I was blessed with the opportunity to attend a conference the last 2 days for parents / caregivers of children with special needs. A friend told me about it and I really enjoyed my time. Jake was able to join me on Thursday and I went on my own today. While I was glad that Jake got to go yesterday and learn about some of this stuff too I really enjoyed the connections I made today. There were 2 moms that I got to know today and I know they will be friendships that I will keep for a long time. Our children’s needs are completely different but the relationship we developed was huge.
I didn’t know that I would make these connections, of course I always hope to make connections with people who have similar needs or have a situation that I can relate too but really I went to learn more. To learn more about all the programs that are out there & available. It’s insane what a parent goes through right after you have this “special child”. I know it’s different for every child but we were handed this packet of brochures…what does all this mean???? I remember being given a list of programs that are out there and being told the things that we should apply for. Looking back I think I nodded my head and didn’t remember anything. It’s all so overwhelming. 15 months later it’s still so overwhelming! My goal: to put something together after talking to parent and my own experiences to what the most important things were to do in the first 3 months, 6 months, year and so forth. The programs that didn’t really seem to work. While I believe these programs are meant to be good. I truly believe some of the best connections I have made are not the people that someone else has set me up with but those real connections I have made. I know I was blessed with having people come into my life slowly, some before we even had Violet, some people I have made better connections with since having her and those strangers who I wouldn’t have met as easily before her.
I want parents to not be so overwhelmed by what everyone is telling them they need to do. Yes, this process would be another ” how to book” someone’s opinions on what they need to do, but I think when you have someone who has done it, gone through it…it means more. I think it would be beneficial to have a peer to help you along this process. Some of the difficulties I feel are just knowing where to start. I feel so dumb when it comes to all this stuff. It’s so overwhelming! There are so many programs out there…some you need right away…others not so much…AAHHH….where does one begin???
Talking to the professionals helps, but talking to the parents, those who have walked that similar road before that have been the most help! Those conversations I treasure the most. Those conversations I yearn for more.