By Amy Kramer of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
Last night’s “Teen Mom 2” brought more devastating news to Leah regarding her daughter’s health issues: Ali would need to start using a wheelchair. While Corey immediately went into denial mode, Leah appeared as if she’d been hit by a ton of bricks. Part of her couldn’t help but feel like she’d failed Ali in some way, but the hard truth of the matter is that Ali’s physical troubles are simply bad luck.
Caring for a special needs child at such a young age takes a lot of strength, courage and resolve, and it’s certainly made Leah reflect on her past decisions. As she said in the episode, “Having sex at 16, you think it’s okay and everything will be perfect. Never does someone think that they could have a child that really could possibly have problems.”
Leah is lucky in that she has a husband who is patient and understanding, she has a mom and stepdad who are present and supportive, and her ex-husband Corey, as well as his family, are helpful and involved, too. Together they have done all they can to make sure Ali is cared for properly. They didn’t give up on finding a diagnosis and they won’t give up on her treatment.
But parenting is hard, and parenting a special needs child is even harder. It’s important to be ready for anything when you get pregnant, and being a teenager makes that nearly impossible. If you’re not done with school, not in a supportive relationship, not financially stable or not able to take care of yourself, then you’re probably not ready to be the kind of parent your child deserves.
Having a child, if you choose to do so, is one of the most important things you will ever do with your life. Make sure you do it when you are ready. If you’re not ready, then make sure it doesn’t happen until you are. Learn about taking control of your sex life and your future at MTV’s It’s Your Sex Life website, plus watch the “Teen Mom 2 Featured Moment” clips below to hear Leah and Jeremy discuss their reactions to finding out Ali needed a wheelchair.
On the long ride home from the doctor:
On Corey’s denial: