Life as a parent can bring a whole rollercoaster of emotions. It can bring absolute joy at times, and others can become quite challenging. Many parents of children with special needs often feel stressed and isolated. If this is you, you might want to consider attending a support group as they can be one of the best solutions for you and your child.
Not only are they an excellent source of emotional aid, they are also a brilliant opportunity to learn from the experiences of parents who have been through what you’re going through. Even with children who are fairly independent and high functioning, a great support group can help you tap into a plethora of information and advice.
Here are three no-brainer reasons to look for a support group today:
Support groups will be with other parents within your community. This is helpful as they can recommend local solutions, as well as give feedback on available recreational programs, special education classes, and additional school support.
Parents that have children with special needs that are older than your child can give you feedback on services, funding, or programmes that they might have already utilised. They can help advise what was useful, what they would have done differently, and give you pointers to help overcome a problem you’re struggling with. You also wouldn’t have to feel the need to explain yourself in certain situations because they already understand your adapted lifestyle.
Of course, support groups have a lot of practical benefits, but they also open the door to lots of social opportunities for both you and your child. Meeting like-minded people with similar interests paves the path for arranging outings with other families and play dates with other children with similar needs to your little ones. You'll meet parents who are not only comfortable being around your child but are well equipped to handle any additional complex needs. This will do wonders for both you and your child's self-esteem, and provide fun memories along the way.
There are plenty of ways for you to find a local support group that suits you. With the amount of information readily available online, a quick Google search or scout through social media will help you find the best solution for you. Websites such as The National Autism Society or the NHS have online directories for local groups. You could also look for a Facebook group to build up your confidence of meeting others before doing so face to face, and it is a fantastic way to get help and advice at the at the tip of your fingertips. Meet-up is a fantastic way to find local mums and dads. If you can’t find one, make one. You can have a relaxed setting with coffee or cake or opt to meet somewhere fun like the soft play so that the little ones can let their hair down!
We’d love to hear from you. Which support groups are you currently attending and how did you hear about them? Please share with us below.
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Let’s face it; teaching children with special needs to eat independently takes time...and patience. Lots of it! Parents and carers strive to embed what they believe to be basic skills: holding a fork or a spoon and the process of using said utensils to scoop and spear pre-cut food and eat it all; without spilling a drop.
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