After losing a friend to preeclampsia two weeks after suffering from it myself with the birth of Max, I was proud to work on the board for the first annual promise walk.
2020 was a year of unknowns and so many challenges. Easter 2020 was no different. Instead of putting on our Sunday best and going to one of our favorite services of the year, we had to change things up for safety reasons in 2020.
May 30, 2020 I remember watching our beloved city being destroyed by vandals. The BLM protests had been going on for days. Peaceful protests, but then destruction hit. I felt so sad for our city, the police that we love and for all of the people of color that we know and love in this city. So I helped with the clean up.
In 2020 we helped change a bill! We took an idea to Senator Kate Bolz to expand handicap parking to people with neurological disorders and it passed! Impacting over 40,000 Nebraska Families.
LB 1215 was a bill that would allow the Developmental Disability Waiver - with a current wait list of 7-8 years to be funded and allow the 2,500 families on the wait list to get services now. It was my first time testifying. I learned a lot.
As part of my advocacy efforts with Autism Speaks - as an Advocate Ambassador for the State of Nebraska I meet with Congressman Fortenberry's office to discuss Autism bills being introduced.
Navigating what was best for Max during COVID, wanting full inclusion, understanding the need for in person learning and keeping him safe was a challenge. We talked about it with Channel 8 News.
We love the Lincoln Children's Museum. They look for new ways all the time to include friends with special needs. We talked to Channel 8 News about the special sensory event they held in September 2020.
We hated that our friends with special needs weren't able to go trick or treating for Halloween 2020 due to COVID so we brought little treats to them! We partnered with the ARC of Lincoln on this project.
Being a special needs parent can be a high stress job. A Lincoln mom locker her child in a room, he got out and escaped. He was almost hit by a car. I was asked to weigh in.
The journey to get the handicap parking permit bill passed seemed like a really long one. I had the opportunity to speak with Channel 8 about the bill and the journey.
Lincoln Police Department started doing autism training a few years back for new recruits. My interest is in helping them recognize what might be a developmental disability and not an impairment. Happy we got an opportunity to discuss this with Channel 8 News.
Understanding the need for food accessibility to all is something I was on a bit of a learning curve about. For some families they aren't able to make it to other food donation spots due to transportation, work hours or income guidelines. So we created the Freedge project.
When Max's personality changed and we noticed some physical changes about a month after he had COVID we looked for answers. He found an amazing neurologist in Omaha who diagnosed him with Post Covid Encephalitis
COVID has been so hard on our family. Max and I contracted COVID in December 2020, with a positive test for both of us January 2, 2021. Brian didn't get COVID but is diabetic and I was so worried about him. We talked to Channel 10/11 about it.
Food accessibility is a big problem in Lincoln, NE. Although many non profits serve the hungry in Lincoln, there is still more work to be done. We spoke to Channel 10/11 about it.
Getting a positive COVID test was terrifying. Because of Max's inability to tell us how he is feeling and what his symptoms were we played a very scary guessing game to keep him comfortable.
Lincoln is such an amazing community. Many groups came together for safe fun for kids with special needs to insure they could still participate in Halloween during COVID. We were happy to be part of this effort.
Learning is already a challenge for special needs kids. ZOOM school is not an effective way for Max to learn and benefit from inclusion in the classroom. We made the decision to send him to school in person and we talked about it with Channel 10/11
I attended a autism leaders brain storming session in February 2020. Literally moments before COVID to discuss how to support Spanish speaking parents, regardless of immigration status.
The journey to getting this handicap parking permit legislation passed seemed like a long one. I did come to learn once it was passed so much goes into passing legislation. Having a champion Senator on your side is the only way to get the work done. Thanks to Senator Kate Bolz for your help with this one.
Our Leadership Lincoln Cohort started the first community freedge in Lincoln. We talked to NET about the process and how we are trying to serve the community
I had the honor to talk to Leadership Lincoln about the freedge and our mission.