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Group Hug!

Posted Nov 12 2009 10:04pm
If I could suggest ONE little thing for you parents out there of a child with a special need, it would be to find a support group of some sort.
There are so many out there, both in person in a group setting that actually meets face-to-face as well as online support groups.
I have a Yahoo account, so I found my apraxia support group there: in Yahoo groups.
(I'd like to give a shout out right now to the folks at Windy City Apraxia! Love you all and can't wait to meet you at the CASANA Apraxia Walk on October 17th at Ty Werner Park in Westmont, Illinois!)
What an amazing group of people I have met!
And I have actually met them in real life.
In fact, one Mom has a son who attends the same speech therapy clinic that my children attend.
Oh, and she is a nurse, too.
You can imagine the conversations we have!
But back to the groups.
It is so nice to know that there are others out there, going through the same thing that you are going through.
It's not like "misery loves company" or anything like that.
It's just a feeling of belonging.
Like it or not, you become an outcast as your child does with typical children and their typical parents.
It's part of the package.
But these groups give you a sense of belonging.
And you don't feel so alone anymore.
It's nice to bounce ideas off people in terms of insurance battles (I am a great resource for that one, given my history with Aetna!), therapy techniques, medications, doctor or specialist referrals, you name it!
You can't do this alone.
No matter how strong you THINK you are.
You can't talk to your families about this 24/7 because face it....they might be getting tired of hearing it all the time.
I know mine does.
And there is just so much that your spouse wants to here.
They are about ready to void that "for-better-or-worse" part of the wedding vows.
I know mine is sometimes!
And your friends, no matter how good of a friend they are to you, they just don't get it!
They don't know what it is like to have a child with special needs.
You don't want someone's SYMPATHY.
You want EMPATHY.
So find a support group out there.
Meet some people in the same arena as you.
Find some great sounding boards.
You'll be amazed at how "not alone" you really are!
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