EA/TEF Awareness Month 2024
EA/TEF Awareness Month, 2024 is here. Once again Different Dream is raising awareness by featuring stories written by or about families impacted by EA/TEF. Some parents are telling their child’s story for the first time. Others are providing updates on kids featured here in the past. And then there’s me, the parent of a son born with EA/TEF in 1982, who will wrap up the month with a post about our family’s experience.
Different Dream is a blog for parents raising kids with a variety of disabilities and special needs, so not all of our readers are familiar with EA/TEF. If that’s the case for you, here’s a quick summary.
EA/TEF is short for esophageal atresia with or without tracheoesophageal fistula. No wonder it goes by its initials, right? It’s a congenital anomaly in which the esophagus is not a completely open tube. It has a number of variations which are described and illustrated at this link.
The condition is fatal unless newborns receive immediate treatment, which requires surgery and a NICU stay. Each child’s treatment and recovery are unique, as you will see when you read this month’s posts.
Different Dream devotes all of January to raising awareness for many reasons, the most important being to reach families dealing with this birth anomaly so they feel supported. My hope is that when new EA/TEF parents search the internet, they’ll find this website and be encouraged by the stories shared here. I also hope that whether or not your child lives with EA/TEF, these stories will encourage you and equip you to support parents and kids who do.
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Jolene Philo is the author of several books for the caregiving community. She speaks at parenting and special needs conferences around the country. Sharing Love Abundantly With Special Needs Families: The 5 Love Languages® for Parents Raising Children with Disabilities, which she co-authored with Dr. Gary Chapman, was released in August of 2019 and is available at local bookstores, their bookstore website, and Amazon. See Jane Dance!, the third book in the West River cozy mystery series, which features characters affected by disability, was released in October of 2023.
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