Our family emigrated from the US to the Netherlands in 2014. I was drawn to the Netherlands because of its liberal-humanist traditions, beautiful scenery, and its educated and pragmatic people. We live in Amsterdam.
I’m Jillian, mother of 2 young adults, former attorney and Texan, business manager, animal and bird lover, and barre enthusiast.
My daughter, K. is in her final year as a fashion design student at an HBO academie in Amsterdam. A vibrant and creative soul, she sees everything through the lens of art and enjoys playing the violin.
My son, B. is a free spirit and autistic. He lives in a supported-living home along with other young people with special needs. He loves surfing the internet, playing Wii, cooking, being a barista, and spending hours taunting Sid, my Maine Coon cat, with a squeaky mouse on a stick. Sid is more like my son’s former yellow lab service dog than any cat I’ve ever met.
In this blog, I will be going into some detail about what it is like to parent a child with multiple disabilities and how this affects the physical, emotional, and financial well-being of the entire family. I feel that this will be helpful for a complete awareness of the need for additional services, support and understanding for such families in the US.
I truly wish that B. were able to offer his perspective on the topics in this blog. Unfortunately, I have never been able to have a conversation with B. about his condition or his feelings about this or any other subject. Therefore, this blog is heavily weighted toward my perspective as a parent of a special needs child. In order to try to maintain his anonymity, I have chosen to use only our initials and will not post any identifying photos of B. or other family members.
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All photos in this blog – unless otherwise noted – are mine. Please do not use them without permission.
You may contact me at jillian[at]tiltingtowardwindmills[dot]com.