“Mom, I feel like Cinderella”-Cindi and Joe Ferrini…Inclusion Fusion Library

ferrini“Mom, I Feel Like Cinderella.”

And no, that was not a good thing…. Kristina, our second born was healthy, smart, helpful, and compliant. She was often there to help our son Joey (3 years older than her) when he needed his shoes tied, face washed, or teeth brushed. The problem was – she was only about 7.

Joey’s special needs made it such that he needed a lot of help for us just to “get out the door” and often, she was very willing to help. But this one particular day, I had asked her to do a number of things, right in a row, and not with much chance to comprehend it all. That was when she said, “Mom, I feel like CINDERELLA. Not the pretty one, but the one who had to do all the work.” Ouch.

Sometimes it takes the mirror of reality for us to stop and change our course. That comment did just that for me. I became keenly aware of the fact that she needed to be a kid. I know I didn’t expect her to “take over” my job of caring for our son with special needs, but I was happy for her help, and at that moment I could see I’d lost the ability to see that I was asking too much.

From that moment on, I made some changes. Perhaps the changes I made, will be helpful for you with your children, but also with your extended family, friends, and others in your life.

Dr. Joe and Cindi Ferrini speak nationally for Family Life “Weekend to Remember Get-A-Ways” and have written Unexpected Journey-When Special Needs Change Our Course. They have 3 grown children (one with special needs) and are grandparents. They enjoy staying connected to the outside world via social media and their website! This presentation is from Joe and Cindi’s return appearance for Inclusion Fusion 2012. The title of this presentation is We Are FAMILY!

Special needs care for ONE person in a family affects all the others. In this video, the Ferrini’s share ideas to help all children in the family feel included and “special” in everyday life, and touch briefly on the part extended family can play.


cropped-key-ministry-door.pngOur Key Ministry website is a resource through which church staff, volunteers, family members and caregivers can register for upcoming training events, request access to our library of downloadable ministry resources, contact our staff with training or consultation requests, access the content of our official ministry blog, or contribute their time, talent and treasure to the expansion of God’s Kingdom through the work of Key Ministry. In addition to our downloadable resources, those who register for our resource kit can view any presentation from our Inclusion Fusion Disability Ministry Web Summits “on-demand”. All of these resources are made available free of charge. Check out our website today!

About Dr. G

Dr. Stephen Grcevich serves as President and Founder of Key Ministry, a non-profit organization providing free training, consultation, resources and support to help churches serve families of children with disabilities. Dr. Grcevich is a graduate of Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), trained in General Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University. He is a faculty member in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at two medical schools, leads a group practice in suburban Cleveland (Family Center by the Falls), and continues to be involved in research evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medications prescribed to children for ADHD, anxiety and depression. He is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Dr. Grcevich was recently recognized by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers in children’s mental health. His blog for Key Ministry, www.church4everychild.org was ranked fourth among the top 100 children's ministry blogs in 2015 by Ministry to Children.
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