Meet the Family – November 2017

Charles Lee & Mrs. Mija Lee

Every month CIDA will feature one of our special families. This month we are shining our spotlight on Charles Lee and his mother Mija Lee. Charles Lee is a student with Autism who is currently a fifth grader in the Great Neck School District. Charles was our first place winner of the 2017 CIDA Very Special Art Festival. Charles was awarded a trophy and scholarship for his talented work. Charles’s award-winning work was a picture of the opening ceremony which took place earlier in the day in front of the St. John’s University Student Center. Charles’s picture captured the moment when everyone in attendance released balloons which were filled with wishes written made by everyone in attendance.

We were happy to be able to ask Charles and his mother a few questions.

What does Charles like?
Charles likes drawing and writing. Charles’s writing is better than adults.

Can you share some of your ideas or tips that you use that helps Charles?
We often make Charles practice how to say “hello” first to other people. It helps him socialize with other people. If possible, teach your child to say both the person’s name and his/her title during the introduction (ex: Mr. XXX, Mrs. XXX). Make sure the other person responds and says the child’s name when they respond. Remembering each other’s names makes it much friendlier and easier to start a conversation.

How has “CIDA” helped the Lee family?

CIDA helped us to learn and figure out what direction to take for Charles’s special education when we just immigrated to the US and had no idea where to start. We hope CIDA will continue to help us and other families to improve their knowledge on our rights and help us to solve problems together.

Is there anything you would like to say to the community?

It is important for Korean families to claim their right to services. I hope that we should all mutually be appreciating partners with our schools and government as we fulfill our responsibilities as a parent.