I recently sat down with Dr. Anni Reinking from Illinois STAR NET to be part of their Family Interview Series on their podcast. I was introduced to STAR NET when they were a sponsor for a Caregiver Retreat I attended. It is one of the ways STAR NET provides family-centered support for families with special needs. The retreat included a relaxing getaway for female caregivers as well as opportunities to network with other caregivers in our community.
Listen in as I tell our story. When our child was a toddler, we slowly realized that the extra needs he had were masked by being gifted. Investigating this eventually led to a diagnosis of Autism. The combination of being gifted and also having a disability such as Autism is called being “twice exceptional”, or “2e”. Being 2e has both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to growing up and learning. It’s a big reason that our family finds homeschooling the least restrictive and best personalized education experience for our children.
Illinois STAR NET’s mission is “to provide a variety of opportunities for personal and professional growth for those who touch the lives of young children, ages birth through eight, with an emphasis on children with special needs. STAR NET supports family-centered, researched and effective practices in early childhood education and care.” They are funded by a grant from the Illinois Department of Education.
Take a listen and let me know part of our story you identify with.