Kelly is the mom of one child from Lakewood
What do you do to relax?
What else would you like to tell us about yourself?
I am a stay-at-home mom pursuing Master’s degree.
What benefits has Connecting for Kids brought to you and your family?
We are able to participate in programs, network with other families and attend CFK community events.
Which have been your favorite Connecting for Kids resources?
Teach Me to Play, Music Therapy & More, Adapted Storytimes and the CFK Facebook page for parent referrals.
The area where I have grown the most...
My first negative experience was at my son's first parent teacher conference in preschool. The teacher did not have one kind word to say about my son. She did not have solutions and seemed to be only listing his faults. I did not sleep for days after that meeting with worry and concern. I was afraid of my son struggling and being treated different, not only by classmates but by a teacher. I met with the teacher, insisted on an action plan, pushed and pleaded for her to see my son through my eyes and recognize his strengths, kind heart and unique talents. It was like trying to draw blood from a stone. We had City District school evaluations in which my son was adored and viewed with unending potential. At my son's doctor evaluations, even though I heard things I was afraid of hearing, I was able to return my focus on my son's positive attributes. I realized that sometimes it is just the wrong situation, not enough training/knowledge or the wrong mix of personalities. It is OK to make changes and say goodbye to something you initially thought was a long-term solution. A school might need to place my son on an IEP, but that does not change the fundamentals of who my son is - kind, loving, bright with unending potential. My son has slowed my pace, opened my eyes and enlarged my heart. In a world crying out for more kindness, creative solutions and healing, he is the embodiment of it. I see the irony now in anyone who sees my son as delayed, little potential, not fitting in or odd. And I feel my son has given me a gift to see this same potential in all children and families.
If I could go back in time and talk to myself the day we got the diagnosis I would say...
Don't worry mom, you've got this (most of the time, and those times you aren't on top of it all, are OK too)!
The best thing about parenting a child who struggles is...
My son has made me a better parent, wife, daughter, sister and friend. I am the oldest of five children and grew up babysitting siblings, cousins and neighbors. Babysitting was my part time job as a student in high school and college. I graduated from college and went into business, traveling, conference calls, training, managing a team of 13 people, interacting directly with executives of Fortune 100/500 Companies, etc. I felt like having a baby would be a time to relax and re-group. I guessed the "re-group" part of the equation correctly. My son was a challenge. My son turned out to be a greater learning experience than a meeting with the executives of any top corporation and certainly more than any challenging babysitting job in my past. Not only has my son made me a better parent, but he has made me a kinder and gentler/patient person.
Do you have any recommended resources such as blogs, websites, or books that we can share?
This book helped figuring out a bedtime routine based on age and ability "The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight" by Kim West
Is there anything else about your journey that you would like to share with other parents?
CFK has been an incredible resource and helped me beyond measure along my journey. CFK continues to be there as I continue to move along the path with my son. Sarah is an inspiration to me. Her team is fantastic.