Rasheena lives in Euclid and is the mom of two boys ages 2 and 7 years old.
How are you and your family dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home order?
We are coping the best we can. My older son has ASD, ADHD and sensory processing issues so getting him into a routine and used to doing his schoolwork from home has been a challenge. It is difficult for him to understand that although he is not physically at school, he still needs to be doing the work. In school, he has an aide who works with him but at home I feel like I am a drill sergeant trying to get him to stay on task. The school is doing a combination of Zoom and pre-recorded video lessons so it is a lot of time sitting by the screen which is hard for him. I am working 40 hours a week from home so I’m trying to get my work done and manage him too. I’m getting anxious about our summer plans. He usually attends camp five days a week and participates in a reading program. I am not sure what I am going to do if those are canceled.
What do you do to relax?
I take deep breaths, long bubble baths and drink tea. Since I work full-time, I really try to relax and regroup at night after the kids are in bed so I am ready to take on the next day.
What else would you like to tell us about yourself?
I love traveling, cooking, gardening and reading. I also love being a mom and an advocate for my son.What benefits has Connecting for Kids brought to you and your family?
We really love the Music Therapy & More program. We originally attended in Westlake but were thrilled when it was offered at the Euclid Public Library near where we live. I am very grateful that I can bring both of my kids at the same time. Even though they are five years apart, they both love the program and get something out of it.
Which Connecting for Kids resources have you tapped into to help your child?
I have found great support on the CFK Families Facebook group. Through Connecting for Kids, I have been able to find east side resources to help my son including an occupational therapist and adaptive aquatics program.
Which have been your favorite Connecting for Kids resources?
My favorite Connecting for Kids program is Teach Me to Play. My son has been able to socialize with other kids, play games and participate in fun activities. It is a judgment free zone. Also, I have been able to ask questions and get suggestions from the program facilitators of things we can work on at home.
My greatest lesson learned was...
That this is a journey with different phases as my child gets older. I also have had to learn patience and understanding for the times he struggles and makes mistakes. He learns differently so it is up to me to provide learning experiences that work well for him.
The area where I have grown the most...
Learning about the IEP process. At first, I was really resistant to the idea of an IEP for my son but that is mostly because I didn’t understand what it was and how it could help him. Now, I know that the IEP is there to give him what he needs to be successful. Today, I love to advocate for him and be involved in the IEP process, helping to set goals and watching his progress.
The hardest thing for me to learn was...
No one knows your child better than you do so trust your instincts. I also learned that you can’t do it all by yourself and you need to ask for help. I’ve had to take my “cape” off and let others help care for my child. At first, I had a lot of fear letting others help but it has been wonderful having family members engaged with him and part of the process.
Do you have any recommended resources such as blogs, websites, or books that we can share?
The Understood.org website provides lots of tips and helpful advice on how to deal with his ADHD and sensory processing issues. I also feel it is a great resource when I have questions or need clarification on something pertaining to his IEP. A book that has been helpful for my son to deal with a few school situations has been “What is Empathy?: A Bullying Storybook for Kids” by Amanda Morin and John Joseph.