Parent Support Group

I just wanted to reach out as a follow up to our discussion from our last support group meeting.

First and foremost, thank you!  Thank you for the effort, thank you for staying the course.  Thank you for you moderating the group so professionally.  Thank you for your warmth and compassion.

I had never been to a support group of any kind and while we had a small turnout, it was so incredible to be a part of the meeting.  I greatly enjoyed getting to know the other parents and understanding their challenges.  While every child is different, causing parents to utilize tactics centered on their child’s needs, the overall strategies and goals are the same.  The strength of character and the resolve of each parent is tested regularly and the opportunity to share challenges and the resultant tactics was enlightening.

We were able to reflect back on the time of diagnosis and the feelings associated with learning our child’s life would be different than life for which we had hoped.  That we, as parents, have a universal bond and especially those of us with children on the spectrum.  It was so powerful to feel less alone; so powerful to feel like we might be doing the right things for our children.  So much of what we experience is so very lonely and riddled with self-doubt.  While our logical brain tells us this is no one’s fault, and no one knows why our child is on the spectrum, we question everything we have ever done and every core of our existence when we allow our emotions to grab hold.  It was great to understand there exists a community in which we can exist as “normal” without giving in to the connotations of that term.

In conclusion, I ask that you share my thoughts if you so choose.  My hope is for the group to expand and for more parents to come and enjoy the camaraderie, compassion, and genuine understanding that comes in a format such as this one.  I wish the group will grow so we can all benefit from the free exchange of ideas, tactics, emotional support, and friendship.  I also hope, through these parental interactions, our children’s peer group may grow as well.  I look forward to the day when a parent of a newly diagnosed child, full of fear and apprehension, can find a shared emotional space and not suffer alone.  One of the first things I learned when my son was diagnosed is of the great misunderstanding and lack of acceptance that exists in the world.  Then, I found a parent, and another, and another, and found there is so much for which we should be thankful.  There is a beautiful community that exists.  Sometimes, you just might have to be willing to look for it and be ready to accept it.

Thanks again for working so hard and for committing to grow this group.  You can count on my support and please do not hesitate to pass my contact information along to others if they are apprehensive about joining.  Best of luck!