An important resource that can be of great help to parents who have children with special needs is a parent support group. This functions as a platform for parents to meet and discuss their children, the challenges they face, and their own needs. Parents can use support groups to exchange information, to keep abreast of trends and to help out one another in any way possible. Parents who are new to such situations can get immense help from other parents who have been coping with the same problem for some time.
Benefits of being part of a support group:
- The immense amount of emotional and mental support you have in knowing that you are not alone in raising a child with a learning disability.
- A platform for you to express your feelings, and even vent if you need to — the other parents will not judge you, but understand completely.
- Exchange of information and resources, benefitting from advice on therapy, intervention, medical resources, etc.
- The children themselves can find friends and peers.
- Siblings find comfort in knowing that there are others in the same situation as them. They connect with each other and form special bonds as siblings of children with learning disabilities.
Above all, always remember that your child has as much right to study in the same schools and enroll in the same activities as his peer group. Talk to your family and friends and help them understand how they can be accepting and supportive of your child. And don’t be ashamed to reach out for help when you need it.
Some parent support groups:
- Saath, New Delhi www.saath.wikidot.com
- Jeyam Trust Group, Coimbatore www.jpot.co.in
- SPASTN Parent Support Group, Chennai www.spastn.org