Being the parent of a child with special needs brings with it intense challenges and a wide range of emotions. The parents in our community have continuously shown strength and courage in the face of these challenges, but that doesn’t mean that these daily experiences should be ignored or understated! The truth is that special needs parents can face an uphill battle when it comes to getting an understanding and assistance from others. As such, making connections between parents experiencing similar challenges can be very helpful, and even crucial. Cerebral Palsy support groups can therefore represent an important connection that parents should strongly consider.
Before we continue, we want to note that our MyChild care team has information and resources and we’re actually able to connect parents with a CP support group in their area! Beyond the organizations and assistance programs we are able to connect parents with, information related to Cerebral Palsy support groups is one of our favorite items to provide parents. All of our local resources are available with a simple call ((800) 692-4453(800) 692-4453 FREE), or by filling out our contact form. We also have an amazing Facebook community that regularly assists parents with questions or needs, and so be sure to check it out!
That said, Cerebral Palsy support groups provide a number of quality opportunities for parents involved.. In the interest of encouraging participation, we’ve compiled five great reasons for why you should consider joining a Cerebral Palsy support group in your area:
- Learning is Fundamental Part I. While we work hard to provide information and resources to parents, personal experience is sometimes the best resource of all. Cerebral Palsy support groups can often help by providing a room of parents who have faced many of the same challenges, or may have unique solutions to equally unique circumstances. While each case of CP is different, the parenting experience yields quality information worth learning from one another. What’s more, the old adage of “you don’t know what you don’t know” applies significantly to parents of special needs children; finding out more about opportunities in your area, accessible parks, new technology, etc., can be an invaluable part of speaking with other parents of children with Cerebral Palsy.
- Resource Exchanges. Our new forum will host a digital opportunity to something that already exists in a number of Cerebral Palsy support groups: equipment and resource exchanges, but on a much larger scale. As special needs children grow, their needs change as well. Insurance companies are notorious for refusing claims related to larger equipment, amongst other things. In turn, it can be cost-effective to try to find used equipment that can meet your child’s needs.
- Structured Time Out of the House. Getting some time to yourself can be important, especially when feelings of isolation can be extremely common. Knowing that you, each week, will be able to get out of the house and be around other adults facing similar challenges is something almost every parent cherishes; building this time away from home into your regular schedule can be invaluable.
- Learning is Fundamental Part II. Beyond learning from others’ experiences, there is actual learning that you can glean from a Cerebral Palsy support group related to education. IEPs are a key part of some children with CP’s academic curriculum and discussing with other parents which techniques, tools and learning materials worked for their child may serve as a starting point for your child’s future success!
- Connecting Kids. Cerebral Palsy support groups provide a unique opportunity to find other children in the community who face challenges similar to your own child. Being able to learn from an older child with CP on navigating life’s challenges, or to mentor a younger child who is feeling alone can be invaluable; being able to organize playdates with other children with special needs can be a great opportunity.
While these five suggestions may have already occurred to you, we hope that they also encourage a discussion on other ways in which Cerebral Palsy support groups can be valuable to parents. Have an idea we missed? Let us know by leaving a comment below or messaging us on Facebook! Want more information about any of the resources, information, ideas listed… or even just a friendly ear? Give us a call at (800) 692-4453(800) 692-4453 FREE or fill out our contact form to have one of our team members reach out at your convenience!