I am a mother of a child that has behavioral ADHD, bipolar, and manic depressive. My son Rocco was adopted at the age of 2 years old from the city of New York, he came into my home at 11 days old after being detoxed from cocaine. I hesitated to take him at the advice of a friend of mine who was a physician, but being my personality of being told not to I said I would. Rocco was the perfect infant. Upon turning 2 years old he started to shows signs of behavioral issues. I knew there was something more than turning the terrible twos. He hit, he couldn't focus, he threw anything in his path, and my husband and myself dedicated ourselves to finding help. We went through the NYU child study program, obtained a neurologist and family therapist. We spent money we didn’t have on car rentals to take him outside of the city (where we live) to run in parks, climb mountains, or just do any outdoor activities.
As Rocco grew older our quest continued. He was politely thrown out of his local schools and parks for acting out. Upon going into first grade the board of education recommended the league treatment center in Brooklyn, NY, It’s the only school of its kind in the New York City area. Rocco has been a student there since then. They are able to administer his meds, and provide him with all the services he needs, and still we get the daily phone call on his behavior. While school is an issue, our determination at home to find peace to help Rocco has been and still is a battle.
I tell Rocco’s story to everyone in hopes that one day someone will help us. It is both physically and mentally exhausting. A fight that is never ending. And then an angel came into my life truly by a chance business meeting. I said my story and out came the words did you ever look into the SNACK program. I responded no I haven't but is it only for children with Autism because all other special needs schools and or programs are only geared for children on the Autistic spectrum. And my angel said no its for all children with special needs.
I went home and immediately did my research. This was right before winter recess and I was in a race for time to find a place for Rocco to go. My husband during the time Rocco was growing became disabled and he is no longer able to handle him alone. When I saw the pricing I called my angel and said thank you so much for the information but in no way am I able to afford this. And then another angel called and offered Rocco financial aid. I kneeled down and kissed the ground and thanked God for sending me the angels I needed.
Rocco went and besides the monetary value the most priceless thing that happened was that neither me or my husband got a phone call asking us to pick him up as in the many years of taking him to places. They are the most wonderful individuals I ever met in my life, they are properly trained and most importantly full of love. As a mother I could never find a way to repay these people who are so dedicated to such a remarkable program. Their dedication is beyond. I hope the battle we faced with Rocco truly came thru in this letter and if it hasn't know that the ride was and still is an extraordinary frustrating puzzle. When your child is physically or mentally handicapped there are no actions or words that can stop a parent from finding the right people and places to help their child. I personally believe I have found mine. May God Bless the SNACK family. And with every part of love in my heart my gratitude for you will remain in my family forever.
Jojo - Rocco's Mom