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Topic : 06/28 Silent Darkness

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Created on : Friday, February 23, 2007, 02:11:45 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 02/28/07) Most parents find raising a child overwhelming enough, but imagine if your child could neither see you, nor hear you. Now imagine having that child times three. Liz is the mother of deaf and blind triplets. Her three daughters are now 6 years old, but one of the girls communicates at a 2-year-old level, and the other two at only a 10-month-old level. Liz's world is consumed with their 24-hour care, plus the care of her oldest daughter, who is 10 and often overlooked among the chaos of the triplets. After years of dealing with the girls on her own, a new man stepped into Liz's life to fill the shoes of her ex-husband. George thought he could become Liz's hero, but their relationship has been strained from the start, and the stress is tearing them apart. See what a day in Liz and George's lives is like, and the surprises Dr. Phil has in store for them. Plus, meet an inspirational woman who says her world turned from light to dark at the age of 15. She has a message for George and Liz. Join the discussion.

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January 7, 2008, 10:38 am CST

06/28 Silent Darkness

Quote From: nicole1980

I have a brother who is deaf and blind and has been for 30 years.  It is very difficult to deal with.  I am his parent but it still effects me also.  My parents are very stubborn about his situation and do not want any help with taking care of him.  It breaks my heart.  I wish they would reach out so they can have some kind of help.


What knowledge do you have that can maybe help with things I can do?




Dear Nicole,

First let me say God Bless you and your brother and parents.  There are resources out there, there is hope out there.  What state do you leave in?  Here in California, there is respite resources, agencies like day centers where adults with disabilities can go.  There are several agencies here in Southern Calif that helps adults with disabilities.  And we have Regional Centers, who help advocate for the disable community.  As for parents, let me tell you it is very difficult to ask for help, especially because us parents know our children best.  We worry about will anyone hurt them or take advantage of them.  Not feed them, clothe them properly, clean them up.  I'm sure you get what I am trying to say.  We have issues dealing with behaviors like biting, scratching, hair pulling as well as self abuse behaviors.  Ben also has an older sister who cares for her brother when needed.  I'm sure you to the same for your parents.


I am the kind of parent that seeks out resources and helps because, one day we will  not be able to do this alone.  Maybe your parents have the same worries and concerns. 



Grace Borow

March 14, 2008, 10:07 am CDT

06/28 Silent Darkness

What my mom and I were wondering about: is there no financial aid for people/kids with disabilities at all? Because in our country (The Netherlands) there is even a law for that.
June 27, 2008, 1:37 pm CDT

Eligable school/home services from Sch Dist

Where were the legal school based and home based services for this family? These children should also be recieving Social Security Disability Benefits which entitle them to MANY services, both at home and school. I am a home based Special Education Teacher who provides services in the parents home, where were these childrens rights to an Appropriate Education being supported? I am also the parent of a disabled child, as such I must be an advocate for my child, find services, rights, regulations, programs, etc. There are after school programs, summer camps and programs and Parent Training programs they are eligable for. Dr. Phil did a wonderful outreach, but what happens, where is the parent training on how to get supportive services for the future?
June 27, 2008, 5:59 pm CDT

SPED Teacher

I was so moved by the first show.  I work with students who are deaf blind and it is  a very long tough road. I was a little upset watching the first show and wondering where are the educationl services for these girls.  Services should have statrted at birth from their local school district. Iwas relieved when Dr. Phil gave them the help that was needed and I was delighted to hear of their success today. Great Job MOM!!  Stay with it.  I can't wait to get the  DVD and share this beautiful story of courage and endurance with the staff at my school. My prayers are with you and your family.  God bless you all!


June 27, 2008, 7:06 pm CDT

George is no hero.

George claiming he thinks about leaving is such BS. Bet the thought never crosses his mind.  He knows Liz is beautiful enough to get any man she wants and is way out of his league.  He also knows that Liz has no self esteem and is desperate because of her children and he is taking advantage of that.  Pretending to care and "share the burden" is the only reason a guy like George had a chance with a woman like Liz.
June 27, 2008, 8:46 pm CDT

06/28 Silent Darkness

Quote From: jacktuck

I have been a parent of a special needs child now for 16 years.  My son was initially diagnosed as autistic because of his lack of socialization with other students, and his language development.  He started to lose what little language he had at 5 1/2 years old, and his condition has since been a degenerative disorder.  (Scoliosis,seizures, needs to be catheterized and cannot communicate via sign language because he does not have the motor skills to do this.)  He has been in a special education program since he was 2 years old, and has been  in contact with many professionals in his life, (occupational therapists, speech therapists, geneticists, nephrologists, urologists, and many neurologists, and there is not any answer to what is going on with him.  He is currently nonverbal, and works with switches at school  to communicate.  Considering his inability to communicate, he does not show any frustration beacause he is on a strict schedule, and his needs are anticipated by those who care for him.   The school, my mother, and I have tried for many years to toilet train him, but to this day, he still wears diapers.  He is put on the toilet regularly, and will go in the toilet at predictable times, but still has some accidents at times in his diaper.   Try to do this with 3 children at once.  Sometimes it is just not possible for individuals with disabilities to communicate.  There may be neurological issues going on with these triplets as well.

As far as the government goes, it depends on what state you live in, as to what assistance you are able to receive.

Sometimes we as parents of children  with disabilities pursue many options, and do much research, and still cannot get our children to communicate or be toilet trained.  If your child is at the severe end of the disability spectrum, you are looking at caring for needs that they cannot perform on their own, because they are physically unable.  I have to do hand over hand feeding with my child, and bathe him everyday.  He will not ever be an independent human being. 

Also, if you don't  have the financial means to do all this, these children fall through the cracks.  Since you are in the medical field, I am sure that you are aware that the insurance company will only pay a certain percentage of outside therapies. (speech,occupational therapy, and physical therapy.

Each child with a disability needs to be looked at individually.  There may be other physical reasons why these triplets are not toilet trained, or that they cannot communicate.  I don't think that is not because the parents have not tried. I could not imagine trying to toilet train 3 children with special needs all at once.  This family does need additional help, but I don't  think that the reason these triplets are not toilet trained or do not communicate because of the parenting.

As a a parent of a child with a disability, everyone seems to have the answers of what is best for my son, including my family.  Unless you are in the shoes of being a parent of child or children with disabilities, it is difficult to comprehend the full scope of all the challenges that we face on a day to day basis.


I teach children with multiple disabilities and am wondering why it took so long to provide intervention to

three school aged children.  Forget about what each state offers; they are guaranteed a free and appropriate education by Federal law.  Missouri is not exactly top of the heap in education, but our kids

are supposed to get services the moment they are identified as having disabilities.  It burns me up to see

school districts getting away with denying these children their rights.  I've taught special ed.  since 1974

and am amazed that it still exists.  It is bigotry in its worst form.  I have a class of very low functioning 

young adults and have taught them to communicate.  It is a human need and it was denied these children.  Another issue is the lack of services this family received from the time the girls were born.  I know this

went on years ago, but how can a pediatrician or a hospital just send three deaf blind babies home without a social worker involved and digging for referrals?

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