ok we are starting a local support group

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lordhelpme, May 25, 2007.

  1. lordhelpme

    lordhelpme New Member

    after talking to soooo many moms the past mth who feel they need info and support, or just someone to talk to, a friend and i have decided to start a local support group.

    i just want something that will allow parents the opportunity to ask ?'s about how the system does or doesn't work, allow experiences to be shared and just provide a shoulder when needed.

    we will tell everyone that info about our difficult child's is confidential and not to be shared and that school district or staff bashing is not the reason for mtg.

    we thought we could organize some gals nites out(seeing that most i talked to are the moms but we will include the dads too)and the state mediation center provides speakers for free.

    i talked to the vice principle of the Special Education program for the county and he said it was a great idea. he said parents too often take what the school district personnel say as law and don't advocate do to lack of knowledge.

    so what do you all think? what other things would you add or what would you change from above?
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    If you wanted to model it after some of the other support groups, maybe discuss with the others in the group if everyone wants to have some meetings open to all interested parties (maybe some people from the school district would come and get a better perspective) and have other meetings for parents/family members of difficult child's only.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I used to belong to a support group.
    We usually met in someone's home, in a round robin approach, because of privacy. You can be too easily distracted (not to mention embarrassed) by a casual friend walking into a restaurant, school, etc.
    We started out ea session with-a time limit of about 3 min. for a recap of the last mo, which also helped clue in newcomers.
    Then we'd talk about issues and some people would again get 3 min. but those who didn't have any pressing issues would just listen.
    I liked it for the reason that I realized I wasn't alone and I wasn't going crazy.
    I liked the speakers who came in once every 3 mo's or so.
    I disliked it for the reason that my difficult child was the only one in private school, so I had no clue what an IEP or other alphabet soup acronym was. It got old fast.
    The straw that broke the camel's back was the mom whose son who moved out and she said, "Good riddance. I hope I never see him again."
    I nearly burst into tears. Here I was, trying to get SUPPORT, and trying to support other people, and she had completely given up. It was so disheartening and demoralizing.
    I realize she had her reasons.
    Still, it didn't work for me.
    Now, I just meet with-the woman who started the group. She was not only the brainchild, she is a font of perseverence. She has her major breakdowns and sob-into-the-pillow moments, but overall, she has stayed the course and has her son to prove it.
    He has Asperberger's and ADHD, but no longer ODD. He is a JR in HS on grade level, and the 2 of them travel locally to give talks to other moms. They are amazing.

    Oh, one more thing. You or your friend have to learn to be excellent facilitators. You have to be gentle but firm, because it is sososososoSO easy for all of us to get off on a tangent once we get started.

    Good luck! :smile: