gabe's care mapIf it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a whole army to raise a special needs child. As any parent of a special needs child will tell you, there's just no way you can do it all on your own. You need a complex web of support. In fact, that web can be so complex, one mom of a special needs child actually sat down and diagrammed it all out for her family.

Cristin Lind posted "Gabe's Care Map" on her blog, Durga's Toolbox. And it's mind-boggling. Her son, Gabe, has a rare genetic disorder called Coffin-Lowry syndrome. And as you can see just from a glance at his care map, making sure Gabe gets the care he needs is one monumentally chaotic task.

That's why Cristin named her blog after Durga. She calls the Hindu goddess her patron saint because Durga fights chaos. After Gabe was born and the Linds began to realize the severity of his disorder, Cristin had to sell her business so she could focus full-time on managing Gabe's care -- managing the chaos.

Now Cristin works part-time as a health advocate for families of special needs children. She created the map when she was preparing to speak at a meeting of doctors about the complexities of caring for a special needs child. But the map helped her, personally. She says when she started showing doctors Gabe's care map, "It felt as if they treated me with more respect when they could see how many balls I was juggling." She's gone on to help other mothers create their own care maps -- to help their respective teams support them better, but also so they can understand their own lives more clearly. "Sometimes you can't see your own life until you step away and look," Cristin says.

gabe's care map

What would your child's care map look like?

 

Image courtesy of Cristin Lind via Durga's Toolbox