My Milestones: The Gonick Family
Posted on 02/27/17 in Supporting the Mission by Milestones
Lev Gonick knows it takes an entire community to raise a child. “When we arrived in Cleveland we had a chance to meet some amazing, amazing folks,” he says. “We are so incredibly lucky. Of all the places we have lived, the Cleveland community is the one that has reached out, that has provided, that has laid down tracks where no one would ever, ever imagine going.”
Gonick, Milestones 2016 Benefit Honoree, husband to Barb and father to daughters Sari and Mya, recently shared about how Milestones has impacted and helped his family. Every milestone in his daughter's life affords his family an opportunity to celebrate with the community. Every challenge they face is made easier by the collective shoulder of the community.
How did you first hear about Milestones Autism Resources?
"My wife Barb met regularly with other moms to check in about their children with autism and to share what was working for them. Ilana Hoffer Skoff and Mia Buchwald Gelles (co-founders of Milestones) were invited to this informal group. The idea of creating a local organization such as Milestones Autism Resources grew out of these get-togethers."
In what kinds of ways has Milestones helped your family?
“Before there was a Milestones, I had nobody to collaborate with. Nobody to brainstorm with. Nobody to obtain any education. Everything was done alone. Milestones helped me to navigate the complicated village that [my daughter] Sari has. Milestones has also helped to design a model for supporting the residential and social-emotional needs of young adults on the spectrum. Sari, along with three other young adults, lives in Beechmont Towers in a semi-autonomous arrangement with community support services first outlined by Milestones and in partnership with families and various service providers.
We have felt that we have been able to help other families and give back through regular referrals to Milestones.”
Do you attend the annual conference? Why would you recommend the conference for other families?
“The Milestones conference is an excellent hub to find resources. What the organization has done is to shine a light that the condition impacts all walks of life