Being a parent can be challenging.
It can be even more challenging if your child has special needs.
“As a parent you have to have support. Even with children that don’t have disabilities. You have to have someone there to help you – just support you emotionally and physically and mentally. Advice or just to give you a break or just to say am I doing ok,” said Kati Wonderly.
Wonderly’s eight-year-old daughter Kimber has lissencephaly, a form of Cerebral palsy.
Diagnosed at just nine months old, her family began a journey they knew nothing about.
“We did not know anyone who had a child with special needs. It was difficult to begin with. We just kind of closed ourselves in, within our own little family and tried to take care of it ourselves and eventually you can’t do that. You need help and you need advice,” Wonderly said.
Wonderly sought out help, finding programs at Kern Regional Center and non-profits like League of Dreams, which she can’t say enough good things about.
“We got in with a group of moms and other parents that just give us so much advice and can tell us what to do. They’ve been down this road before,” Wonderly said.
Advice, help and support every parent needs.
“She is a joy every day and it’s rough, yeah there are some rough days, but it’s so worth it. That’s raising any child but yeah it’s a joy and she’s one of a kind and we can’t replace her and it’s just a life that we were meant to live,” Wonderly said.
It also just happens to be Kimber’s birthday today! Happy Birthday, Kimber!
The Kern County Consortium SELPA, a division of the Kern County Superintendent of Schools, is set to host the “Specially Yours” conference at Hodel’s today. The conference aims to provide help, resources and support to parents who may be struggling to meet the needs of their complex families.
The event will detail affordable means for parents of special needs children to learn from industry experts and network with other parents and local service organizations.
Admission to the all-day conference is $10.
Here are just a few of the many resources available for parents of special needs children:
- H.E.A.R.T.S. Connection: http://www.heartsfrc.org/
- Kern Autism Network: http://kernautism.org/resources/
- Kern Regional Center: https://www.kernrc.org/
- League of Dreams: http://ourleagueofdreams.com/
- Society for Disabled Children: http://www.societyfdc.com/
- The Kern County Consortium Special Education Local Plan Area: http://kern.org/selpa/