Finding Superhero Powers: Early Education Support for both Parents and Children
Change Maker Sponsor - United Way of Greater Toledo

Finding Superhero Powers: Early Education Support for both Parents and Children

United Way fights for the education, health and financial stability of every person in Lucas, Wood and Ottawa County.

~

Looking at my sweet son Jamile pretending to be superhero as he “flies” across the room, one would never suspect he has a learning disability. Yet he does. And, if anyone understands what this hurdle is like it’s me. In fact, it’s often hard for me to watch Jamile without memories of my youth flooding back to my mind...

I remember the stress of my struggles. The countless days when I’d come home from school frustrated and ready to quit. My mom would try to help.

“Mia,” she’d say with tired eyes after a long day of work. “What’s the matter honey? Want me to quiz you on your spelling words?”

But, quizzing never worked. I just couldn’t get anything right. Mom would wrap her arms around me and tell me to keep trying. She wanted me to succeed, but she didn’t know how to help.

Eventually, after years of struggle, I was diagnosed with a learning disability. We had answers around why I struggled, but answers are not necessary solutions--especially when it comes to learning support at home. Emotional support was my mom’s only weapon in her parenting toolbox.

 My mom was forever my cheerleader, but never found a way to support my learning needs from home.

I wanted to be able to give my son more. I knew how much struggle I had faced with my own disability. So, when I was introduced to YWCA’s Baby T.A.L.K. Program, I jumped at the opportunity to participate.

Since starting Baby T.A.L.K., the Outreach Parent Specialists at the YWCA have provided me with so many additional resources to support Jamile’s learning. They give me fun learning activities to do with him and talk me through how these help further his development. Even more helpful, they create specific goals for our next visit like: “Jamile will be able to say his address” and “Jamile will be in bed by 9 pm each night.” Jamile is always so excited to show our Specialists what he has learned.  

The Outreach Parent Specialists remind me of the great work I am doing to take care of my little superhero.

Like my mother, I am Jamile’s cheerleader. Yet in addition, I am connected to community resources and constantly learning new ways to engage and support him through the struggles that a learning disability can bring.

Time and time again, I’ve wished my own mom would have had access to a program like Baby T.A.L.K. She supplied the only support she knew--love. Love is powerful, but the support tools I now continue to build as a parent through Baby T.A.L.K. provide me with so much more.

Watching my son dance across the room, I turn to the mother standing beside me. “My son’s smile is his superhero power.” I wink at her as I prepare to dash off to help him “save the day.”

Jamile is amazing, and his smile has the power to bring joy anywhere. However, I too have Superhero powers--I have the power to give him support and Baby T.A.L.K has helped me do this.
~

CHANGE MAKER ACTION: Because of your support, individuals in our community are able to access educational services that change, or have great impact on, their lives. United as one, we can change the story of many.

United Way Toledo Donate Button

*This blog post is based on a true story / success narrative from the YWCA Baby TALK Program. All identities of submitted success stories are anonymous for privacy and story details have been added in order to provide a better understanding of the individual’s successes and struggles.

 

Return to Blog Home
Subscribe! Never miss a story!

Archives

Leaving Isolation: Finding Empowerment Among Your Peers

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

I came to school at 18, and to keep the story short, didn’t go back home. That was an important year for me, as I transitioned into the individual I was in my mind and heart. This was an isolating process for me.

read more

The Promise: A Mother’s Fight to Protect Her Child, and Herself

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

I had believed that part of our lives to be forever behind us. Believed that a thing like arriving home one day to find your abusive ex waiting for you was the stuff of movies… But I was wrong.

read more

A Love for Learning: Helping Kids Find their True Potential

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Tonya was worried because she knew they did not have the funds to pay for a personal tutor at school. She had to think about utility bills, house payments and food, yet she knew Josiah’s education was also a top priority. Then she found out about The LEARNING CLUB® of Toledo.

read more

Categories