Introducing Rita Fredericks, Family Engagement Coordinator

Happy New Year!

My name is Rita Fredericks and I recently started as the Family Engagement Coordinator
for the Iowa Deafblind Project. I want to introduce myself and provide my contact
information so I can offer my support to you and your child.

My son Miles is three and is deafblind. His vision and hearing impairments are what is
referred to as cortical, cerebral or central in nature. When Miles was between eight to
15 weeks old, we received several diagnoses including epilepsy, physical and cognitive
disabilities and cortical vision and hearing impairments. It was an overwhelming and
confusing time for our family. We had a hard time understanding why the hospital let us
take him home when we had no experience. I remember thinking, “How will we know
what Miles wants or needs? and What does communication look like with a child who
can’t see or hear?” Over the last 3 years, our family has gained a lot of knowledge by
attending trainings, working with our educational team, and especially by connecting
with other families. Through my own experience I understand that caring for a child with
combined vision and hearing loss can be a challenging experience. I hope that l can
provide you with some helpful tips and resources.
I look forward to getting to know your family and supporting you as your child grows.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or to let me know how I can
best support you.

Sincerely,

Rita Fredericks
rita.fredericks@iaedb.org
515-380-1782

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