After my son was born, I wasn’t keen on the idea of joining a group for parents of children with special needs. Although, I was referred to a mom by the genetic counselor and later by a teacher at Nate’s school, we never connected, creating a rapport or bond. So, I never pursued it, as I wasn’t open to discussing my life and sharing my child.
It took a long time for me to connect to other parents of children with special needs. After a few years I became more comfortable, deciding that I needed to be a part of a community. One that could support me and I could possibly do the same.
One of the first agencies I joined was the Pennsylvania Deaf/Blind Project. They sponsored a yearly Family Learning Conference, where I met other parents of children with special needs. Later, I befriended a mother at my church, whom had a daughter with special needs. It was great getting to know them, as we shared our thoughts, experiences, and resources which was helpful.
Currently, I belong to a number of special needs groups on Facebook. In the beginning I enjoyed looking at the pictures and reading post. The more I read I was amazed by some of the experiences of the parents. Some were identical to mine. From their diagnosis, doctor appointments, behavior concerns, medications, school experiences, and more. I could relate.
As I enjoy my interactions with families in person and online, I am happy that parents have these communities to help them. I see the difference that it has made for myself and others as they share their struggles, as well as their achievements with their children. It is great to receive encouragement from other parents and have them pray for each other during trying times.
I truly wish that I had this in 1994. Yet, I am happy of the bonds that I have made in person and through the online communities. They all allow me to see, that we parents of children with special needs are not alone, but have others to help us. So, please join a community of special needs parents for support, today.