I had a great talk with a parent this week. This particular parent is a single Mother and has a son who has Autism. As we continued to talk, this Mother mentioned to me how she felt overwhelmed at times. She mentioned how simply raising a child can be difficult and overwhelming at times, and she felt that raising a child with special needs can add additional difficulty and stress to a parent’s life. From feelings of embarrassment if her child has a meltdown in public settings, to concerns about her son’s future. In addition, this Mother didn’t know how she would find the extra time and resources to get her son the therapy services he needed.
It is important that at these times we take care of our health as parents, and we find outlets to deal with any stress or frustration we may be experiencing. I encouraged this Mother to reach out to a parenting support group. Most communities have support groups for parents who have children with special needs. These support groups give parents the opportunity to discuss concerns they are having and get support from parents in similar situations. In addition, support groups give parents an opportunity to not feel isolated or alone which is very important for a parent’s health and well-being when raising a child with special needs.
Thanks to the popularity of social media, some of these support groups have moved online, making it easier for parents to engage with other parents if they are unable to attend traditional support groups due to any limitations.
Fast forward a couple of days later, and this Mother had reached out to me and told me she was able to locate a parent support group and find other parents who had children with Autism and was able to discuss positive parenting strategies with these parents. Overall, this Mother had received so much from the parent support group and mentioned how her overall mood had been positively impacted as she no longer felt as overwhelmed.
Have questions about parenting support groups? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
See you soon!
Michael Jankowski, MS, OTR/L
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