After learning that her fourth child began showing signs of developmental disability, Chicago-based mother Keesha Hall changed her life for the better. After becoming unemployed, broke and on the brink of poverty, being a mother, she was determined to learn how to become a champion for her son. Through the help of non-profit organization Educare, she learned how to accept her son’s diagnosis and strengthened his social, emotional and behavioral health. This is her advice for young mothers who faced similar challenges and how she turned an unfortunate situation into a gift for many other mothers too.
Full Name: Keesha Hall
Title: Chair of the Educare Alumni Network/ Entrepreneur
Location: Chicago, Illinois
The Gig: I work privately with clients and go to their houses and help them with their children with special needs. Not all of my clients have children with special needs but the majority of them do.
Caring For A Child With Special Needs: You have to be understanding and have the patience to be able to live in a household with a child who screams all the time or have difficultly going through life himself. With my son, I’m always grateful for progression rather than perfection because he’s perfect in my eyes and in his own way.
Accepting The Challenge: I’m a mother of four, but I didn’t have this experience living with a child with special needs. I was in denial for a while. He’s 10 now and I was probably in denial for about 7 years. I wasn’t ready to accept the fact that he would struggle or that he would be behind academically. It took years of therapy and years of educating myself, learning more about him and developing patience.
Changing The Lives Of Mothers Across Chicago: If I can help the next person, then they can pay it forward and maybe they can help someone else. So it’s always important for me to give when I have and help the next person.
Advice For Young Mother’s With Special Needs Children: You’ve got to dig deep and you can’t give up. You have to be patient and try to see the world through your child’s eyes.
Managing Stress: I read, walk and I like to go to the gym to relieve stress.
Words That She Lives By: Fear is failure.