Patrick and Justine Brown
Patrick is a Technical Engineer and Justine is a Stay at Home Mom.
Age of parents:
37 and 34 years
Age: 6 years
Is this your only child?
We have four other kids. Tyler is 19, Zoey is 11, Mason is 7 and Ethan is 2.
Diagnosis of child: Mixed Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Mild Dystonia and Cortical Visual Impairment
What are the biggest challenges facing your child on a daily basis?
The biggest challenge is that we are not always sure if we are always doing the best for Mikayla. We are also not sure if we are doing enough for her. She is non verbal so she cannot communicate with us and that at times can be very frustrating for her. But we try our best and she tries to communicate in other ways.
What are the happiest moments you have with your child on a daily basis?
Mikayla is such a happy little girl. She's always smiling except when she's ill. We love kissing her and making her laugh out loud. Her laugh is so amazing. The happiest moments are also seeing her progress and getting to share that with her. We are thankful for every moment spent with her.
Are you a single parent or married? Married.
Has your special needs child had an effect on your marriage?
To be quite honest, it has had a huge affect on our marriage. We are always trying to do the best not only for Mikayla but for our other kids and sometimes the stress is too much. We rarely get time alone but we try our best to be very supportive towards each other. Loving and kind as well.
What has your child taught you about yourself, both positively and negatively?
Mikayla has taught us that no matter what obstacles you go through, you never give up and that is what our little girl continues to do every day. She's a real fighter.
Are your family and friends supportive?
Our close family which we do have and who are around Mikayla often, are very supportive. It hasn't always been that way. But I think as time goes on and Mikayla gets bigger, some family members are accepting the condition she has. Which is a good thing.
Do you take time out, if so what do you do to relax?
We take no time to relax on our own as there is always something that needs to be done. Check ups, therapy, soccer matches, etc. I am not sure how we cope but we manage to. We try and relax with the kids around.
What has made the biggest difference to your child’s quality of life?
All Mikayla's equipment which she has currently. It has made life so much easier for us as well as Mikayla. She is growing so quick and we can't always carry her around..
What is your dream for your child?
We pray that Mikayla and our other kids live life to the fullest and that they never give up on their dreams. And that they are happy and healthy always...