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Before we found our people, I would look with envy at blog posts and social media updates about how important your tribe is as a special needs family. I hadn’t found mine yet. How does one find their tribe of people?
Over the past year, with our second child receiving an autism diagnosis and C starting school, I have never been so thankful for the tribe of advocates, therapists, educators, and caregivers that we have established. I truly do not know what our family would do without them.
I want every parent to feel supported in their community. Here are some tips for finding your tribe of people to help you raise your awesome child(ren):
Call different providers
You will likely be able to tell through a conversation if this therapy center/in-home therapy company has values and goals that align with yours. I was happy with my initial conversation with our children’s therapy center; but watching C get excited about the toys and interact with his potential therapy team made me feel comfortable.
Reach out to a local support group
Does your local area offer a support group for parents? Try it out. If it’s not for you, there’s no pressure to return; but you may be surprised by a welcoming environment that you can’t wait to go back to!
Participate in a local event or awareness walk
Local events and awareness walks are great self-care opportunities, because you’re getting out to enjoy an activity. The added bonus is that you will meet other families like your own!
Join a local Facebook group to connect with other families
The beauty of a Facebook group is that you can comment as actively as you’d like. Read conversations, ask for advice, seek support, offer your insight. Connect with others as your schedule allows, from the comfort of your home.
Research local school districts
If there is school choice in your area, or you have the opportunity to move to a better district in your area, it may be beneficial to research the special education programs offered by local school districts. I realize this isn’t an option for everyone. We happened to move last year, and chose our home based on the school district’s special education ratings and our commute to therapy.
Finding a support team is an important piece of your family’s well-being and success. I hope that you will find an amazing group of people in your community. If you’ve found your tribe or have tips to add, please share them in the comments!