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Michele

What do you do to relax? I read, walk my dog, spend time with friends and watch movies.

Are you an active member of Connecting for Kids?
I am a parent mentor for anxiety disorders.

What benefits has CFK brought to you and your family?
  1. The organization helped us gain knowledge of and access to local support (therapists, programs, etc).
  2. CFK directed me through the evaluation process with the school system.
  3. Sarah personally has spent lots of time talking with me, not only as the CFK coordinator but as a friend.

Which CFK resources have you tapped into to help your child?

  1. Seminars by local experts on relevant topics.
  2. Music Therapy & MoreSM program at the library.
  3. Lists of local support (therapists, programs, etc).
  4. The Meet & Greet informational night.

What have been some benefits of CFK Resources? We found a private therapist who worked with us in our home to prepare my daughter for her IEP evaluation. The therapist also went to the IEP meeting with us. In addition, it was nice to find other parents in similar situations. I use the CFK website to find out about upcoming programs.

The best way I asked for support was... Almost from the time she was born, I used to call my daughter's pediatrician weekly to report her constant crying. I even tried researching ʺcrying disordersʺ, certain that my daughter had one. Her crying was repeatedly dismissed and I was told it was most likely due to gas, reflux, etc. But I'd had a reflux baby (my son) and I knew that my daughter's crying was different. At her 2-year-old well check, she was crying through the whole 30 minute appointment. When the check-up was over, I refused to leave the room until my pediatrician addressed the crying. I insisted on staying so she could see firsthand how long it lasted. Finally, after sitting there with my non-stop crying toddler for 90 minutes, the pediatrician came back in and said, ʺOkay, she shouldn't be crying for this long, there might be something going on.ʺ I felt like someone had finally thrown me a life vest after I'd been treading water for a year! In my gut I knew there was something wrong, and I got to the point where I quit asking for support, and basically demanded it!

The hardest thing for me to learn was... Realizing the way I'd always parented my first child, my son, wasn't going to work for my daughter. I was going to have to use different parenting styles for each child. When my son asked for something I didn't want him to have, I could just say ʺnoʺ and he accepted it. But with my daughter, who had been diagnosed with sensory issues (particularly auditory), I needed to communicate differently. I'd hold up a red piece of paper, which was my way of non-verbally telling her ʺnoʺ so not to trigger a meltdown. With my son, I could frantically run into the room and say, ʺCome on we have to go. Get your shoes on!ʺ But with my daughter, who developed anxiety as a result of her sensory issues, I had to go through several, time-consuming steps to prepare her for any kind of transition, whether it was leaving the house to go somewhere, stopping play to come eat, going upstairs for the bedtime routine, etc. Parenting my son was easy because I didn't have to think about it. Parenting my daughter, however, was a methodical, unnatural process. It felt like walking on egg shells and if I dropped the ball for even a second, it often resulted in a three hour meltdown. Although this was a challenge for me, the support and education I received through CFK and our therapist was ultimately very beneficial to my daughter and our family.

Is there anything else about your journey that you would like to share? I've always said to people who seem skeptical/ashamed about seeking help for a child who needs extra support, "If my son needed help with his curve ball, I wouldn't think twice about signing him up for pitching lessons. So when my daughter needed help with her social behavior, anxiety, etc, I didn't think twice about getting her some extra help!" The early intervention I sought for my daughter has helped turn her into a thriving and successful Kindergartener who has overcome her sensory and anxiety issues.

Michele is the parent of two children.

Faces of Connecting for Kids (CFK) is a monthly feature that appears in our subscribers-only eNewsletter. The parents profiled in Faces of CFK have provided their information to help others walking a similar path to know that they are not alone. If you are interested in providing your own profile for a Faces of CFK feature, please complete this form.

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Phone: 1-440-250-5563
Email: info@connectingforkids.org

Address:

P.O. Box 45372
Westlake, Ohio 44145

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