Anne is the mom of two children from Fairview Park
What do you do to relax?
Yoga, reading a good book with a cup of tea, binge watching a series on Netflix, and dinners or nights out with friends. Learning to make time for these things has been so helpful to me.
What benefits has Connecting for Kids brought to you and your family?
Connecting for Kids let me know I was not alone. Until I received that call from Sarah Rintamaki, I thought no one could understand or offer any guidance about what I was going through. Professionals had a lot of recommendations and referrals but no one could see it through my eyes the way Connecting for Kids did. It was life changing for our family. I had severe anxiety about going anywhere with my son at that age (he was 2.5 years old when I found CFK.) Up until our involvement with CFK, I avoided playdates, storytimes, etc. But Music Therapy & More and Adapted Storytime were safe spaces where my son could learn and we felt comfortable as a family. CFK continues to be where I go for support and resources as we continue on our journey. I have also made lasting friendships with families on similar journeys.
Which have been your favorite Connecting for Kids resources?
Music Therapy & More has been a positive and accepting learning experience for our family. But the resource I use daily is the CFK Families Facebook group. The Facebook page has given me ideas, helped me find new resources and programs for my son and given me previews of issues we will face as we continue on our journey.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself the day we got the diagnosis I would say...
Keep breathing. Keep moving forward and take it a day at a time. Just keep doing the next right thing for your child and your family and follow your gut. You know your child best. Don't question that ever. Lastly, take time for yourself and for your family to just have fun and enjoy each other.
What I worry about most…
I am a worrier. So I worry all the time. As we start the new school year, I worry my son will have a successful transition to kindergarten, make friends, that the other children will be kind and understanding towards him and that he will enjoy going to school. I'm going to call this what I hope most right now instead of what I worry about most right now.
The best thing about parenting a child who struggles is...
We have our challenges, but day to day, I am amazed at the strength, work ethic, bravery, and sweetness that my son has shown since day one. He fought to make it into this world and continues to fight to be an engaged part of it. This particular parenting experience has changed who I am and only for the better. I have become less competitive and judgmental, more resilient, and I have let go of the "expectations" of what I thought our life should look or be like. I am so proud of both my children and the family that we are.
Do you have any recommended resources such as blogs, websites, or books that we can share?
“Option B” by Sheryl Sandburg as I have found the lessons and message very applicable to a journey as a special needs parent helpful and applicable to developing resiliency in all areas of your life. I also love the essay, “A grieving mom's advice to the rest of us: Love purely, and take it easy” by Emily Rapp.