Do you work outside the home? I am primarily a stay-at-home parent. I work part-time as a music library assistant.
What do you do to relax? I read mystery books, listen to my favorite podcasts and play piano when I have time.
What benefits has Connecting for Kids brought to you and your family? Fun, friendship, music, play, encouragement, creativity, networking, connections and wisdom.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself the day we got the diagnosis I would say... Right now it is a little overwhelming. But you will eventually digest all this information, identify the priorities you need to focus on and make plans that address the goals you have for your child. Take the time to be present and enjoy your child each day. Don't let the anxiety take over your life. When you feel the surge of worry, take a deep breath, stop what you are doing, hold your child and just be present with him/her. Keep a journal of the special joys your child brings to you each day and of the milestone moments.
The hardest thing for me to learn was... To listen and observe my son. I often would not wait for him to process what I was saying or to respond in his own time. I am very thankful for the developmental specialist who came every month during his first year. She taught me the importance of listening and giving my son lots of time to respond. However, I still struggle with this, especially when our days are busy. Transitions can be hard. It's very easy for me just to talk for him or make his choices. This is what I am really trying hard to improve on so he can become an independent and confident person.
The best thing about parenting a child who struggles... The amazing community of people and services that are available in this area to support the family. We are connected to two nonprofits (Connecting for Kids and the Up Side of Downs). Both have provided invaluable support to our family and our child. I am thankful for each therapist that has interacted with my child from Help me Grow to the private therapy services we employ. And I am very thankful for the outstanding medical care he has received.
Bonnie is the parent of two children.
Website: The Red Treehouse
Book: Play To Talk: A Practical Guide to Help Your Late-Talking Child Join the Conversation by James MacDonald Ph.D. and Pam Stoika Ph.D.
Service: GemIIni Accelerated Language & Reading Therapy program
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.