Join a parent support group. No really! You thought I was going to write about the AFU, taxes or some such thing didn’t you?
The benefits of joining a local parent support group are numerous and yes, financially beneficial.
Firstly, support groups will understand what you are going through better than any of your extended family. Only someone who has been there will understand the stresses that you are experiencing. As a guy, it pains me greatly to admit that sometimes it helps to talk about it.
OK, what about the money? You can learn many things from other parents in your community. Things such as:
- Who are the good Behaviour Consultants in your town
- Who is going to rip you off
- What does the local Child Development Centre offer (this one varies dramatically across the regions)
- What schools are supportive of ASD kids
- What kind of school aides you can expect
- What BI’s are good and available (yes parents do share this information)
Additionally if parents share the same Behaviour Consultant and live nearby, they can potentially save on travel costs.
I have benefited greatly over the years with the support offered by other parents in my community. My child has excellent aides some of whom we never would have found if not for the connections in our town.
OK then, which support group should you join? There are quite a few out there and I wouldn’t presume to know all of them. You should however vet the groups so their philosophy matches your own. Some are dedicated to Bio-medical treatments only while others are geared to more evidence based treatments such as ABA Therapy.
Two groups to check out are the Autism Society of BC or the ABA Support Network to see if they have a support group in your community. If there are no groups available, this is your opportunity to give back to the community by starting one. Contact either of the before mentioned organizations for assistance in setting one up.