We have a new Featured Parent to introduce you to! Vera is a parent to kids with special needs and graciously answered a few questions.
Fun and Function: Who are you and your kids?
Vera Keane: Vera Keane and my kids are Maeve, aged 3; and Josephine "Josie", aged 2.
FF: What is the nature of their special needs?
VK: Autism. Maeve has a severe diagnosis and SPD. Josie has a mild/moderate diagnosis.
FF: What would you say is your biggest challenge in raising a child with special needs?
VK: There are loads of challenges like grocery shopping, or traveling with them, managing ABA therapies as well as OT, but I would say the biggest challenge for me is getting Maeve to eat solid foods. She is on a puree yogurt type diet and has a hyperactive gag reflex that makes it difficult to get her to try new foods.
FF: What would you say is your greatest joy in raising your kids?
VK: Every day, all day! I find that they are my source of joy, of inspiration, of unconditional love. Without them life would not be as interesting or motivating. They help me to see the wonder and amazement in the simplest things and I rejoice in even the smallest of accomplishments.
FF: What would you say has been the biggest help to you in raising your kids?
VK: My mother would have to be the biggest help in raising my girls. She is there for them no matter what and just because they have a "diagnosis" now it hasn't changed them in her eyes.
FF: Give us one tool you would hate to live without.
VK: The knowledge of what I am dealing with would be hard to live without but as far as a functional tool... We use so many. I would say the most needed are my girls' chew tubes.
FF: If you could give one piece of advice to another parent who's child has just been diagnosed, what would it be?
VK: I would say to them that even though they have a diagnosis now it doesn't change who your child is to you, they are the same as they have always been. Now you can just understand their little quirks a bit better. Don't strive to make them "normal," just try to make them the best "them" they can be.
Vera, 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!