There are things Amanda Rueter is quite certain of. She is certain that her five children light up her days with joy. She is certain her husband works hard to provide for them all. She is certain together they have the strength to raise their five children, two of which have special needs.
“We have three sons and two daughters,” said Amanda. “Two of our sons have special needs. Our five-year-old, Eisen, was born with congenital heart disease, which has required three heart surgeries, many cardiac catheterizations, physical and occupational therapy, and many medications. Our ten-year-old, Sutton, was diagnosed on the ASD spectrum several years ago. He has had several different types of therapies along with daily medications to help manage his behavioral and emotional issues.”
What Amanda was less certain of, was how to care for two children with special needs while also providing for the rest of the family.
“We knew there were many things out there that could help them but having the financial means to implement them was a challenge. Due to our son’s high medical needs with heart issues I left my teaching job to stay home with him. Obviously, that added financial stress to our family. Having the means to provide all the “extras” we knew would be beneficial for our boys wasn’t possible. When we discovered all the doors that could be opened for them through MRCI we were thrilled. It took some financial stress off my husband who was the sole provider and allowed us to give our boys the things they needed to feel successful, manage life’s challenges, and gave me the ability to remain home and care for them,” she said.
MRCI serves families throughout the entire state of Minnesota. Being chosen by the state to be a Financial Management Services (FMS) provider, MRCI Client Directed Services now assists thousands of families and individuals throughout the state who choose to self-direct their own services. MRCI CDS offers FMS to 10 different programs under five different waivers. With the help of MRCI, Amanda is able to be the caregiver and help Eisen and Sutton thrive, which in turn helps the entire family.
“Currently we utilize paid parenting and the CDCS budget, which allows us to pay for activities and things for the boys that are considered therapeutic. Both of our boys have a music therapist that comes to our home each week. For Eisen, she does fun songs and games and introduces him to different musical instruments. Sutton has been learning to play the drums and discovering ways to help reduce his anxiety and frustrations while playing. Sutton’s budget allowed us to buy a drum set to have at home for him to use any time. He also is very picky about his clothing and how it fits. His budget has been helpful in allowing us to purchase clothing that he is comfortable in and reduces his discomfort.”
For Amanda, MRCI provides more than just a service. MRCI provides the knowledge needed to make the most of what is offered to them.
“My favorite part about working with MRCI is the amazing support we receive from everyone we work with and how knowledgeable everyone is. All my questions get easily answered I also love to help spread the word about what a great company it is. With two kids with special needs we often encounter other families like ours that are unaware of the services their kids/family could be receiving. I love recommending MRCI as a resource for families.”
That’s another thing Amanda is certain of.
For more information, please visit mrcicds.org.