Piecing the Puzzle Together
by Stephanie Symonds and Sharon Laskey, A Mommy Corner

There is a support group near you serving Martin, St Lucie, Okeechobee, and Indian River Counties which goes by the name “A Mommy Corner”. It was founded by Stephanie Symonds and Sharon Laskey in 2016. Seeing the need in our community, we wanted to empower, uplift, and encourage other mothers through this special needs journey.

Why the name “A Mommy Corner” and not Mommy’s… because each soul of an individual carries different burdens. Not one is the same. The struggles are different, the stories are different, the past and the future is different. So each person that comes for support is not coming for the same need. We want to be able to cater to each person differently. The meeting styles we have are different each month, but the agenda is the same. Each month we feature a guest speaker and provide information for that agency or organization.

Here is the story behind how it started: As a mother of three children, two of which have special needs (autism/ADHD), life was becoming difficult. I was a young mother looking for support, people who understood the journey and walked in similar shoes. I was tired of hearing opinions from family members, friends, and strangers. The stares, sneers, and negative comments about my parenting style and my children being unruly and defiant was hurtful. I would walk into stores only to turn back around and walk out because I was asked to leave if my child had a meltdown or presented sensory-seeking behavior. I would feel depressed and not want to leave my house. I felt worthless as a mother and an individual. I was worn out, burned out and felt like no one understood my struggle. As a parent of children with special needs I am constantly fighting against the odds and battling with taking my children to ongoing therapies and doctors’ appointments. I go to great lengths to research ways to allow my children the opportunity to be typical kids, to learn how to deal and cope with their challenges, teach my child to be verbal, and get creative with different incentives and motivators. I work to determine how we can participate as a typical family and go to functions and events. There are many times I wish I had a manual to go by, as each day is not the same. I try to find the joy and appreciate the small things just so I can get through each day.

I looked for a group, and couldn’t find what I needed. So I spoke with Cathy Allore at FAU CARD and told her that I have the desire to create and form a group for mothers. Cathy was very supportive and so amazing. We are forever in debt to her and her kind spirit. A Mommy Corner has been going strong since June 2016. We will always be here to support you! We look to expand and grow with you to support the needs of new mothers whose children have just recently been diagnosed as well as mothers who have been in the game for a long time. Our goal is to serve mothers with young children, teenage children, and adult children. Our individual journey’s count and support from one another is greatly needed. We look forward to you stepping out of your comfort zone with us and taking a step forward while you grab life by the hand and take control for your family’s success. Take a step forward with us!