Social work services offer client family support and guidance following son’s autism diagnosis
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear about social work services? For most people, it means dealing with mental health issues but, as social work week draws to a close, many including ErinoakKids client mother Maria Garito know it is so much more.
Maria is a mother to an adorable son Maximus, an energetic four year old who was diagnosed with autism a few years ago. Max is an ErinoakKids client, currently receiving speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy while he waits to receive autism services. His diagnosis has put a lot of strain on his family.
“When you first get a diagnostic that you do not understand, you start looking for answers from anybody who can provide some clarity on how to deal with this new change,” says Garito. “My first reference point was asking other parents but, what I really needed was somebody who is able to reassure me that I’m not the only person going through this hardship, and that there are different services that could help me in my journey to get my son the right help.”
Since learning of Max’s diagnosis, Maria was adamant to find herself and her family some help. For her, that meant reaching out to a social worker at ErinoakKids - a professional who can provide support and guidance in helping the family manage with Max’s diagnosis. This is when Maria met Rocchina, one of eight remarkable ErinoakKids’ social workers.
Maria started receiving one-to-one sessions with Rocchina, covering topics ranging from emotional struggles, frustration and stresses that come with raising a child on the spectrum, to family issues and dynamics around coping with the new changes that Maria had to face every single day.
To Maria’s surprise, the social work sessions started becoming a support system that taught her how to deal with her worries and develop different strategies around how to handle Max’s situation in the most effective way possible.
”Rocchina is an empathetic person that understands the real life stressors that affect people’s lives” says Garito. “It’s cathartic to me to talk to someone like Rocchina about what’s happening because she understands where I’m coming from.”
Beyond the emotional support, Rocchina has been instrumental in seeking out resources to help Garito with funding, education and more .
“I now have someone who’s
acting as an advocate for me,
for the things that I’m going through” says Garito. “You need someone to say this is what is happening to this family and this how we can help them.
And that is what Rocchina
is to me."
She urges any client families who are going through a difficult time to reach out to an ErinoakKids’ social worker and ask for help, assistance and advice. “I am very thankful to have met my social worker for her kind and empathetic nature and for helping me cope through this very trying time in my family's life,” says Garito. “I like having Rocchina as a confidant, who I can bounce ideas off of and see if I’m heading in the right direction.”
For more information on our social work services and how to access them, download this flyer