NAACP Rockford celebrates moms of children with disabilities

NAACP hosts a tea party to honor moms and to take their mind off of things
Published: May. 21, 2023 at 7:54 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A local organization honors dozens of mothers in the Rockford area who have a child with a disability with a tea party Sunday afternoon.

Good food, dancing music and treating yourself were just a few things on some moms’ minds who took the chance on themselves Sunday, thanks to a celebration by the Rockford branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

“The system isn’t necessarily set up and designed to help children with disabilities,” said Dr. Elisha Robinson, the founder of Integrative Healing Center and mom to a 13-year-old daughter living with a disability.

Robinson knows all too well the challenges being a mom to a child with disabilities brings.

“For the past 6 years, she has been paralyzed from the neck down because of a car accident and I’ve noticed it’s harder to get medical services because of her disability,” Robinson said.

That’s why Robinson was one of the guest speakers at a tea party Sunday afternoon at The Standard in Rockford. She shares her personal experiences being a single mother and how to encourage the community to advocate better for people with disabilities.

“I really want people to see what it means and how it feels to be a mother with a child with disabilities and the struggles that I go through on a daily basis,” Robinson said.

NAACP Rockford Branch president Rhonda Greer-Robinson says the tea party was inspired by Mother’s Day and she wants to acknowledge what women go through.

“It’s important to understand the struggle,” Greer-Robinson said. “How they manage to go to work and to come home and deal with everything else, women we are strong.”

Dr. Robyn Scott who was another guest speaker says events like this raise awareness and increase inclusiveness.

“Other families should also be included in the community and valued and also be receiving that real support so that they can definitely expand and thrive,” Scott said.

Psychologist Dr. Shiraz Tata says she attended Sunday’s event to share importance of self-care for moms.

“Moms of children with disabilities really are stretched quite thing and depending on the needs of their children, they may not have a lot of time and energy to put aside,” Tata said.

Deep breaths, smelling a flower with your child or listening to your favorite songs while taking care of your child are additional ways Tata says moms can take care of themselves.

Several people at Sunday’s tea party all share the same message for moms who have a child with a disability: never go through the journey alone and reach out for help when needed.