Kaua`i has a wonderful Parent Support Group that meets for two hours each month at Easter Seals in Lihue to provide support for parents of children of all ages who have any number of challenging behaviors and learning difficulties, including Autism, ADHD and various physical limitations. One of the goals of the Parent Support Group is to help parents learn steps to get services their children need as they navigate resources in school and the community. A second goal is to provide a place for parents to support each other as they deal with the many everyday challenges they face with their children at school and at home.
Our monthly Parent Support meeting is scheduled on a Saturday morning and FREE childcare is provided by trained staff from Bayada and Aptitude. Usually one half the meeting is used for parent skills training on topics requested by our parents. We also focus on their IEP or 504 Plans, how to effectively participate in their school team meetings, and how to walk through the steps in these processes. Trainers are volunteers from a variety of local and statewide agencies.
The second half of the meeting is set aside for parents to discuss their challenges and the strategies they have used. Additionally, parents may share names of professionals who have helped their family with tasks like getting assessments, working with their child in the classroom, and working with their child in the home after school. This “talk story” time and “resource sharing” is often parents’ favorite part of the meetings! Parents feel they are not alone! They get to talk with other parents with similar daily challenges and struggles that often feel so overwhelming. Talking with other parents who truly understand the difficulties of their lives brings a little bit of peace to these parents. And parents can relax, knowing their child is being professionally cared for during