“When we first saw our boys in their cute matching red and white striped jumpers we felt an overwhelming connection. Social workers told us the boys had some developmental delay but we weren’t too sure what to expect.”
Learning your child has a disability can be a cause for huge concern, and at some points, be both physically and mentally exhausting. It is common for parents to feel alone and isolated from the rest of the world, so read on to find out how one couple developed the Diffability podcast to create a community of support.
Michael and Paul Atwal-Brice decided to adopt after working with Barnsley Council’s fostering service to provide short-term care for over 20 children. The couple had been together for 20 years and were looking forward to raising children of their own. They fell in love with twins Levi and Lucas, now 16 years-old, but were told the boys had some developmental delays.
There are almost 56,000 foster families in the UK that make a difference to children’s lives every day; and Paul and Michael do too.? The couple say being foster carers is the most rewarding role they have ever had. ?#FCF22 #FosteringCommunities
— The Fostering Network (@fosteringnet) May 12, 2022
“At two years old, the boys were still using baby bottles and were terrified in the bath. We had several appointments with a paediatric occupational therapist who assessed their speech and concluded after several appointments that they were severely autistic. He told us that they would need life-long support and care. It was earth-shattering. We didn’t know if they could ever have friends or be a part of everyday life,” Michael said.
A year later, the twins started experiencing seizures and were diagnosed with epilepsy. The couple decided to join the National Autistic Society’s ‘Early Bird Program’ which helped them learn about autism from the child’s point of view.
Michael and Paul also adopted a second set of twins, Lotan and Lance, now age four. Raising children of their own has given the couple life-changing experiences and taught them that a child is so much more than their diagnosis.
Michael and Paul wanted to share their family’s experiences with the world. Their goal was to make sure that other families do not feel alone, and can find resources and advice to navigate through similar circumstances, and that’s how Diffability was born. The Dadsnet original podcast shares stories about challenges they face, products that can make life easier, and includes appearances from special guests.
The podcast, which launched in March 2022, shares, “Whether your child’s Diffability is anxiety, mental health, ASD, ADHD or any other kind of diagnosis, this podcast is here to show you that you’re not alone in your calling to raise your child with a Diffability.”
The podcast can be found on the Dadsnet site, or streamed on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
Need some more podcast recommendations? Here is a list of 15 LGBTQ+ podcasts to take a look at!
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