2010 Shows

They yell, scream and throw tantrums -- and we’re not just talking about kids! What happens when an entire family loses control? Rob and Kara have seven children, including 5-year-old twins who were born premature. One of the twins, Keegan, was diagnosed with a rare hearing disorder, and they say his screaming and other bad behavior rules the household to the point where they find themselves yelling all the time too. While providing for their son's special needs, the couple says they feel they've missed out on the last five years with their other kids, and their marriage has taken a toll as well. Dr. Phil reveals the main mistake this family is making and how they can once again bring peace and balance back into their home. And, Inside Edition’s chief correspondent Jim Moret speaks with Dr. Phil about his book, The Last Day of My Life, and the pivotal moment when he hit rock bottom before realizing what really matters most in life.

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: vannesm on Aug 25, 2010, 6:08PM
By now I hope Kara, Rob & family have met, for the first timeS, with the helpers Dr. Phil offered, and everyone is learning and feeling the beginnings of new habits. 

Kara, PLEASE ask Rob to read this. 

It's easy to see how their lives quickly became buried in the LONG, never-dreamed-of terror of those preemies' first months.   And: see how strongly VIEWERS' responses concentrate on that one child's challenge, and the family's response to Keegan.   No wonder this family hasn't regained balance!

Kara's not lazy; she's exhausted from bearing FAMILY jobs.   Rob, though, is currently family-lazy.

No one has said much about Rob's emotional abdication from helping Kara.  Kara's written remarks say he is great with the kids -- her starry-eyed adoration of him is clear.   It's also clear on his face, in almost every moment, how much he doesn't want to change his own current soul-isolating patterns at home.

In his defense: almost every man wants to come home to a CALM home and RELAX.  Many women, who have always, knee-jerk, thought  of "the home" as a part of their work, don't understand that many men deeply think "home"  means (a) where he can fully relax! and (b) where life will be as HE wants (remember the VERY OLD saw, "a man's home is his castle") .  If a man agrees to work when he's home, he wants that work to be something he can step back and admire at the end of the DAY, not at the end of 18 years. 

To many men, engaging emotionally, the way a wife and children need, IS HARD WORK.  The TV, the computer, or the Blackberry can let a man escape from that "home work."  Even  bringing his JOB work home is easier than family HEART AND SOUL work. 

I agree with the reader who suggested that this family be the next "Dr. Phil family" if he decides to have one.   This one could be so different from last season's self-involved people who all live, selfishly, at different degrees of immorality.   There would be one similarity: the father.  Kara's Rob MAY be willing to learn to be there for his children, while it may be too late for last season's father, who tuned in only when a male child appeared.   

Rob, and Kara, please keep up with this NEW kind of hard -- but needed! work!   Best wishes during every long day of this, to you all!!!
Replied By: kararob14 on Jul 12, 2010, 4:21PM - In reply to zeesamadel
please read  my story ..(BELOW)..it was kind of hard for me to read more than just the topic...LAZY PARENTS?????... I KNOW you didn't take the time to read my post which is LONG I know but explains a little more about us ...BECAUSE I AM THE biggest ADVOCATE for Keegan as well as the WHOLE DEAF COMMUNITY right now.. I I am working so hard on/for Keegan to make sure he never grows up lonely, he grows up successful, and he follows his dreams like the of his siblings...etc..... i have started a fund to help other families cover hearing aides and CI's, my kids and I held a bottle drive to raise money so we could hire someone to teach ASL for free so others would see how learning it is not only great to have as a lang, but that it also helps communitcation to the deaf ... I would like for you to all read MY POST BELOW PLEASE...it tells more of the TRUE/OR EXACT STORY OF US...I asked dr phil for help to mange my time better with all 7 children, I wanted dr phil to help me understand WHY KEEGAN IS SCREAM which causes alot of craziness in our home..(NOT HAVING FITS JUST SCREAMING) I wanted to share our story with the world because I wanted to show everyone that having a deaf son, being deaf is not as easy as peolpe think... PEOPLE THAT I HAVE TALKED TO SAY, DEAFNESS IS NOTHING.... NO BIG DEAL... when i asked others about ASL.. I have gotten the response of ...NO THANKS YOU LOOK FOOLISH WHEN USING YOUR HANDS..... so i was trying to SHARE WITH THE WORLD THAT DEAFNESS IS SOMETIMES TOUGH TO LIVE WITH BUT ALSO AMAZING WHEN GETTING TO KNOW THEIR CULTURE!! PLEASE PLEASE RE READ MY POST SO YOU KNOW THAT I AM FAR FROM LAZY..... THANK YOU
Replied By: zeesamadel on Jul 11, 2010, 9:49AM
I am the mother of two, both were born hearing impaired and received cochlear implants. Their deafness is hereditary as my husband and his father are also deaf. My husband helped to develop the cochlear implant during its infancy and actually flew to several major medical centers in the US to train surgeons on the correct process of testing the device during implantation. 12 years ago my husband was also implanted.

The reason I am writing is I witnessed the parents signing to their 5 year old! Did they not go through trainning classes on how to raise a child with cochlear implants? The entire family needs to get on board with this. He is a bi-lateral implant and with that in mind, he can hear quite well, if they would only work with him. My husband and children can hear me from another room and they only have one implant each.

Early on as parents we decided our children's handicap would not become a lifecap for them. We expected them to perform as well as any hearing child if given the right tools to work with. Certain school modifications had to be made, such as closed caption on any televised presentations, and teachers were made aware they should not talk to the blackboard, but rather to the class when discussing a topic. As the children grew we would have family meetings at least once a month, sometimes much more often. It all depended upon what we saw going on with them and the dynamics of the family. Sometimes the kids wanted a family meeting!

How did they turn out? My daughter was a varsity cheerleader in high school and graduated with honors. My son graduated National Honor Society and now has 2 BS degrees. My daughter is working on her masters in psychology, her end goal is to work with cochlear implant patients. Both are married, and my daughter has 3 beautiful sons.

I don't usually toot my own horn but I did it because this family needs a wake up call. You have to work so this precious child listens to you. He hears you, now it's your job to make him listen. You also need to work with all of your other children to get on board. It won't be easy, but the alternative will be much more difficult.

BTW, we even have a deaf cat!
Replied By: krafter on Jul 10, 2010, 12:32PM
I would be tha happiest person in the whole knowing that this horrible life I have is over, and I would ask God to take me to heaven with him and all the angels and saints and put me together with all my family that has passed away.
Replied By: kararob14 on Jul 9, 2010, 11:45PM
Hi guys.. Thanks for taking the time to post on Dr Phil's board ... But first off I would like to Thank each one of you for all your thoughts and well wishes to my family and I... Second I would like to share a little more about us... I have been writing Dr Phil for a couple of years now for some help, support and guidance... See when the twins were born at 28 weeks, we were in the process of building our first home...our other children were born Healthy so never did i ever think of what life would be like if something went wrong. We were living with our parents at this time of their birth, as our home wasn't close to being done ... Life changed from the minute they were born... For the next 6 months the boys were in the NICU/PICU (the hospital was an hour away) never the less, we tried our best to get the older kids off to school,get them out of school, have dinner on the table, put them to bed and THEN off Rob and I would go to the hospital to see the twins and give them the love and support they needed to stay alive.... Their lungs were so premature that for Keegan each day was a touch and go...(ALL 6 MONTHS) many of times, can't tell you exactly how many times, but they called code Blue..I wasn't sure if my babies were going to make it... So when they came home from the hospital, yes we did tend to spoil them, but then again, they came home on O2/Apnea Mont's for the first year, so it was hard to think of not focusing on them, or spoiling them.. At the age of 2 was when we found out Keegan was deaf... and again, its not as easy as just walking into an ENT and himsaying ...YUP your son is deaf... We had gone to 3 ENTs, 4 Hospitals as well as having to spend MUCH time bringing Keegan for testing to find out WHY he wasn't hearing as the local Dr's were VERY CONFUSED of what was really wrong with him... We were given the name of an AMAZING Dr in Tampa FL who finally told us our son has Auditory Neuropathy... and that Keegan would need CIs... We jumped right into the process of getting Keegan a CI.. (and that too was not easy.. a fight for our insurance company to cover the cost)...OH and by the way... the VERY FIRST TIME we heard our son was deaf/or might be deaf...we started watching Signing Time, We went and got ASL Sign Language Books as well as tried our hardest to join a ASL classes...Unfortunatently we could NOT afford the classes...$475 pp with no discounts at our local community college.. (we live in a small upstate NY town without a large deaf support around) BUT we couldn't be more grateful to SIGNING TIME...The Dvds have taught us all we know...I learned the basic  but i have to be honest...I have been doing all i can to get more ASL awareness in our  area... My kids and I about a year ago raised $550 having a bottle drive to raise money in hopes to be able to have a class for free to those who would like to learn it... I have written many NYS congressman in hopes to get ASL part of the NYS school systems... I 100% believe in sign language and love it.. so for the one person who said I haven't taken the time...OH I HAVE......I guess i must tell this one story in my life that made me think I have to take a stand for Keegan...One afternoon, a couple days after finding out that Keegan was deaf, i was feeling sorry for myself and sorry for Keegan.. I was sitting in my living room when a knock on my front door came... It was a man that just delivered propane and was giving me the paper work... He saw I was crying... He said , Is there something I can help you with? I said NO sorry, I just found out one of my babies is deaf, and he will never hear me tell him I love him.... This man looked at me and said, I would like to share something with you, I said ok come in.... He stood at my front door and told me he has a DEAF BROTHER TOO.. i asked allot of questions about him...His brother was in his early 40s ... He said he is the funniest man he knows as well as the BEST MECHANIC in the area.. I was so excited to hear this .. He then went on to say that unfortunately. nobody will hire him because he is deaf... my stomach dropped i remember this as if it was yesterday... I said see that is what i am afraid of... I said I have had a fear of deafness since i was a young girl... I knew an older man who was deaf and he scared me because i was afraid he would try talking to me and i wouldn't be able to understand him.....He said., My brother does have a job at the local grocery store in the back unloading area... He is glad to have a job but he is VERY LONELY!!!!! He said, they gave him a pager and they page him if they need him but really nobody know sign language so nobody talks to him...... I WAS HEARTBROKEN... as he was leaving my home,. he turned to me and said, PLEASE NEVER ALLOW YOUR SON TO GROW UP LONELY!!!! and LEARN SIGN LANGUAGE!!!!! I was so thankful for that man, Still till this day, no clue who he was, and haven't seen him again, but that story touched my life... SO I then became very much into finding answers out of what was going on with my son..and never ALLOWING HIM TO FEEL DIFFERENT THAN HIS IDENTICAL TWIN JETT..... Keegan was also DX with Mild CP (kernicterus) shortly after getting his CIs... Keegan not only struggles with hearing, but he has low muscle tone, teeth enamel dysplasia?, sleeping issues,Constipation issues, breathing issues, and he still drools while eating and for the past few years, he has "BEHAVIORAL PASSING OUT SPELLS" which turns into seizures....OK so because we traveled to FL and VA to get medical answers...because I spent  MANY hours researching the net for answers and talking to other parents that have child that have AN and KI, I was afraid i was missing out on my other children... I fear resentment from them.. not only from the other kids but Keegan too.. What if he grows up and wants to live in the deaf culture?? Should i have  made that decision for him on whether or not he gets CIs??? and then with my other children, what if they hate me for spending so much"EXTRA" time on the computer getting answers of WHY???, what if they hate me because they had to give up all their "EXTRAS" because we no longer could live in the life we once were living in... my daughter Molli is a wonderful softball/soccer player and played on a travel team for years... But we had to explain to her that we just couldn't afford it anymore.. she was heartbroken, mad, upset.....What if they turn to me in a few years and say, MOM why didn't you get a job to help so we didn't loss out on being kids and doing what kids should be doing?? When the kids ask for money to the movies or to grab an ice cream from the ice cream truck...simple things that were never an issues for us,is no longer even a thought.. no way can we afford movies or even simple extras such as $1.20 ice cream... LIFE HAS CHANGED ... and I never want the other kids to think that i only cared for Keegan, so not true..I love them all so much .. but I felt  and still feel Keegan needs the EXTRA in me .. I wanted him to grow up as successful as possible.... i want him to grow up with his identical brother having that twin bond...AND NEVER do i think he is handicap!!!! .... I push him more and more each day.... there are days he wakes up and is stiffer than a board, there are days he wakes up at 2am and doesn't go back to bed but i still ship him off to school to make sure he gets all he can... There are days, i just don't feel like dragging the kids out so Keegan can go to Aqua therapy, but I do, only because I want Keegan to get strong, to get Keegan to know that HE TOO CAN DO IT!!!! HE MAY have to take extra time, Extra Efforts in his work but he TOO WILL BE SUCCESSFUL IN LIFE...he too will someday be able to follow all his dreams..... I know I didn't response to much to Dr Phil's statements and I have to say, I love DR PHIL...I LOVE HIM... But i am not sure if I sent some wrong info to him or he just came up with what he thought i was looking for... But i guess i was looking for someone to help me understand that I am doing all i can...I wanted someone to help me with the "HOWS" to  mange my time better with all 7 kids, i wanted him to guide me in the right direction of  how to make a chance in bad family habits of SCREAMING.... I guess i just wanted Dr Phil to hold my hand and help me explain to my kids WHY we are doing what we are doing as I can't say it enough.. I fear I am going to have kids that resentment me for how and what i am doing...even thou, everything I do for each and everyone of them, is what i FEEL IS BEST AT THE TIME!!!!  I don't want to hurt any of them....BUT ONE THING I DO KNOW IS, WE TREAT KEEGAN THE SAME AS THE OTHER KIDS ..Keegan is actually my number one helper out of all of them..he loves to weed, mop, dust .. ...We make him do what the other do for the most part, but Gosh I must say, my 16 year old is the one i let slack off the one that "THINKS" by sitting on the couch on the computer is what you call babysitting..As I am outside mowing or upstairs making beds.... Its the screaming that makes it so hard on the everyday living here at our home... its the screaming that stops us from being somewhat of a happy family.. like you all know now, I tend to scream back... (which dr phil explain needs to stop and after seeing myself I have been putting 100 percent effort into stopping...WOW I SURE GET CRAZY but in the moment... it makes me feel as if i am getting my point a crossed...BUT ITS NOT) Keegan does have some fits but they all do...well gosh, i do to and I can hear what people are asking and I can speak back to them,.. I know and have spoken to other deaf people and they say, this little boy is frustrated!!!! that is where the screaming is coming from, that is where the fits are coming from... I do agree to a point... but I also know that he has my key and he knows how to play the game with me...So Dr Phil was right in that...... Yes Keegan has controlled our house in some aspects but I have to pick  and  choose my battles...and some days, Keegan is not one I want to mess with.... I have decided that asking Keegan to do things if he is not feeling well, tired, or in one of his moods, its just as well not to demand things on him..not because I LOOK AT HIM AS HANDICAP but because i don't want the screaming to start... I don't want the other kids to have to deal with that all the time..I was so pleased to talk to so many other parents of deaf children  that say they too are walking in my shoes..and not to take it all so personal .... I guess i have always dreamed of having allot of children but NEVER was such a load crazy home was in my dreams.... I need help with how to explain to the kids that sometimes when there is a special needs child in a family, they need the extra time and support from the parents.... I'm not sure if I am getting the point across or how i should be explain it to them as they are still all kids... I know they all have big hearts and are willing to help others in need, but when they are missing out on things and time with their mom and dad its hard..... I have to say i was so heartbroken to see on the show my husband breaking down when he referred to our daughter Sadie going over to him when he got home one night from work and he was tired, burned out etc and as she walked away, she said I just wanted to say HI... WOW what an eye opener...We have been really working hard on not getting so  frustrated with everyday  small things such as the bills,the  screaming,etc... I know this is taking a toll on each and everyone of us and after watching the show today, i KNOW i need to step back and really focus on not only making the right decision for Keegan's future but I need to focus more on them all and what their needs and wants are.......I just wish someone could give me all the answers ....LOL... I just wish knew i was doing everything the right way and everything in the life will be ok.... Nobody ever told me, being a mom was so hard... nobody ever warned me about the WHAT IFS in life.......Well i can say i AM proud of myself as I have been such a fighting mom in Keegan's life these past few years that I can honestly say, with a smile on my face... I don't know if Keegan would be where he is right now if i just sat back  and felt sorry and pity... Keegan did enter Kindergarten in the fall he was in a special ed class... WHICH at first broke my heart... I want my identical twin boys to be together thru the years, i want them to graduate from high school together, I want them to both grow up with each other... WELL Keegan did so well this past year, that he will be entering "NORMAL" first grade in the Fall with Jett.... ok and one more thing that i can't stop thinking about was howDr Phil focused allot on my husband Rob and I's relationship, which he was right on... we live for our kids these days... No focus on US.... but we are working hard on becoming a couple in love again... I feel now that Keegan is walking down the right path and for we are too with guiding and supporting the other kids, I have the chance to be me KARA again, not just that HELICOPTER MOMMY... but me the person who loves kids, wants to help others, wants to focus on helping ALL my kids be successful and able to follow their dreams....but most of all, I want to be the girl that 20 years ago, was the same girl my husband feel in love with... I love Rob....he is an amazing Father, Husband, and Son... But I know he felt bad walking away from that show as he is at work allot and can't be home much to help raise the kids at this point in our life's... He feels he is to blame for allot of the kids behaviors... when he is home, he is always taking ALL the kids and finding things to do, from fishing to visiting grandparents.. as simple as watching tv and playing cards with them...he even takes them all shopping (NO THANKS) even if its to get a gallon of milk..but Rob has to work overtime not a choice at this time... having the medical bills, the loans we had taken out to cover the cost of traveling and the twins O2 bills, hearing aides etc... we are trapped..I know Dr Phil thinks going on a so called Date night would help etc... but it just can't happened right now.. Rob has to work and when he is not working, I feel we either are trying to help the the family, trying to help other parents that are traveling down the same path we have been down or fixing up our house because its not close to being done yet...we stop everything when those boys were born and since then, up until this past fall,..we haven't had a chance to do really work on the house... and allot of the house is still undone....we are in need of smoke alarms for the deaf and we want to keep up on sign language so we have to  work together and really understand what is most important  ...In NYS deafness is not really looked at as anything.. The hearing aides we had for Keegan were $5500. the travel fees taking Keegan out of state to get answers, co pays, meds, travel cost have gotten us in debt....so I can't keep knocking  him for working so much, this is life I don't know where we would be or if we would have a roof over our head if it wasn't for Rob busting his butt to work to improve what we have and make sure the thing that are NEEDED we get...... I have meet others that have LESS than us, so all and all... i have to stop all the worrying and keep reminding myself life is not that bad, and even thou i can't give the kids "THINGS" i can give them love and support.......i just wish Dr Phil would have told me to stop the complaining and understand that Rob is doing the best thing for our family... I LOVE EACH AND EVERY DAY OF BEING AMOM and will someday be able to sit back and realize that the struggles we went thru were all worth it.... THANK YOU EVERYONE for taking the time to read about our family... I understand people judge other but i hope that people see I really am doing the best I CAN and KNOW!!!!
Replied By: ctgibson on Jul 9, 2010, 10:37PM
I am happy that the News Anchor person who wrote his story is helping inspire people but I would like to comment on behalf of the many people who live in poverty and in difficult situations. While I strongly believe in inspiration and making decisions to change what can be changed, I anger when someone says to me that people choose their desitinies. This is not always so. Life is not ours to control. We sometimes must make what we can with what we have and it doesn't always lead us quickly out of our situations.  There are many things that are so much beyond our control - death, job loss, health, family issues. Yes, we can work hard to find the light in the dark tunnels but it often requires a helping hand. It seems to me that the people that write or speak about changing your life by making choices have those choices to make. It isn't easy for someone embedded in poverty, loss, addictions to just make a choice to not feel grief or not want what they are addicted to, or just step out of their poverty and get that big paying job. We must be careful that our inspirations somehow help lead to building changes that help all people move forward, not just those who can afford to make a choice to spend quality time with family. Not so easy to do when you have to work a twelve hour day to put food on the table and you are a single parent and you haven't a home worth selling and you are too tired to think about that job you would like but arent' qualified for. Anyway, not trying to be a downer but I am hearing a great deal these days about choices but I know that choice is not always there in the same way for everyone.
Replied By: captainkelby on Jul 9, 2010, 8:40PM
I just cannot understand why the parents and siblings have never learned ASL!  Why??? Keegan is not given the opportunity to express himself in a mature way.  He only knows how to scream, kick, punch, etc.  That is his way of communicating with his family.  My hearing son is fluent in ASL because my husband and I are Deaf.  He has the greatest gift that too many Deaf children are missing out - being bilingual and able to communicate and interact with  the Deaf community.  One time, I was tutoring a father of a five year old Deaf boy in ASL and I had my son with me so he could play with the boy.  My son asked the father why the boy did not know ASL very well.  The father was embarrassed and admitted that he took the doctor's advice about not using ASL and that it was stupid of him.  He was astonished with how freely my son and I could communicate - no limitations, no barriers. I suggest that you Google Deaf culture and you will see how much Keegan and his family are missing out.
Replied By: captainkelby on Jul 9, 2010, 8:32PM - In reply to cynthiandrews
Seriously, the family is in a great need to learn American Sign Language.  Once the family starts using it to communicate with Keegan,  he will bloom into a wonderful boy, instead of staying a tryant like the parents call him.  So sad!   I thank my parents and brothers for learning ASL when I was a baby.  I am one of the lucky 10 percent of Deaf children with hearing parents that sign.  
Replied By: captainkelby on Jul 9, 2010, 8:29PM - In reply to ohgeez
Helen Keller has never mastered the use of American Sign Language, only manual fingerspelling, hence her preference of being blind but she was never independent - always having someone at her side throughout her life.   As for being separated from people by just being Deaf... I beg to differ.  Keegan has never been given the opportunity to communicate in American Sign Language because the parents have not bothered to take the time to learn the language that would help Keegan and his family BIG time.  I am very disappointed that Dr. Phil never made such suggestion.   I am a culturally Deaf person and I have tons of friends and a wonderful family.  I cannot thank my parents enough for learning sign language immediately after discovering that I was Deaf when I was a baby.   Their perservancy, equal treatment, and love had caused me to be a very successful and happy Deaf individual.  By being able to grow up using ASL and interacting with Deaf and hearing peers, I have never felt totally separated from people.  You can Google Deaf culture and you will realize how much Keegan and his family are missing out.
Replied By: davewriter on Jul 9, 2010, 7:38PM - In reply to kaffyf49
Okay, just curious...what did the doctors say about your daughter regarding her developmental disabilities, and how did you respond?  If they give you guidelines about discipline, you can't really ignore them.  What did they say about spanking?  And I hope that the responsibilities you gave her did not surpass her limitations.  Why, when I was a child, my parents wouldn't let me mow the lawn, do any ironing, or anything else that may hurt me (memories of burining my finger on a hot iron came back to me.) And in the case of the second one, they were afraid that my clumsiness and slow reflexes may cause me to screw up.  I didn't learn to cook until I was a teenager, and even then, it was simple meals like meat pies and French fries and Hamburger Helper.  For cooking timelines, I had to watch the clock on the wall.

And what subjects in school could she do independently, and what COULDN'T she do?  Me, I peaked in Science and French in High School, couldn't do history without the help of a teacher's aide, and according to my career aptitude profile when I first became a client with the Society of Manitobans with Disabilities, I got up to 11th Grade in Mathematics.  Luckily, I got up to 12th Grade in English, and my spelling is top notch; I plan to be a writer.  What about your daughter?  And how did her peers and teachers treat her in school?  Junior high was a worse nightmare than elementary school, being teased and tormented and bullied.  Did your daughter go through any of that? 

And how long has she been living on her own?  I just turned 31, and I've been living on my own.  Although I'm employed, it's just a volunteer stint as an administrative assistant for a non-profit organization, writing business correspondence and such.  Nothing you would probably write home about.  I get money from Employment and Income Assistance, and there are times that I worry about my budget.  I just know I'm never going to handle parenthood... LOL!  I may be independent right now, but I know I'm not going to be 100% independent.  Especially since I'm not a driver, and have to rely on buses in order to even get from the grocery store if I know walking may not be a good idea.  

Oh, and just so you know, I've lived with cerebral palsy since birth.  Just be grateful your daughter wasn't born mentally retarded with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Shaken Baby Syndrome... then you'd really be in trouble.  What you should have done was give her the "slack" she may have needed based upon her limitations, and what you may have done while you were pregnant with her I may not know you, but let me warn you that if your daughter's disabilities were caused by you smoking and drinking too much, or if your husband seriously injured you while pregnant, then let me paraphrase Gatalians 6:7; "Tempt not the Lord, for whatsoever the mother or father shall sow, they shall also reap."  Otherwise, (again, based upon what the doctors tell you) you may have no choice but to be both parent and friend.

Call me ignorant, but I find it laughable that your daughter could grow up as normal as her brothers. 

I've just about finished a novel that gets this point across.  In it, the protagonist's mother is both parent and friend, because she was ignorant in her smoking, and her son came out almost a month premature with an underdeveloped brain that couldn't be fixed (the part of the brain that censors his thoughts doesn't work, so he's prone to talking back and saying whatever comes to his mind, no matter how shocking or ridiculous.)  Meanwhile, his three older sisters come out healthy and normal.  As a result, she has always blamed herself, and based on the reports, felt she didn't have much of a choice but to be both parent and friend to him, which he's accepted.  Later on, one of his sisters gives birth three months too early to a son who came out mentally retarded, after her husband throws her down a flight of stairs during a fight, then throws something heavy on top of her to put her in a coma.  She, too, felt she had no choice, as the kid already had more limitations than parents could place on him.  It's called "Broken Family Portrait" and the people who have read think it's really good.  If you're interested, e-mail me at davewriter2003@yahoo.com, and I'll send it to you.

Bottom line, you should have paid some attention to her limitations, to what she could and couldn't do -
and there are some things she probably can't do in the "normal world" - and in teaching her this kind of reality, parented her a little differently from your brothers... and probably encouraged her brothers to help out as well.
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