Annie has a daughter and lives in Lakewood
What do you do to relax?
I try to take time for yoga, baths, running, drinking wine, going on walks with my husband, and cooking.
What benefits has Connecting for Kids brought to you and your family?
When we received the diagnosis, I felt like I was driving a car blindfolded and without a map. I didn't know where to start. I didn't know what to do. CFK has been my map, pointing me where to go when I get to the fork in the road and giving me pep talks when I need them, letting me know I'm not the first to travel this road and it's going to be OK.
Which have been your favorite Connecting for Kids resources?
The Facebook group - I often find myself searching through old posts. It seems like every question I have has been asked before!
My greatest lesson learned was...
(that I'm still learning) is that I can't fix this. I tend to go into "super mom" mode sometimes and overbook our schedule with therapies and appointments and overextend myself by trying to do it all to somehow get to the point where this is suddenly OK or all fixed now. I often need to check in and remind myself that no amount of work or research or therapy will ever totally make this go away. And that's OK. My daughter will get better, and we will get worse at times, and we'll keep climbing.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself the day we got the diagnosis I would say...
There will be joy for you too. This is not the end. You will continue being a mom and doing mom things and your beautiful kiddo will continue to grow in her own, unique way. Your life may look a little different than you expected it would be and it's going to take some time to let go of those expectations. Try not to compare her with others, and try to enjoy her.
The best thing about parenting a child who struggles is...
Her achievements and milestones are like the highest high! It takes her longer to learn things, so whenever we have a breakthrough, it feels like the greatest gift. The confidence and pride I see she gets in herself for learning something new is one of the best feelings I've ever had.
Do you have any recommended resources such as blogs, websites, or books that we can share?
Finding Cooper's Voice is a heartfelt and real account from a mom who has a child with autism. Whenever I'm feeling alone, I read through those posts and remember there are many of us struggling and it helps me.