We have a new Featured Parent to introduce you to!
Fun and Function: Who are you and your kids?
Lisa Quinones-Fontanez: I'm Lisa Quinones-Fontanez, and I have Norrin, 5 years old.
FF: What is the nature of their special needs?
FF: Do you have a blog?
LQF: Autism Wonderland.
FF: What would you say is your biggest challenge in raising a child with special needs?
LQF: The biggest challenge for us is finding appropriate services. As Norrin is turning 5, the school search is daunting and appropriate schools in the Bronx are extremely limited.
FF: What would you say is your greatest joy in raising your child?
LQF: Appreciating every single milestone achieved. There are so many things parents take for granted. We celebrate everything, every word and skill. We see the day to day growth in our child and are truly grateful.
FF: What would you say has been the biggest help you in raising your child?
LQF: Early intervention, most especially our ABA and speech therapist. They worked so well with Norrin and were great resources for us. We watched and learned and really embraced their methods to help Norrin progress.
FF: Give us one tool you would hate to live without.
LQF: My copy of Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy - The Special Education Survival Guide. It gave me the information I needed to get Norrin additional home based services. It's a valuable resource and one that I know I will refer to often.
FF: If you could give one piece of advice to another parent who's child has just been diagnosed, what would it be?
LQF: I believe a parent should allow time to heal. A diagnosis of any kind is difficult. But do not dwell on the diagnosis. Continue to look for things that make your child special, there is always something new to discover, and they will always surprise you. I would also stress that they must advocate for their child, that they are the most valuable members of their child's IEP team and that their voice must be heard.
Lisa, 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!