There’s a poem Darneyelle Washington shares with parents of children with special needs. Titled “Welcome to Holland,” it sums up in a few lines what it’s like to suddenly face life with a special needs child. The poem recounts the story of a person headed on a dream vacation to Italy, only to find upon landing that they have arrived in Holland. Upset at first, the traveler finally decides to focus on the wonderful things the new destination has to offer. As the poem says: “If you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.”

Read more of Lowcountry Parent article (Sept. 2015).