Agnieszka K. has 2 children and lives in Bedford Heights.
What do you do to relax?
Yoga and meditation
What else would you like to tell us about yourself?
I’m a working mom, a huge advocate for my children and a nature lover.
What benefits has Connecting for Kids brought to you and your family?
One of the amazing benefits brought to us was definitely a network of parents, professionals and resources available to my family.
Which have been your favorite Connecting for Kids resources?
I absolutely love virtual support groups, they have been a great source of information and additional knowledge. I have learned a lot about self-care. Speaker Series have been a great source of useful tools, we are still using the behavioral chart I received during a Behavior Chat program. I had a chance to take my son to one of the Play at the Playground events, meet new families and make new friends.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself the day we got the diagnosis I would say...
I would say that no matter what, the love for your child will never change. The motherly love would be the one constant that will always be the same. The love for your child will be a common denominator for everything you will do. I would tell myself to buckle up for a very bumpy and full of unpredictable turns roller coaster ride. I would also tell myself to surround myself with a village of people willing to be there for you, because you will need it. I would also tell myself to take one day at a time, to stay focused and never ever lose hope. Our children deserve a chance and as their parents, we always have to be their voice. I would also tell myself that it is OK to "find your own outlet" which will allow you to decompress. I often see so many parents burned out...neglecting their own needs... It took me a long time to realize that my mental/emotional wellbeing also needs attention and that self-care matters.
What I worry about most…
What will happen when I am gone. What my son's life is going to look like ...is he going to be happy? I have an amazing daughter who loves her brother to pieces. She has been always there for her brother, always loving him unconditionally and giving up herself so he can get more help. But as she gets older I want her to be able to pursue her own dreams, to live her life to the fullest- she deserves nothing less. I worry that when I am gone she will have to face many new challenges and gain many additional responsibilities. I hope and pray that her love for her brother will never change and that she will be able to find balance.
The hardest thing for me to learn was...
Finding balance between work, home, and marriage. Getting a diagnosis has consumed me as a whole. It flipped my life upside down. This definitely put a strain on many relationships in my life. I lost many friends along the way, my marriage took a big hit...my other child was neglected. It took me a long time and a lot of wonderful people I've met to realize that finding balance is not easy, but it is definitely possible. Am I there? Probably not yet but I'm working towards finding what "obtaining balance" would mean for me and my family...one step at a time.
Is there anything else about your journey that you would like to share with other parents?
Never say never. The sky is the limit for what our children can achieve...and just because they see the world differently does not make it any less valuable and beautiful.