Friday, July 2, 2010

FTF: Post 6 "Support Groups 101" by Carrie Fannin

This month's First things First article is by Carrie Fannin, founder of Sensory Planet, a resource for parents of children with SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder).

Her article is called;

Support Groups 101 and as usual, it can be found on Hartley Steiner's blog.

Please read it.

In her article Carrie looks as the role that support groups play in supporting the parents of special needs children. It would be easy for me to say that I don't need such groups because being aspie, groups of people really don't work all that well for me but I do know that they help my wife.

The thing is, that Carrie says; "Find a support group, whether it's online or in your local community, and join it. Commit to surrounding yourself with parents who understand what you are going through".

I think the key here is that the group can simply be an online one. For me, particularly when I was first coming to grips with Aspergers, that group was WrongPlanet (http://www.wrongplanet.net/). I'm not on there very often these days simply because I can't keep up with the new posts - and if I start reading, I'll be there for hours. I do still get on there occasionally, when I need the group or when I feel like a catch up. It's good to know that it's always there waiting for me.

WrongPlanet is a group which has significant ups and downs as everyone on there has an opinion and since many of the posters are aspies, they are often expressed in a less than tactful manner. Of course, there's no denying however that without WrongPlanet I'd be in considerably worse shape than I am now. It gave me the tools I needed to understand myself and to begin to understand my kids. I also made quite a few good friends there.

One thing is for certain. Whenever I spend too long talking to the parents of "perfect kids", I just have to get back to WrongPlanet to be amongst like-minded and like-experienced people. It's calming. Carrie's right - get into a group.

1 comment:

Miguel Palacio said...

"Parents of 'perfect kids'l lol

There is no such thing, as I know u know as well.


And then also there are those kids trained like puppy dogs to shake, beg, roll over and play dead as though having been valedictorians of the kennel obedience school. But, what are they really inside? Many people will say that those are "perfect kids" too. I always laugh at the notion of "perfect kids". xD

At times I can find Wrong Planet to be a bit overwhelming. It's like "where do I begin". I agree it's a great resource tho and, like you said, you can be there for days on end reading and reading.

And support "groups" are often there to support those around us. For us, I prefer a support "network" with whom we can occasionally compare notes in a less stressful manner than in a echoey chamber room full of chatter.