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Faces of CFK: Khalida

30 Oct 2015 9:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

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Name: Khalida

What do you do to relax? I love to spend quality time with my family and friends.

What else would you like to tell us about yourself? I have three beautiful children. In 2006 my middle son was diagnosed with autism. The journey has been a learning experience for our family and we continue to grow and develop each day. We try to participate in community events and gatherings but always put our son’s needs first. We are open about our son's diagnosis and willing to help anyone new to autism.

Are you an active member of Connecting for Kids?
I look forward to serving in the Parent Match Program at Connecting for Kids. My hope is to help families within our Cleveland community.

If I could go back in time and talk to myself the day we got the diagnosis what would you say? I would say that there is no quick fix. This is a journey for life. As stated by President Obama, " Progress is not a straight line." Once I got the diagnosis, I was searching for ways to help my son, but it wasn't until later that I realized that each child has different needs and each child will develop in his own way. As a parent, my job is to love and nurture that child every day.

What do you worry about the most?
I worry about preparing my son for survival in this tough world. As a parent I want to protect my son but the reality is that I have to help him learn to live in this world. I am his advocate, but I wonder whether I am doing enough.

In which area have you grown the most?
My son's diagnosis has helped me become a better person. My son has shown me that you don't always need words to show love.

Do you have any go-to resources that we can share with other parents?
I believe connecting with other parents of children with special needs is the best resource. There is an immediate bond. You can share stories and experiences that only a parent of a child with special needs would understand. I have laughed and cried with these parents because only they can truly understand my feelings.

Is there anything about your journey that you would like to share with other parents?
When my son was first diagnosed I was always looking to "cure" him of his autism. I tried many different therapies, essential oils, diets, etc. I would be heartbroken when he would not show progress. However, things improved only when I realized that autism is part of his identity and it is my task to help him navigate through life with this diagnosis.

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