Three Children, Three Disabilities
by Jenny Francis –
Doting Becky Kenyon has three children with three different disabilities — the odds of which are one in nine million — but refuses to call herself unlucky.
The full-time carer, 40, says: “My babies are alive and full of love — things could be a lot worse.”
She says: “Knowing they were going to need lots of extra support and lifelong care was very difficult to take in at first.
“I threw myself into it and researched every condition and just told myself they needed me.
“Other mums feel sorry for me but I just shrug off their sympathy.”
And she adds proudly: “I love my boys so much and nothing was ever going to change that.”
But Becky was unaware of just how unusual her situation was until Sun Doctor Carol Cooper worked out the staggering odds.
The medic said: “While estimates vary, on average there’s around a one in 700 chance of a child developing autism.
“Asperger’s is a closely related condition, so once you have one little one with any autistic spectrum disorder, the chance of having another one is roughly one in ten. With odds of having a baby with Downs at about one in 1,250, the chance of having children with all three conditions is nearly one in nine million.”
The first lad to be diagnosed was Harry, who was discovered to have Down’s at birth.
Then just two months later Becky and hubby Andy, a building manager now 50, learned two-year-old Ben had Asperger’s.
Becky, of Rugeley, Staffs, had the older boy tested after noticing that he did not like being cuddled and struggled to understand the difference between “yes” and “no”.
With two children with big challenges, Becky admits she took time to adapt.
She recalls: “I felt out of my depth, I was only 27, so I tried to teach myself as much as I could. I was shattered all the time at first, especially as Ben struggled to understand the word “no”.
“A month before his third birthday he attacked my friend’s son Joe because he had a toy Ben wanted. He struggles to control his movements when he’s upset or angry.
“He doesn’t understand what’s happening in those situations — it’s heart-breaking.”
But former music teacher Becky had no idea how much harder things were set to become when she fell pregnant with Charlie in November 2003. She says: “I remember people asking me, ‘What are you hoping for, a boy or a girl?’.