We have a new Featured Parent to introduce you to! Kim is a parent to a kiddo with special needs and graciously answered a few questions.


Fun and Function: Who are you and your kids?

Kimberly Hersey: Kimberly Hersey, and my son is Kyle, 2 1/2 years old.


FF: What is the nature of their special needs?

KH: Down Syndrome.


FF: What would you say is your biggest challenge in raising a child with special needs?

KH: Acceptance that everything is going to happen but just not at the pace it might with a typical child. Also learning great patience!


FF: What would you say is your greatest joy in raising your child?

KH: Kyle is a love bug and has a smile that would light up the world, and he gives the most incredible hugs.


FF: What would you say has been the biggest help to you in raising your kids?

KH: Networking with other parents who are dealing with similar circumstances and situations. There are so many different variations to Down Syndrome so it helps to have a wide variety of families out there to talk to and throw ideas around with. It's also beneficial to know that when you are feeling overwhelmed, which does happen and is OKAY, that you have other families out there that have felt what your feeling and can help you through it.


FF: Give us one tool you would hate to live without.

KH: Anything Musical.


FF: If you could give one piece of advice to another parent who's child has just been diagnosed, what would it be?

KH: To know its okay to have questions and fears about the journey you are about to have with your child. One of my biggest setbacks 2 years ago was that I was in denial and I never talked to anyone about it. I knew Kyle's diagnosis when I was 5 months pregnant so I thought I was prepared. After we brought him home, after 6 weeks in the ICU at Children's Hospital Boston, it was hard for me to talk about it. Not because I was ashamed but just because it was so foreign to me. I have never known anyone personally with Down Syndrome. I had no idea what to expect. It was hard because everyone including Doctors and Early Intervention kept talking about the things Kyle was NOT going to be able to do and I just wanted to love him because he was my baby. I never told anyone that I needed to just love him for a while before diving right into the technical side that comes with having a child with Special Needs. There is a lot that comes with this journey and sometimes I felt that I got lost in all the medical staff and didn't focus on just letting him be a baby. My best advice would be to do just that. Just love your child, hold your child, TREAT THEM AS ANY OTHER CHILD because honestly, they are!


Kim, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us and all the readers here at Fun and Function.

If you would like to be a featured parent or professional, just let us know!