My first action item was to request a recovnene meeting with the school district to amend my son's IEP. He needed more approproate services including an ABA SEIT and a 1:1 paraprofessional in the classroom. I dealt with the action items that needed to be tackled after his diagnosis before coming to terms with the emotions under it all.
2: How were your extended family and friends helpful?
They provided a lot of emotional support. I also started blogging and through that I was able to expand my support system. My mom and father in law have been the biggest help to us in terms of hands-on support.
3: You are currently working with parents in the Bronx. What is the biggest area of need?
Our biggest area of need is access to appropriate schools, resources, and support for our children. The Bronx is the poorest and most under served borough in NYC. We need so much. Through my support group, we hope to be able to provide support, resource information, and bring more awareness to the needs of Bronx autism parents. As an advocate, I have found a big gap in access to information on what our children are entitled to under the law in special education.
4: Your son is now in school. What has been the biggest challenge and biggest accomplishment of the school year?
His biggest challenge has been getting him to be focused and attend during classwork and therapy. I have a great team with his teacher and therapists and we are working together to help him. His biggest accomplishment has been becoming an emergent reader. He can read short books. We help with the words he does not know but the interest is there and this is a huge deal for him.
5: If someone were to ask you to define your son in 10 words or less, what would those words be?
He is resilient, motivating, inspiring and my reason for being.