Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center
Patient Stories | Jalen Roberts

Parenting a Child with Special Needs Makes You Stronger, Mom Says

When Jalen Roberts was born in 2006, he didn't pass his newborn screening. He developed autoimmune colitis, a form of inflammatory bowel disease. He also had profound hearing loss. He got his first hearing aid at six months old and later started the road to improving his speech and hearing even more when he got a cochlear implant. Today, Jalen is almost 7, and his speech is improving every day. "When it happens that you have a child with special needs, you just become a stronger person," says his mom, Brandy. "You just go about your day pushing yourself more and more. Because if you give up, you're giving up on your child. And you can't do that."