Many moms in our community deal with challenges that have arisen with their kids. As moms, we need to be able to share with each other and lean on one another when these issues come up. Four of our Moms will be sharing their personal stories about how they identified these issues and how they have learned to cope. They also want to share with us the importance of just being “aware” of issues that may arise within our children. Meet our panel:
Lindsay Belew is a devoted mother of 2 awesome kids who happen to have special needs. She and her husband, Bill, have been raising their kids or “herding their kittens” in Batesville for over 5 years now. Bill and Lindsay met on a blind date 15 years ago…thanks to her best friend! Lindsay’s background in management and health and safety continue to come in very handy as a parent. Managing and nurturing her family is her #1 priority. She is a self- proclaimed holistic/medical research junkie. She also shares a love for historical architecture with Bill. “We are such nerds!” she adds.
Her most recent role as a Parent Advocate for families with children with special needs has been both eye-opening and rewarding.
Emerson (Emme) is Lindsay’s 12 year old daughter. She was diagnosed with moderate O.C.D. over 7 years ago. More importantly, Emme is an incredibly intelligent, observant, artistic young lady. She enjoys contemporary and musical theatre dance as well as sketching and singing and some performance. Her “photographic memory” and “unusually large vocabulary” can be very entertaining at times.
Aidan is Lindsay’s 10 year old son who was born with normal hearing but was diagnosed with moderate/severe hearing loss at age 5 after many requests and concerns from his parents to pediatricians. Aidan wears hearing aids in both ears and has A.D.D. as well as sensory issues,learning/processing challenges and “visual” dyslexia. All of which have significant impact on him in a public school setting. Although Aidan has to work harder than most he is a very intelligent,creative little boy. Aidan is a kind,gentle and patient kid who LOVES roller coasters, tap and hip-hop dance, tennis and will talk your ear off about all of his “future invention” ideas.
Lindsay has spoken on parent panels several times on the topic of “invisible disabilities” (neurological conditions…A.D.D.,O.C.D.,learning disabilities, Autism Spectrum related conditions etc…) Lindsay has found much joy in educating parents on holistic/natural approaches to improving mental functions and over all health. Although she is NOT a doctor she has learned so much from the team of doctors (conventional and naturopathic) that have worked with her children over the years. She is always watching for the “teachable moments” both with kids and adults on the topic of mental health.
Although her days are unpredictable at best, she is very open to sharing and listening to others in need. Sometimes just knowing you are not the only person out there with a kid that “looks normal” but upon closer observation has very “different behaviors”, brings so much peace. Lindsay was motivated to start a support group (along with 3 other like-minded moms) 3 years ago for parents of kids with special needs.
Aimee Negovetich and her husband Ed have been married for 14 years. They have three children: Jake (12), Annie (8), and Jax (5). Aimee attended Indiana University where she received a BA in Pyschology and Sociology, and her graduate certification in Elementary Education. After marriage, Aimee and Ed lived in Indianapolis and Marshfield, Wisconsin. They decided to move back to Aimee’s hometown of Batesville 8 years ago. Their oldest, Jake, was diagnosed with ADHD in the first grade and added anxiety to the diagnosis as a fifth grader. In addition to conventional prescription medication management, Aimee and Ed have pursued dietary modifications, vitamin and herbal supplementation, behavioral therapy, and a less traditional multi-modality program that implements components of both vision therapy and physical therapy.
Aimee enjoys sports, music, outdoor activities, and spending quality time with friends and family.
Laurie Rodgers and her husband John just celebrated 20 years of marriage in September. Together, they have 3 children: Hannah (17), Ben (14) and Sam (12). They also have two dogs and three cats. Laurie has been a stay at home mom since the day Hannah was born. She keeps busy taking care of their house, children, and animals as well as managing and advocating for her two sons illnesses. Ben was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes five years ago and Sam was diagnosed with Celiac Disease eight years ago. The Rodgers family moved from the Milwaukee area four years ago, where John and Laurie both were born and raised. This was the first move for either of them outside of their hometown and it was a little overwhelming, especially given Ben’s recent diagnosis. Laurie is active in her church and also enjoys cooking, volunteering, playing games and music.
Melanie Stauffer is married to her college sweetheart and the mother of 10 year old triplet boys. She grew up in Seattle, WA and San Fransisco, CA before moving to Ohio in high school and attending Miami University where she met her husband in the marching band. She has worked for Hill-Rom for the past 10 years after moving to the area when her husband began teaching music at South Ripley and then at Batesville.
Each of her children, while amazing, keep her on her toes. Ryan has ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder and was diagnosed in 1st grade. Evan has juvenile arthritis and was diagnosed last June after trying to find out what was wrong with his “franken-finger.” Trey is a Type 1 diabetic and was diagnosed in April 2014. Through each of her children’s issues, Melanie has become an expert at navigating insurance, researching and most importantly, learning to speak up on her kids behalf and making sure that they are not only getting the best treatment they deserve but also knowing when they have gone through enough.