Parent Support, Parenting, Stories of Hope autism, families, great ideas, Parenthood, parenting, parents, stress, support, support groups
So I took a poll the other day (very unscientific – I asked a question on our Facebook page) asking my autism friends what was the most useful thing someone told you when your child was first diagnosed. The overwhelming response was to connect with other parents. Interestingly enough, that is the first piece of advice I give to any parent, whether their child is newly diagnosed or they’ve been at this for a while now. I remember a mom of a young kid (I think about 4 years old) had called me and I invited her to come along to our support group that afternoon and meet some other moms. She clearly was having a tough day. She arrived and told us, through her tears, how she had just had a difficult conversation with her mother who refused to believe that her son was anything other than a “picky eater” and how it was HER fault that he wouldn’t eat any more than 5 foods. Just at that moment, one of the other moms perks up and says “FIVE? He eats FIVE foods? We only eat 3 at my house . . . “ The look on our new mom’s face was priceless. She had found her peeps! What a gift, to be with others who have “been there, done that” and truly understand what it is you are dealing with. In my support group, we talk, we vent, we cry, we laugh, we share resources and information (sometimes we even go and do karaoke and drink wine). We also cook meals for members who are sick or have just given birth to a new baby, we attend PPT meetings, we arrange play dates, we use each other as our emergency contact for school (who else will not be fazed by any “behaviors” your child may have) we support each other. So, to quote another mom “. . . none of the advice any of the “expert professionals” gave us was worth a thing. Didn’t get any good advice until I started talking with other moms.” Find a local support group here.
Can’t find one? Got a group who wants to start one? Drop us an e-mail and we can help you get started. You’ll be off and running (or supporting!) in no time.
advocacy, awareness, Education, Parenting, Uncategorized advocacy, autism, awareness, change, classroom, education, great ideas, parenting, parents, special education, stress, support, support groups
First an earthquake, then a hurricane? What’s next? Pestilence? Plague? Frogs? For most of us, what’s next is something even more terrifying – the first day of school! A new teacher, a new classroom, perhaps even a new building – talk about anxiety, not just for our kids on the spectrum, but also for us parents. A whole new team. Will they have even read the IEP that we put together last year? Does it still make sense after the summer? What new skills did our kids learn, and which did they lose? What new areas for improvement did we see as we spent unstructured time together over the summer vacation? Maybe our kids are off transitioning to the adult world, whether that is higher education, vocational training, transition programming, a job. You have questions, you need resources, ASCONN has answers. Join a support group – many are picking up again after a summer hiatus, check out our listings here and please call before you attend. Sign up for a parent advocacy training program to help you learn more about the IEP process and effective techniques for advocacy. Schedule an Autism 101 Workshop for the new classroom, girl or boy scout troop, after school program or other community provider. Mostly – bookmark this site! We have lots of plans for the fall and we hope to be posting more and starting the conversation. So join in! Got something you want more information about? Send us an e-mail or comment and we will do our best to get some answers or at least point you in the right direction. Have some information to share? Send us a listing for our community announcements section, calendar of events or write up a blog post about some great achievement for YOUR child, a wonderful teacher or therapist or program, a great book or other resource you’ve found. Let the sharing begin.
Parenting parenting, PTSD, stress, support groups
Today, I want you to read this post by an autism-mom blogger I’ve been reading for years. Find it here. As she writes:
“I hope that as you read this post, you don’t see yourself in its words. But if you do – IF YOU DO – listen to me: you are not experiencing these things because you are weak or because you’re a bad parent or because you’re just not trying hard enough. You are experiencing these things because you are a reasonable person who has been living with unreasonable demands without reasonable support for an unreasonable length of time.”
Follow this mom’s advice. Seek help, comfort and support. Call us, find a local support group, talk to other moms. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Remember “it takes a village”. To raise a child. AND to support the family living with autism.