On Tuesday May 6th, CDI hosted a Mother’s Day Tea to honor CDI moms from the past and the present.  The mothers spent the afternoon in the ELC’s zoo garden, sharing their experiences of motherhood while enjoying a variety of teas and pastries.  Executive Director, Joan Maltese shared with the group about the staggering cuts that have been made to early intervention over the last 5 years and the need to come together, advocate for our children, and remember the value of social emotional development.Mother's Tea 1

Two CDI moms presented thoughtful and emotional speeches that they shared with the other mothers.  Isabel Zepeda gave a beautiful talk about the journey every mom faces, the power of early intervention and to never give up hope, “it’s hope that keeps us fueled up for the road ahead.” Isabel also gave a special Mother’s Day greeting, “You are doing a great job moms. Please take a little downtime to take care of yourself.”

Another long term CDI mom, Chris Molaro outlined her recommendations to help new moms stay strong, get the right services and never give up hope.  Chris described 5 lessons gained from experiences that have helped her continue on the path.

Lesson One:  Trust your instincts. You know your child better than anyone.

Lesson Two: Sooner is better when it comes to intervention, but it’s never too late, and intervention doesn’t stop when the session is over.

Lesson Three:  Choose your battles wisely, but DO advocate for your kid.  And if you can, advocate for others.  What you do helps others who follow in your path.  If you can’t advocate for yourself, find someone who can.

Lesson Four:  You are not alone.  Find support from other parents in whatever way feels comfortable to you.

Lesson Five:  Even in the worst of moments, take a breath.  Tomorrow is another day.  Remember the big picture.  Autism is not a static diagnosis.  It is a journey that you are taking with your child as they work their way along the spectrum.

Mother's Tea 2As a final note Chris said, “Know that you are in the best possible place for you and for your child.Because none of Matthew’s success would be possible without all the caring, professional, knowledgeable, hardworking and dedicated people from CDI.  I have learned so much from them, even as they were teaching and working with my son. They have changed my son’s life.  They have changed my life. We are forever grateful. Thank you CDI and thank you for listening to Matt’s story.”

Both of these speakers along with other powerful statements shared by CDI moms brought tears to the eyes of many mothers who share this journey.  The mothers left the tea party feeling connected and supported by the experiences and relationships they have made at CDI and inspired to support new mothers as they begin their own journey.

For more information on finding support and advocating for children, please contact Tessa Graham tgraham@cdikids.org .