Double challenge for a different mother

Lilizabeta Delia has had to deal with her intellectual disability, and also takes on the role of a single mother.

Posted at 5:00 am

Ariane LaCourcier

Ariane LaCourcier

When Lilizabeta Delia found out that she had been pregnant for eight years, she could hardly contain her joy. She will finally give birth to the child she longed for. But his entourage welcomes the news with greater reserve. It is that Delia has a mild intellectual disability. Will she be able to meet the challenge of motherhood?

Today, her son is 7 years old. andme Delia is perfect in her role as a mother. “It’s not always easy. But I have help […]. They show me the techniques, and I apply them on the spot,” she says.

Photo by Oliver Jane, Press

Lourdes Gina Janvier Mathieu (left), private tutor, and Lilizabeta D’Elia

assistant Delia receives her from the Rehabilitation Center for Intellectual Disabilities and Diffuse Developmental Disorders (CRDITED) in Montreal. More specifically, the specialist teacher, Lourdes Gina Janvier Mathieu, and her team are the parenting component of the intellectual disability rehabilitation program. Guardian Angels, as you like to call them. “Since they came, everything in our lives has changed,” says the mother.

M Double Delia. She must fulfill her role as a single mother by dealing with her intellectual disability. Her son also suffers from this disorder, in addition to having an autism spectrum disorder.

When Lourdes Gina Janvier Mathieu entered the life of From Ilya, three years ago, the worker first introduced her to the concept of pictograms. Today, this is the key to his daily life. In each room of his house there is a sheet with illustrations showing the tasks to be done there. In the kitchen, the drawings remind him, for example, of washing dishes, cleaning the table … And his son’s life is framed using a timeline set with pictograms. The system works so well that Delia carries an illustrated key ring in her bag to help her child when he’s at the grocery store or on the go. “It works very well,” she says.

Pretty intense follow up

Photo by Oliver Jane, Press

Pictograms are posted everywhere in Elijah to help him manage his daily life.

CRDITED teachers are present fairly extensively in Elijah according to the need of her child. From once a week to once a month. But they can always be reached by phone. The first interventions helped the mother manage her son’s crises. “He tended to yell to get my attention. To hit his toys on the table when he was angry.”me from Elijah. For a month, her baby was clean. Mme Janvier Mathieu believes that the mother has a lot of merit in these successes.

[Lelisabetta] Follow all of our advice. The credit is entirely due to him. All his efforts paid off.

Lourdes Gina Janvier Mathieu, Professional Teacher

Photo by Oliver Jane, Press

Private tutor Lourdes Gina Janvier Mathieu

“The next step is getting dressed!” M . confidently exclaimsme from Elijah.

The mother works in a community organization and is highly involved in several groups. She is also registered with her son in karate lessons. His daily life is stressful. “In the evening, at eight in the morning, we sleep on the bed!”, she says.

Very independent, D’Elia isn’t afraid to ask for help if needed. Lately, she has been getting more and more nervous while managing her schedule at the end of the day. She was constantly worried that she wouldn’t be back in time to welcome her son after school. To the degree of deprivation from the exercise of certain activities. Lourdes Gina Janvier Mathieu provided her with things. The mother has established relationships with the bus driver, who now has her phone number in case of unexpected events. She is reassuring and can work in peace.

Mme Delia was born prematurely in Italy and moved to Quebec at the age of nine. She attended private schools there, like her son today. But it wasn’t until two years ago that he was officially diagnosed with mild intellectual disability. Diagnosis often occurs late. Before getting a diagnosis, these parents can sometimes be considered antisocial. Or we can think that they are not cooperating,” notes Mme Jan Matthew.

thirty parents

About thirty parents are followed up in the parental component of the CRDITED program. “The child is developing quickly. We help parents to adapt quickly. To anticipate the next steps,” explains Nathalie Monfit, Psychologist specializing in clinical activities at CRDITED de Montréal associated with CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’le-de-Montréal.

CRDITED teachers work collaboratively with all the actors involved in these families’ lives. Whether it’s DYP, school, or community organizations…

Photo by Oliver Jane, Press

Mme Delia pulls the illustrations into his bag.

Even if the children are placed in foster care, we help the parents play their part through all of this.

Natalie Monfitt, Clinical Activities Psychologist

Alice (not her real name) is the mother of two children who have been placed in a foster home. She has a mild intellectual disability. And with the support of CRDITED, it has made “tremendous progress” in recent years, according to Monfet. She weaned herself from drug addiction. She learned to manage her anger. “The CRID workers love me,” says Alice. They gave me as many tools as possible. »

Although she does not have custody, Alice sees her children on a regular basis. She is proud of the success of these meetings. She also runs medical visits for her children. “I want to continue providing for my children. With IDRC support, I am not worried,” she said.

Staff are also there to help parents with an intellectual disability deal with reality: when their nervous child realizes that his parents can no longer help him with certain daily tasks, such as his homework. “It’s becoming a new challenge for families,” explains Julie Therou, director of the Intellectual Disability Rehabilitation Program, the parenting component, at CRDITED.

Often, practitioners begin by explaining in detail the parent’s diagnosis to the child. “From the moment a child understands, he is less judgmental and reactive,” notes Mme Monfet. “We also greatly value parents in a different way. Through flexibility,” adds Mme Theroux. Mme Is D’Elia expecting the next few years? “I’m a little afraid of pre-teens,” she said, “but I’ll get other techniques… I’ll take care of it.”

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