Updated: Jan 4
Helping you live the joys and trials of raising a child with special needs
I’m Dr. Krysti DeZonia, Ed.D., BCBA-D, TERI’s Director of Education & Clinical Services. My son Jarred was born with multiple disabilities, so I know the challenges parents face (and the rewards they receive) when raising a child with special needs.
I have 45 years of experience working with children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families. I also have a Master’s degree in Special Education with an Autism focus and a Doctoral degree in education. Helping people with special needs is my life work.
I’d like to share the things I’ve learned and implemented here at TERI and provide ideas that might be of help to you along the way.
Watch for my blogs here on the TERI website and on our Facebook page. Remember you’re not alone!
Social Skills: Creating a Circle of Support
When it’s time to think about individual goals, focus your attention on connecting your child with others. These connections are the number one factor in assuring that your child has a good quality of life when you are no longer able to advocate for them. Yes, there are people out there who will love your child almost as much as you do, despite his or her problem behaviors.
Reach out to your friends, relatives, current and former staff and get them involved in your child’s life. Create a Facebook page or newsletter and keep friends and family up to date on what’s happening. Remember their birthdays and send thank-you messages. These people can, in the future, be part of your child’s circle of support. All parents worry about what will happen when they are gone. This is the solution to that worry.