We have a new Featured Parent to introduce you to!
Fun and Function: Who are you and your kids?
Stephanie Stoltenburg: I'm Stephanie Stoltenburg. I have two children; Thomas, 9, and Jada, 6.
FF: What is the nature of their special needs?
SS: Thomas has Autism.
FF: What would you say is your biggest challenge in raising a child with special needs?
SS: Dealing with other people. Everyone from family members, teachers, therapists, doctors, friends, to random strangers. Dealing with others' opinions on what they think is the best way to deal with Autism leaves me feeling rather exhausted. After almost a decade of having a child with Autism I've learned to trust my own instincts and opinions. I attempt to keep my inner circle rather small, keeping my focus on my children.
FF: What would you say is your greatest joy in raising your children?
SS: Simply watching them grow into completely unique strong-willed children with amazing ideas of what they want to do in life. They never cease to amaze me!
FF: What would you say has been the biggest help you in raising your kids?
SS: Support from my husband, mother, father, and two brothers. It has brought us all closer together. Also - online Autism support groups. I've met so many inspiring parents online.
FF: Give us one tool you would hate to live without.
SS: Our calendar! We have so many appointments I would never be able to remember everything without my huge calendar. It's a lifesaver!
FF: If you could give one piece of advice to another parent who's child has just been diagnosed, what would it be?
SS: Join support groups in your area or online. Connecting with other parents is essential.
FF: And finally, an addition to our interview series, how do you help your kids adjust to the new school year?
SS: It's a little bit different for us since I home school my son and my daughter goes to public school. So they both have to adjust to different schedule changes. Though I find that dry erase boards with schedules on them help to keep them on track. We make sure there is lots of free time throughout the schedule so they don't get stressed out. Also making sure everyone is getting plenty of sleep is key in our house.
Stephanie, 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!