From Minor to Severe: Behavior Issue Answers at Meet and Greet

West side parents invited to free March 21 Meet and Greet, founded by a Westlake resident.

Whether your child is dealing with minor issues, like homework, or more challenging issues, such as more severe behavioral issues, Connecting for Kids may be able to help—with a “one-stop shop” Meet and Greet for parents March 21 in Rocky River. Parents from all over the west side are invited to attend.  

This is the second year for the event. More than 100 families attended the 2012 inaugural event.

The more-than 60 vendors will address issues from homework tutors to very special needs.

The non-profit Connecting For Kids was founded by Westlake resident Sarah Rintamaki in 2011. She started the group to help parents who are just like her. 

Several years ago, her 2-year-old son had a speech delay. Overwhelmed with numerous doctor and specialist appointments, she desperately wanted to find the "right" therapies and exhausted herself searching the Internet for local programs. Over time, things began to fall into place and a group of mothers started an informal support group. 

"We shared so much at those meetings, everything from a new therapy or program to our feelings of grief, frustration, pride and joy in motherhood," she said. "I want to give to other moms what those moms gave to me. I hope our education and support programs can help your family."

Rintamaki organized the Meet and Greet, open to parents all over the west side of Cleveland, to meet more-than 60 west side pediatric professionals all serving families with a question or concern about their child's development, including education and support programs. The providers offer their services on the west side of Cuyahoga County and/or the east side of Lorain County. The target age for children is 3 through 12.

“These are a lot of small providers I didn’t even know existed,” Rintamaki said.

Those include providers from Avon Lake including Camp !magine.

Last year, more than 100 families attended the meet and greet. Rintamaki expects a larger turnout this year, which will include support for parents dealing with bullying issues.

“Bullying  is (a big topic) this year,” Rintamaki said. “It’s both sides; parents who have kids getting bullied and their kids being the bullies.”

The second annual Meet and Greet featuring local therapists, after-school programs and summer camps is on March 21 from 6:30 p.m.  – 8:30 p.m. at the Rocky River Civic Center at 21016 Hilliard Blvd.




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