Alana + Aiden: Life with Cerebral Palsy
I am so pumped for this blog post!
Today is the first ever interview we are doing, Remember, please be kind and loving. This is a space for love and unconditional support.
So if you read the introduction post to my new Interview series (which, if you haven’t COME ON AND GO READ IT NOW) you would know that I talked about my old friend from high school, Alana Holloway and her son Aiden. She basically sparked my thoughts and questions which brought me to creating this whole segment on my blog. So, needless to say I HAD to interview her!
Alana and Aiden!
I am still working on how I want the layout of these interviews to go, so they may change overtime. But for this interview I wanted to show you guys the question/answer process so you can feel like you are having a conversation with Alana and getting to know her. All of these answers are directly from Alana, that way you could get to know her better from her perspective as opposed to me rewording her responses and putting them into a blog format.
1. Tell us about yourself!
Hello, my name is Alana Holloway. I was raised in Aliso Viejo but am currently living in Lake Elsinore. My favorite hobbies would be singing, making Minnie Mouse ears (although I haven’t done so for quite a while) and just spending time with my family. I am currently just a stay-at-home mom, however that is a 24/7 job. I am currently going to school to get my degree in Physical Therapy.
2. Tell us about your family.
I am the oldest child of six kids. I currently live at home with my parents and three of my younger sisters, who have been a major support system. I have one child named Aiden who is my world! As a family we try to do simple things together like going out for lunch or dinner, or anything really that is appropriate to take a 2-year-old to do.
3. Tell us about Aiden.
Aiden has been diagnosed with Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and developmental delays. Although he has this diagnosis, he is still the sweetest and most caring little guy you will ever meet. He is constantly laughing about anything and everything. Although he can’t walk or even crawl, he still tries to be active. He loves playing with toys that make any kind of noise, mostly rattles.
4. When and how was Aiden diagnosed?
Aiden was basically diagnosed at birth. They weren’t exactly sure if it would happen or not but told me to keep the thought in the back of my mind. He was officially diagnosed when he was about 1 year old. He was diagnosed by his Neurologist and his Orthopedist. The lack of oxygen to the brain initially led up to the diagnosis when he was born, but as he got older the signs were all there. He wasn’t walking, rolling over, he hardly used his hands, he had muscle spasms, he couldn’t (and still can’t) hold his own head up, and he had/has poor muscle control.
5. What were your initial thoughts/questions after Aiden was diagnosed?
My biggest concern was trying to figure out how I would handle this on my own since his father isn’t in the picture. I was worried I would fail and wouldn’t be able to care for him the way he needed me to. I have learned that a lot of support, from not only family but from his doctors as well, goes a long way. Talking to a social worker also helped me figure out what services were available for Aiden and me.
6. What are some obstacles Aiden faces?
Some obstacles would be him not being able to be around children his own age. He is also not able to walk or talk which limits his ability to play with other children. He can’t do anything for himself, and it is very clear he gets frustrated for not being able to do certain things that a child his age would normally be able to do.
7. How does this affect your daily life?
This affects my daily life because it causes me to be unable to work. Aiden needs basically 24/7 care and hiring a babysitter or putting him in a daycare would be extremely expensive because he is special needs. He is on various medications and they all need to be taken exactly at the same time every day, and he cannot miss any dosages which could happen if he was in a daycare.
8. What do you wish other people knew about Aiden?
It can be very difficult to explain to family and friends my child’s diagnosis. When I tell them the diagnosis they have a million questions, which is perfectly normal; however it does get exhausting re-explaining everything.
9. How could friends and family be more supportive?
The one thing I think everyone can do to be supportive would be to check in on Aiden and me once in a while. I have my family home with me, so they know everything that is going on but sometimes I feel alone or as if no one really cares.
10. What do YOU need? (Mamas are so often forgotten about so it’s so important to ask this question.).
The one thing I need the most would probably be a good support group. It would be extremely helpful to hear from other parents who are experiencing the same things that I am when it comes to Aiden’s diagnosis, and get advice on how to cope with it as much as possible.
11. Closing thoughts, or just anything else you’d like to add?
The one thing I would like to add would be don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many moms want to figure out everything on their own, which is totally fine, but a little extra help could never hurt. Also try to make time for yourself. Having a child with special needs can cause you to forget about yourself.
12. How can people reach out to you?
I have many ways that I can be reached by.
My Instagram is alana_renay, my email is email@example.com and my Facebook is Alana Holloway.
Again, Alana, thank you so much for letting me interview you! I loved seeing a tiny glimpse into your life, and hopefully other moms can learn a thing or two from hearing your story. I definitely did!
If you would like to be interviewed please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to me on my Instagram which is lilylburton. I want my blog to be a platform for moms of all walks of life so we can all learn and grow with one another.