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Single 1st Time Daddy to Special Needs Baby, (please help)

Posted by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 10:29 AM
  • 13 Replies

Hello everyone. I am a newer member to special needs group. I am a mom to a 3 year old little girl. She is very excited about some news we have received, as is my husband and I. If anyone reads an old post in a different group you will get most of the full story. However here is a rather shortened version:

{A little over a year ago, my brother in law found out his girlfriend was pregnant, she left him at 4 mo along. She said she just didn't want to get deployed to Iraq, although she also said she volunteered. A little over a year later, we found out she had a boy in October 2011. My brother in law never got to meet him. He tried, he had contact with her family who had disowned her, including parents and a sister. They took him to drive by one of the many places she was said to be staying. He texted asked to come see him for awhile, she would leave, or lie about being gone out of town. He got him baby gifts, and they never made it to him, they just got returned by mail. He tried for custody the court said no because of favoring the mother. 3 months after the last custody hearing, and he was about to give up. He got a disturbing awakening. The boyfriend she had been illegally living with who was on parole for his 2nd offense of child abuse had caused serious damage to our nephew. Long story short, he has been in the hospital for going on 3 months. He had numerous skull fractures, brain bleeds, a broken arm (fresh and the other arm had been healing for about 6 wks). After he was air lifted to 1 of 3 hospitals he suffered 3 strokes. We prayed and hoped, and now next week has surgery. A piece of his skull actually dissolved from something or other I can't remember which. So they need to operate, and place a plastic piece to replace it. He has made a miraculous recovery. He is able to stand, and take steps slowly. He drags his right foot a little, and has no use of his right hand or arm so far. None of us knows if he spoke before the accident or not. He takes therapy 3 times a day. My brother in law has been told custody is looking good. He will find out at the end of the month. He makes a good living, works full time with insurance.}

My brother in law is 23, a first time daddy. He has come to me for advice. I used to work in a place here in town that assisted developmentally disabled adults. I am active in the special olymics, I just love how communities actually reach out for a cause like that. I also have an aunt who is physically 56 but a fever damaged her brain at 2 years old. She hasn't talked, or walked since. Just hums, but she can still give hugs :) I have never dealt with a special needs child. He is only 16 months old, and well I don't know what to do to help him developmentally wise. Do any of you moms know of toys or art projects that have helped you or friends that are a little easier, or have any tips for our situation? I already have a sweet little nick name for him, and I love this little guy with all my heart! I have searched toys at Target and Walmart etc...but no luck. I found the sweetest Elmo card at Target, for V-Day but the button is too hard to push for sound for my daughter, I don't think he could push it then.

by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 10:29 AM
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by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 10:51 AM
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Hi and Welcome!!!

Does he like light up toys- things that roll (like a ball??)

Does he like the scout dog that sings to him

or how about all kinds of music--to put on for him

how about videos--

or foam blocks

or squooshy animals to hold 

or squooshy balls to hold

umm let me think

how about-  the baby toys that light up or make noise-there are lots of them

Take care and talk to me anytime

I have a 20 year old son with cerebral palsy (almost 20) and he is on a toddler/young pre-school level (18 mths to 3 /4 years old level)

Take Care

by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 11:20 AM
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Finger paints or shaving cream or condiments make for great mess and a lot of fun. Sometimes you have to help with hand over hand assistance and need a shower later but its fun. My son has a Traumatic brain injury, cp, etc, and he is 8 years old. My son wouldn't use his hands or arms but this activity helped him.

How about magnetic animals blocks or velcro blocks? Light up toys or balls. Music box or record player or cd player by fisher price. Bubble makers.

Does he like books? stuff animals?

Check thrift shops and goodwill sometimes you can find some special needs toys and stuff cheap. Dollar tree is where i get a lot of my son's stocking stuffers and some therapy toys. There are lot of special needs websites that right now have a valentines day sale and shipping is free or cheaper than normal and guranteed to have it by valentines day.

by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 2:03 PM
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Oh that is so heartbreaking (((hugs)))

My little guy liked anything that lights up or plays music. Anything with things to press, turn, or move in any way will help build motor skills. Also shape sorters. When picking out toys, don't worry so much about what he can or can't do, more what he needs to build skills. Therapists are a great source of knowledge as to what would be great toys.
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by Amanda on Feb. 5, 2013 at 2:08 PM
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There are a lot of toys geared towards special needs kids at toys r us. But I would look into large blocks, maybe some larger cars.

by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 6:41 PM
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Thank you for all those ideas! I was drawing a blank, and now I realize there are lots of options. I have to drive 2.5 hrs to the nearest Toys R Us, and I'd rather try them out before buying so I don't want to buy online.

by Bronze Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 8:31 PM
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Your story brought me to tears. I hope things work out for him!! 

There is also this link:

It's the Toys R us guide for Differently Abled kids. It will go through and show you what has shown to be great toys for various disabilities. 

I will keep you in my prayers :D

by Darby on Feb. 6, 2013 at 6:25 AM


by on Feb. 6, 2013 at 8:54 AM
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This story hits home for me because my daughter has something similar happen to her that left her with spinal and brain damage as well. I am so sorry that that poor boy had to go through that and I hope his father gets him all the help he deserves. Where do you live?

When my daughter was at her worse she only liked touch screen things like tablets and her dog. She liked the dog better than anything because it wasn't frustrating to play with and virtually unbreakable. Which was big because she would drop things and get frustrated. The dog helped her get her mobility back.

Your brother has to be confident that it will get better. Just 2 years ago my daughter couldn't walk or talk. Now she can dance (although if she pushes herself too far she will hurt so she isn't an acrobat) and she is working really hard in speech therapy to talk up to her age level. And she is in physical therapy for her motor skills (holding things, walking in a straight line, etc) Good luck
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by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 11:47 AM

We live in Nebraska. Your reply gave me a little hope for this lil guy. Thanks a bunch. I smiled when I read the part about how your daughter can dance now. My brother in law's biggest fear at this moment, is how and when is he going to tell his son, when he starts asking questions if he's able to about what happened and why he is different from others. I told him be honest, but don't fill him with hate. He said he'd probably do it around the Junior High age, I told him thats a very tender time for kids. I don't know if I was right to say that or not. I just figured with all the pressures of teenage years that may not be the best. I don't want to interfere, but I want to be there for him. Especially when he asks.

by Dawn on Feb. 7, 2013 at 11:53 AM
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I know this is a difficult time for your bil because his beautiful baby boy became disabled due to his ex's boyfriend. There is help for him out there to help his son reach his full potential despite his disability. I recommend contacting his school distirct in writing and request an evaluation for Special Education services (, and at his age, it would be called early intervention. You might also want to get him involved with these organizations: Shriner's Hospital, Variety Club (, and Easter Seals (

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