Area residents appreciative of prom for special needs

So many enjoyed the wonderful and memorable evening of “Prom” (for persons with Special Needs, and their friends and families!)  With Carol and Pete Fischbach, their committee and the cooperation of the owners of Camp Lakotah who helped promote this gala event, we are grateful.

It was so inspiring to see the smiles of happiness displayed by all who took part, being beautifully attired for this wonderful evening of excitement, dancing, enjoying friendships, food and refreshments provided by the businesses and communities and friends of Waushara County.  

For all the hours it took to make all this possible for so much enjoyment for all those with “Special Needs”, their caregivers, families, and friends – to realize how much love and work it took over the years to prepare them to reach this point in their lives to really enjoy this wonderful evening.

It has taken us parents some-forty seven or forty eight years (or more) to see these dreams made possible come true! 

“Susie” Frohman came to our home in 1972 to work as a “home trainer teacher” in one of nine national projects called “Portage Project” to be a “ray of sunshine” in our lives when we did not know where to turn for help for our children who were “different” – “did not fit the mold” for whatever “Normal” was!  

There was not help at that time.  Then we began to hear of different “leaders” around the world who were opening up minds of parents to new levels of thinking—doctors were studying babies blood to check for causes of these many conditions and anomalies that would not let babies grow up normally – without many kinds of helps to let them grow into “Normalization.” It was a “labor of love” for those of us who dedicated our lives to help those babies and children grow into acceptance in the neighborhood, schools, and community life. 

In those days (of 1973 and 1974) I was asked to work in homes with parents (as “Susie” had).  A caseload of 10 children could NOT be found in Waushara County at that time!  I had to drive to six counties to have enough of a “caseload” of 8 or 9 children and their parents to work with.  

After working only one year, driving hundreds of miles each week at hours when convenient for the parents of children who needed extra help I decided to ask God for guidance – gave up a paid position of helping other families – and dedicated my life to Noel, our other children, and my husband Forest.

God always provided a way for me to attend any learning situation that would help all of us to gain knowledge for helping Noel to grow – and we all shared that knowledge with our community schools and churches.  I eagerly reached out for any printed information when there was very little to read or gather.  We met many world leaders who filled us with knowledge that we could share with others.  

We learned about the principle of Normalization, new concepts of thinking, places where many of these children were kept and cared for and taught to be accepted as persons of worth – children of God who could learn – only it took them longer to learn, and some becoming tax-paying citizens, some even marrying, and some having families of their own.

UW-Madison’s Waisman Center has become known for research and study to help people and families – Dr. Harry A. Waisman was one of Noel’s first doctors who studied and reproduced in animals all anomalies and conditions (that humans have).  Much is now known in helping the body and blood conditions of humans.  

After Dr. Waisman’s tragic death after surgery – a lovely building for research and enlightenment was built and named for Dr. Harry A. Waisman.  Universities of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have done and are doing studies on aging parents of aging children who are challenged.  We have been involved for years.  There’s still much work to be done – and learned – and lived.

As Dickins’s Christmas Carol character Tiny Tim said, “God Bless us, everyone.”

God Bless You All!

/s/ Beth and Forest Wilcox

/s/ Noel, Jeanone Wilcox, Holly Dahlke

/s/ Paul and Lynn Wilcox and families