237 | Candice Hartford: NICU Nurse & Founder of raisingharts.org
As an autistic parent, there is intense isolation and no matter how supportive your friends with typical children want to be, you need to have someone who understands your life.
Candice Hartford is a NICU nurse with a heart of gold. She’s spent her career caring for critically ill newborns and their families, first in her native California and now in Boston at Mass General
Brigham Hospital. She’s also the mother of twin boys who were born prematurely and later diagnosed with autism. It is this life-changing experience that led Candice to found Raising Harts, www.raisingharts.org, a 501c3 charity that is creating community, connection, education, and support for families with autistic and neuro-diverse children and their siblings. Says Candice:
“While there were support groups in a clinical setting for families with autistic children, I really wanted someone to come over with their coffee (or a bowl of wine) and cry with me today.” Her sons Grady and Keaton are now 7 and the community their mother has created has nurtured them and hundreds of autistic and neurodiverse children and families. In this interview, Candice shares her non-traditional upbringing outside of Pasadena as well as her lifelong mantra:“Anything that scared me, I felt like I had to do. I learned early on to be strong and resilient.” #autism #neurodiversity#NICU
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