Winter 2020

celebratepotential51

Susie Redfern developed Milestones Magazine to help individuals with disabilities and their families achieve and celebrate events and milestones in their lives.

sitting in the audiologist’s office

and her giving us the diagnosis. Our

daughter had severe to profound

hearing loss. The severity and

magnitude of those words didn’t

quite register with me.

“Are you saying she’s deaf?” I had to ask

her. The audiologist responded, “You

could say that, yes.”

I was devastated. I felt as though life, as

I knew it, was over. What would raising

a child with additional needs look like?

Would she be okay? What would happen

to my career? What would people think

of her? Of me? Did I do something to

cause her hearing loss? How would my

older daughter cope with all of this?

I was spiraling, but I knew that somehow,

I had to bounce back and be strong

for Ellie and my family. I had to push

the negativity aside and get through

the fear and uncertainty. The following

principles helped me find my bearings

and get back on track. I’m sharing them

for anyone who’s in a difficult place and

needs a little help finding their way.

Helplessness Gives Way to Courage.

After Ellie’s diagnosis, every

insecurity I had about myself seemed

to fall away. I didn’t have time to

over-analyze my weaknesses

anymore. At once, I was completely

vulnerable, but as I became her

advocate, my strength, fortitude,

and resilience grew.

When the shelter-in-place order

began, I started teaching kids yoga

classes online because I wanted to

provide a way for parents and kids to

connect and stay active. Ellie also had a

positive response to yoga acting

out different animal sounds and

combining language with movement.

This inspired me to use it as a tool to

teach her and other kids with similar

diagnoses. What started out as a

fulfilling passion blossomed into my own

business, Hop Along Yogi Kids Yoga,

something I never dreamed

of or even considered doing, but

overcoming my fears associated

with Ellie’s diagnosis gave me the

confidence and courage to tackle

any challenge thrown my way. I kept

reminding myself that it’s not about

where I’ve been but where I’m

about to go.

Tiny Victories

Create Big Momentum.

When your child has a health issue,

you become hyper aware and hyper

consumed by their progress. Along the

journey, you value mini-milestones,

even more than the great, big milestones.

With Ellie, her first word was

so amazing but the initial babbles, the

learning-to-listen sounds (moo, shhh,

ahhahh) created an even greater sense

of pride because I knew we were on the

right path. We celebrated (and will

continue to celebrate) every tiny victory

because each mini-milestone is the

catalyst to an even greater achievement.

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