I am not the type of person that will give unwanted advice when it comes to parenting. I can’t. I won’t. I hate unwanted advice and won’t do that to another person.
On the other hand, I have zero problem providing MY experience. If you find something helpful, awesome. If it’s not helpful, awesome.
On that note…
One thing I have learned recently (more recently than I like) is the importance of surrounding yourself with people who understand your situation.
We were recently in a situation for an extended period of time with people who – regardless of how many times it was expressed – could not, did not, or would not understand Blake.
There was constant undermining what we told him he could.
There was constant telling him he couldn’t do something or that something wasn’t a choice.
There was constant yelling at him.
The people we were with just did not understand him – the way his mind works, the way his body works, the way he as a person works and the methods to approach him and get through to him.
With a child with special needs, as a parent, we know that they have to be approached differently. They need adaptions to choices and discipline.
A child with special needs responds better to choices, options, boundaries and not yelling or authoritative demands (especially when said child is diagnosed as Oppositional Defiance Disorder like Blake.)
I understand that not everyone can understand Blake or how he works or how we as parents work, but having a group of people who “get it” can help.
Having a group of people in the same situation helps reduce your stress because you aren’t alone.
Having a group of people in the same situation gives you a place to vent on a bad day and a place to celebrate on a good day.
Having a local group of people in the same situation gives your child other people they can relate to.
Having a local group of people in the same situation gives you other people you can spend time with that understand you and your child and the ups and downs you go through.
Having a local group of people in the same situation gives you resources that you may not be aware of or know how to access.
Here are a few groups that I am a part of and if you have any that you love, please leave me a comment so I can join!!
East Valley – My Friendship Group – This is an Arizona local group for the East Valley
Parents of children with O.D.D/ADHD/ADD/ANXIETY/OCD – I am still fairly new to this group, but there are a lot of people in there with advice and support.
Autism Living Life On The Spectrum – This is an amazing group of supportive people! Naomi is super helfpul and the group has been a great place for me to ask questions!
This group isn’t necessarily special needs focused, but it is a group of wonderful mama’s that are super supportive – Mama’s Comfort Camp
Our Experiencing Parenthood group is still incredibly small but is always a safe and supportive group. Our Parenting Tribe group is a great place to find parenting everything from several different parenting bloggers.
If you have a group that you like being a part of, be sure to leave me a comment with the group so I can join too – we all need people who understand our situation.
And always know that I am around if you ever need to vent or cheer! I’m here!