Together We Can: The Campaign for Milestones Families
Posted on 05/17/23 in About Us by Autumn Ziemba
Balancing the complications of work and home life is a challenge for the very best of parents. Add in a developmental disability and the strain can reach new levels.
Tanzie Daniels is a successful mother of four. As the Chief Financial Officer of Goodwill
Industries in Cleveland, Tanzie embraces the local nonprofit community, and empowers others to rise up, even earning a spot in Cleveland Crain’s 40 Under 40 in 2020.
But that same year left her feeling powerless, as she noticed her then 3-year-old daughter, Trinity, wasn’t reaching developmental milestones. “Our daughter wasn’t speaking,” Tanzie explains. “We were really at a loss for what to do.”
An assessment through her daughter’s school resulted in an autism diagnosis, which she says took her family completely off guard. “Autism was never in the back of our minds. When we got the diagnosis, there weren’t any materials–this is what you do, this is where you go. There were very few resources provided to us.”
Tanzie recalls that feeling of isolation and helplessness. She says it was at that moment she
knew she needed to seek out community. That’s when a friend recommended Milestones
Autism Resources. “I think our first event in-person was the Strike It Big bowling event. That was our very first time being around other families with autistic kids. And to see the thought and detail and care that went into planning that event. You didn’t have to worry about stares. It was welcoming, it was warm, it was accepting, and my entire family enjoyed it,” she remembers. “Then when I went to the Milestones website, I was just blown away with the amount of information that’s available.”
Over the last several years Tanzie says she has come to rely on the online MAP Tool and the Milestones free autism HelpDesk for direction and connection. Especially when Trinity needed a medical diagnosis to maintain services.
“The wait to get a medical diagnosis was like a year or two out and we couldn’t wait that long in order to continue her services, so we were able to get the name of a company that provides that service outside the hospital system. That was a lifesaver,” she recalls.
“Knowing that there are other options and other tools, and resources available, is helpful
because even if it works today, it may not work tomorrow or next week or next month. Your child, just like you, is evolving.”
Tanzie now attends the Milestones National Autism Conference every year, and has even joined the Board of Directors. “The biggest thing for me is just knowing that you’re not alone,” she says. “Milestones has made me realize how to give myself grace. Milestones means love, it means support, it means resources and advocacy. They really make sure that you set your family up for the best possibilities.”
Tanzie says it is now her passion to help other families on this journey, and to make sure these vital resources are available well into the future. “Just being around a community of people who all want the best for you, who will celebrate the highs and support you in the lows, I think that’s very important. It won’t always be easy, but it’s definitely worth it.”
Together We Can is Milestones’ campaign for families. Join us to support the cause by visiting our Donate page.