January 13, 2016, twenty guests joined us for a CHAT event honoring Milo, a freshman at UC Berkeley and a 2002 graduate of Cheerful Helpers. During the event Milo's mom shared her tips for families who are just finding out that their child has special needs.
- Be a bull dog. Fight for your child. You are your child’s best advocate. Do not just take what the school district is offering. It will not be enough.
- Let go of your expectations. When Milo was first diagnosed, I had to let go of expectations I didn’t even realize I had: that Milo would go to college, learn to drive a car, make good friends, or get married and have children. If you have expectations, I would put them in a box and put it on a shelf. Your child may have a different, more interesting path, not the one you planned out.
- Focus on your child’s strengths, not his or her weaknesses. Every parent wants his or her child to have healthy self-esteem. Why would you always point out what is wrong? That doesn’t make sense.
- Figure out what is a primary area of interest and use that to teach everything around that, whether it’s tennis, horses, the Kennedy family or the Titanic. High interest materials make your child want to learn.
- And lastly, if possible, get your child into Cheerful Helpers!
*** A little addendum from Milo - if your child is interested in coding get them into that right away!