Dealing with a disability is hard enough with one child. Just imagine having triplets. Three years ago, I first heard about this story with the help of Dr. Phil show. Like most parents, George and Liz struggled to provide the best care for their special needs children. So they came to Dr. Phil seeking advice and guidance. He came up with a plan to provide the girls’ with a intervenor, someone who would help to provide in-home assistance and teach teach the girls. He also started a fund for them, providing financial support. Thanks to the support from viewers, the foundation has raised over $270,000 for the family to date.
Now they’re back. Unable to find the necessary intervenors because of immigration difficulties, the girls have retreated into the darkness once again. Intervenors are people with specialized skill sets there are capable of dealing with a variety of disabilities.
“With an intervenor, the girls’ sign language vocabulary exploded and now it just trickles.. It has been a slow deterioration of our hopes and dreams for our children!” says George.
As a result, their marriage is in trouble. They’ve exhausted all of their options and feel like they have failed as parents. George is afraid to come home at night, knowing the situation that awaits him; on the other hand, Liz is just struggling to get through another day of her own. They have little time for each other as individuals.
“The girls’ disability affects every facet of our lives: if I had to weigh what was more important, the intervenor is way more important than getting our marriage fixed,”said Liz
But as Dr. Phil so eloquently put it, the kids need them both as a family unit. Not only for their children’s security, but providing the couple with “a soft place to fall” in times of trouble. In order to help in the reconnection process, Dr. Phil along with Fandango and The Cheesecake factory provided them with gift certificates so they could go on dates for a year for free.
But the biggest surprise came in terms of an intervener. During the program. Dr. Phil introduced them to Linda Gatz. Linda is not only going to move to Texas to become their intervener for a year, but will also be searching and training other people to follow and her footsteps.
For more information on the Dr. Phil foundation for the girls, please go to Drphil.com
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Citation for TV Program: “Silent Darkness” Dr. Phil Fox channel 5 WTTG DC, News at 3pm, May 31, 2010