Raising a child comes with many highs and lows at the best of times. Raising a neurodiverse child (add in a global pandemic) presents a whole host of new challenges to overcome.
As part of Advertising Week’s #AWMoms series, OSG Founder Paula Manion and Board Director Fredda Hurwitz joined Laurel Rossi and Aisha Losche in a candid conversation to discuss their journeys parenting and/or supporting neurodiverse children and the steps they’ve taken to help them thrive while also combatting stereotypes, which all too often hold our children back.
In Paula’s role as Chair of OSG, she focused on the importance of independent living for neurodiverse adults, stressing that, “it solves for loneliness.” It’s not just about having one’s own place it’s about belonging to a community and in Paula’s words, “Probably the most important aspect of what we’re doing at Our Stomping Ground is creating a community for our individuals.”
Fredda touched on the importance of talking openly about your neurodiverse child to destigmatize and help normalize the topic, so that both parent and child can confidently access the support they need. One of Fredda’s strategies was to seek out a community of like-minded individuals, like OSG, who understood these unique challenges and could offer help or guidance when it was most needed.
“I sought out groups and opportunities for my son as well as for me to connect with people who are familiar with what’s going on in these young people’s lives.” – Fredda Hurwitz
Laurel Rossi, Co-founder of Creative Spirit, a nonprofit that creates integrated employment opportunities for individuals with ID/DD, shared her experience raising her neurodiverse daughter. Her daughter who is very social has struggled with the isolation during the pandemic and Laurel touched on that difficulty.
She also expanded on her company’s goal to find fair wage, full time positions for people with ID/DD and encouraged the audience to, “..hire different, reach out, and hire someone who’s neurodiverse.”
Please take a moment to view the panel and feel free to share it with friends and family.
(viewers will be asked to register in order to view the recording)