Support Parent Spotlight: Christina Emrich
Family Connection has just over 450 active volunteer support parents statewide.
Support parents are volunteers raising their own child, at least one year or older, with a disability or a special health care need. They enjoy talking and sharing information, over the telephone, with other families who are dealing with some of the same issues.
Support parents are trained to provide emotional support and information to families based on the child’s disability or special healthcare concern. There are many advantages to having a veteran parent of a child with special needs in your corner. Our network of families come together to educate, inspire and empower other parents and their children to live rich, fulfilling lives in spite of many challenges.
I have been with Family Connection for about 10 years, after having Dionne Fleshman as my own support parent.
I have three children, and all three have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). My sons have also been diagnosed with autism. My oldest, Fiona, has a scholarship to study biochemistry at Columbia College and just finished her Freshman year there. Connor is now 16 and is working to graduate from high school. His dream is to be come a You Tuber with his own channel doing game demos. Patrick is 14 and will be starting high school. His dream is to become an entomologist. He has a wonderful mentor who first started taking Patrick on “bug hunts” while a graduate student at the University of South Carolina and has continued to support Patrick even after starting a job at DHEC investigating aquatic insects in South Carolina.
We have been truly blessed to find a wonderful network of parents through Family Connection and the SC Autism Society, as well as other special friends, like Patrick’s mentor, along the way.
We bless and enrich each other’s lives by reaching out to help one another. I know that every parent I help will be empowered to help not only their own family, but also the others they meet along the way.