Joanne is the mother of 2 from Lakewood.
Do you work outside the home? If so, what do you do?
I am a Research Analyst for a bank.
What do you do to relax?
I run and play the sax.
What else would you like to tell us about yourself?
I like to stay busy and have a pretty active life.
What benefits has Connecting for Kids brought to you and your family?
We have gotten many good recommendations on programming as well as connected with other families.
What has been your favorite Connecting for Kids resource?
The Meet and Greet event to learn more about therapies offered and summer camps.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself the day we got the diagnosis I would say...
I would be more open about our struggles early on. I feel like I spent a great deal of time trying to convince friends and family my kid was "fine". Once I let go of that and became open with others about our struggles I began to really be able to dig in and help my son by getting the help he needed and the friends I needed for the journey.
The hardest thing for me to learn was...
Not to compare my child to typical kids. Even if the accomplishment seems small compared to what other people's children do, not to disregard it but celebrate the victory.
The best thing about parenting a child who struggles is...
How it changes your outlook on life. My son loves the little things in life. The little things, that most kids don't even notice, bring him such joy. I envy how happy he is and try to experience joy from the smallest of things as well.
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'm a research analyst by profession so I'm always "researching" ways to help my kids. I try to keep learning and trying different things with my kids hoping to stumble on the best combination.
Is there anything else about your journey that you would like to share with other parents?
You are your child's best advocate. Don't forget that. There have been times when professionals have told us one thing although I truly believed something else. Follow your gut. Don't discount what people tell you but always do your homework and be his/her biggest advocate. The other thing I would say is things are constantly changing. If you are in a rough patch now that can change too so hang in there.