Everything Stopped So Abruptly
When the coronavirus pandemic began, information was hard to come by and confusing. For many parents, it didn’t really hit until schools closed.
Christina recalls, “the unknown of everything was very overwhelming.” She and her partner tried to prepare the best they could, getting supplies before the rush, and finding ways to comfort their 3-year-old son Adam, who has autism, and their three other kids. The family had come to love home visits with their parent educator, Cora, through Any Baby Can’s Healthy and Fair Start program.
"Finding out Adam was on the spectrum had only happened weeks before. He was just getting used to school and everything stopped so abruptly. What do we do? How much would he regress?" shares Christina.
A shelter-at-home order had begun, and the fear and isolation became real. Christina needed more food and supplies with all four kids home, and everything was difficult to obtain with a limited income. With Adam’s autism, he was often triggered by the increased noise and activity in the house. Christina remembers that day in mid-March when her phone rang… and it was Cora from Any Baby Can.
"I thought for sure she was going to say that she could no longer serve us until this passed," says Christina. "But she just asked me if we were okay, and how Adam was holding up. She said that no matter what we would find a way to continue his care even though we couldn’t be together."
Cora, Christina, and her partner started Zoom virtual visits without skipping a beat. Although the format is sometimes harder for Adam to engage, the parent coaching model inherent to Any Baby Can’s program empowers mom and dad to practice skills between visits. When the video calls aren’t working, Cora finds ways to adapt the curriculum, including sending supplies and activities to work on specific skills.
Having access to her parent educator gives Christina confidence and steady support, through these particularly stressful times.
"When I say I cried happy tears I’m not exaggerating! This program has been the one constant Adam has known amongst all this craziness. I can’t even adequately put into words how grateful I am. Any Baby Can has always exceeded my expectations and even in a crisis they did not disappoint," touts Christina.
In addition, Any Baby Can has been able to help the family with basic needs like diapers, wipes, and soap, as well as obtaining adaptative equipment for Adam. Christina and her family have previously been a part of Any Baby Can’s counseling services and early intervention program.
"We help parents recognize and celebrate their kids' accomplishments, big and small," says Cora. "This is important for the child but also for the parent to see the good things that are happening."
Any Baby Can’s family-strengthening services and network of community partners has allowed us to serve as a steady source of guidance and resources, light and hope, now more than ever.
Healthy & Fair Start
Any Baby Can provides parents with coaching and support to create a safe, stable and nurturing home for children to thrive.
Any Baby Can's Response to COVID-19 Emergency
We aim to give clients a sense of continuity and stability in this difficult time.
Understanding Children's Reaction to Crisis, by Age
Learn how children of different ages respond to crises in their own unique ways.