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Lisa

Do you work outside the home?
I am a first grade teacher.   

What do you do to relax?

Not much.  I need to get better at this one.

What else would you like to tell us about yourself?
Even with all its challenges…there isn't really much I would change about my life.

What benefits has Connecting for Kids brought to you and your family?
It has been a pleasure and an honor to watch this amazing organization grow from the ground up.  It has truly filled a void in our community.

Which have been your favorite Connecting for Kids resources?

I do enjoy the speakers, the Meet and Greet in the spring and the annual fundraiser. 

If I could go back in time and talk to myself the day we got the diagnosis I would say...

I KNEW IT!!!!  I told you to trust yourself!  Even when the doctors said, “give it time.”  I'm glad you trusted your instincts and got the evaluations and eventually the diagnosis necessary to open doors for your family.

Everything is going to be OK.  I know right now it may not seem so, but have faith that it's all going to be exactly the way it’s supposed to be.  I know this isn't the road you expected to travel, but there will be some awesome surprises along the way.  These surprises will come in every size, shape, and color you can imagine, but when they appear…rely on them and trust that they have your child's best interest at heart.  They will eventually become a very important part of your life and you won't be able to remember how you ever survived without them.

Live in the moment.  Try not to let worrying about the future take away from the joys you have right now.  There are so many amazing things that come with parenting a child with special needs.  Someday you will look back and say, “I wouldn't change one thing.”                                                                        

What I worry about the most...
…is that I won't always be there to take care of my child (morbid thought, right?)  Has my husband been paying attention to all the little details…what goes in his lunch box?  How he likes his banana cut? What time he starts his homework?  How to best calm him down when he's upset?  Will he remember to tickle him before bed?

Will he advocate for him?  Will he attend the IEP meetings?  Will he remember to be the calming presence when the kids lose their minds? 

Have I done a good job preparing him to do these things?  Have I done a good job preparing my children to be independent and advocate for themselves?  Will they all be OK without me?  Will I be OK without them? 

I've really got to stop worrying about this :-)

My greatest lesson learned...    
People usually don't understand what it’s like to have a child with special needs unless they have one themselves…and that's OK.

We'd love to know if you have any go-to resources such as blogs, websites, or books that we can share with other parents. 
I've read so many books that I've lost count.  But that is usually where I start looking for help.  I go to Amazon Smile (and select CFK as my charity) and just type in what I'm looking for.  I usually like the true, honest narratives better than the text books.  And, of course, if you're on the CFK website you're already in the right place to find the help you need!

Is there anything else about your journey that you would like to share with other parents?
I've probably been where you are right now.  I've had the same fears, worries, anxieties, questions, concerns and hopeless feelings.  I get it…many of us do.  You are not alone and there are many parents that would love to be your sounding board and your shoulder when you need to cry. Becoming friends with other parents of kids with special needs was, by far, the best thing I ever did for myself and my family.  They have been an invaluable resource and I can't imagine my life without them.  It does get easier and everything is going to be OK.


Lisa is the mother of three children.

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Faces of Connecting for Kids (CFK) is a monthly feature that appears in our subscribers-only eNewsletter. The parents profiled in Faces of CFK have provided their information to help others walking a similar path to know that they are not alone. If you are interested in providing your own profile for a Faces of CFK feature, please complete this form.

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Phone: 1-440-250-5563
Email: info@connectingforkids.org

Address:

P.O. Box 45372
Westlake, Ohio 44145

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