special needs daughter has taught me compassion. Her diagnosis of deafness and autism has been what defined our relationship for the last two decades. Completing three academic degrees including one from Yale, while raising her, meant sacrifice. As parents, the mundane tasks end for some after their child gains a certain level of independence.

However, it has never really ended for us. As I consider her future and the pathway forward, I am moved to compassion, empathy and patience. Certain regressive behaviors have become challenging, and I hope I can ignite the passion to look at the upcoming school year with fresh eyes.

When I started this journey nearly 21 years ago, I never knew it would entail so many ups and downs, twists and turns. This year, I decided to take my daughter away overnight. Because of the limited travel options based, it was important that we stay close to home. Nothing could have prepared us for the beautiful accommodations we received at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.

My daughter Taylor was overjoyed to have a beautiful makeover, sit by the pool, and experience dinner the night of her birthday at their amazing restaurant.

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Taking her for a mommy and daughter adventure helped me usher her into adulthood. Serving her for two days, without her siblings, gave me the opportunity to see her as an adult, and make the crossover for our relationship much more deliberate. Parenting an adult child with developmental delays is challenging while raising 3 typical children 6 and under. This weekend was much needed for the both of us, and provided an avenue into maturity and adulthood that we both needed.

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