About Connecting for Kids
Hello. My name is Sarah Rintamaki and I am the founder of Connecting for Kids. I started this group to help moms: moms who are just like me. Several years ago my 2-year-old had a speech delay and couldn't even say "mama." I was overwhelmed with numerous doctor and specialist appointments. I desperately wanted to find the "right" therapies and exhausted myself searching the internet for local programs. I was lonely too because my other friends didn't have children with these struggles.
Over time, things began to fall into place and a group of us started an informal support group. We shared so much at those meetings, everything from a new therapy or program to our feelings of grief, frustration, pride and joy in motherhood. I want to give to other moms what those moms gave to me.
In 2011, I started Connecting for Kids. I hope our education and support programs can help your family.
Our mission is to provide education and support for families with questions or concerns about their child’s development. We are targeting families with children ages three to twelve years old who have some concern about their child's development. We are serving all children; whether they have a formal diagnosis such as ASD, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, among others. But we also offer programs for children who may be described as shy, anxious, impulsive or quick to anger. We serve all areas of child development whether it is physical, emotional, social/language, adaptive or cognitive. We are focused on the west side of Cuyahoga County and the east side of Lorain County.
Why should I join?
If you join as a family subscriber you will have access to....
1. A speaker series featuring accredited experts on topics relevant to parents. These speakers are targeting parents, not other professionals, and will focus on practical, executable advice and recommendations.
2. An online community where you can ask questions, share ideas or vent. You can post anonymously or share information about your life. It is your choice.
3. A "one stop" calendar for parent education events across Cuyahoga and Lorain County. We don't just list Connecting for Kids events, we list events sponsored by the county and other organizations so you know where to turn for advice or information.
4. We host support events including "Mom's Night Out" dinners, "Dad's Days" and Family Fun events such as bowling.
5. A directory of professionals and programs that specialize in children and offer services in our geographic area. This directory is used by families to find services for their child.
Who should join?
Who are we targeting?
- Families with kids ages 3-12.
- Living on the west side of Cuyahoga County and the east side of Lorain County.
- Have some concern about their child's development.
We are serving all children; whether they have a formal diagnosis such as Autism, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, among others. But we also offer programs for children who may be described as shy, anxious, impulsive or quick to anger. We serve all areas of child development whether it is physical, emotional, social/language, adaptive or cognitive. All families are welcome in our program.
Are you only a group for children with Special Needs?
When my son was first starting therapy, I was overwhelmed with doctors, therapists and conflicting advice. I attended a support group for children with special needs, but felt as though my child's issues were minor compared to the challenges the women in the group were facing. I told my friends that my sons needs weren't severe enough to justify attending the group's functions.
I have since spoken to many mothers that felt the same way when they tried to attend support groups. On the contrary, I have also spoken to mothers who felt as though their child's needs were too severe to be in a support group.
In short, we all want a place to find support, resources and information AND find another family whose child has similar issues. So our group is taking the philosophy that every child has special and unique needs, whether they have a formal diagnosis or are considered "typically developing."
At some of our events, we will give you an opportunity to split into groups based on the type of issue your child is facing. At other events, we will discuss issues that are relevant to every family, regardless of what your child is facing.
Everyone is welcome. Every child is special. We are open to all.