Help for Parents

I am grateful for all those parents who have gone before me, laying the ground work for the kind of services now available for Joshua, and all our family, to benefit from.  Some of these are local but some are nation wide and there are quite a few in the Resources page, as well.  As I come across more, I will add to this list.

Autism – Everything Parents and Caregivers Should Know About the Disorder

One of the best autism resources for parents we have found is an ebook and recording series called Autism – Everything Parents and Caregivers Should Know About the Disorder. This package was put together by imminent research doctor and scientist Karen Vieira and Dr. Sandy Newmark. Dr. Sandy Newmark, a physician with 19 years of experience in pediatrics has been practicing medicine since 1984.

A specialist with interest in Behavioral Problems such as ADHD and Autism, Newmark completed a two-year fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona under the leadership of acclaimed best-selling author and world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine, Dr. Andrew Weil.

Dr. Newmark reveals the results of many years of natural and medical treatments covering all treatment options, some of which may be new to you. You will also learn which natural autism treatments provide a definite reduction in symptoms in many children with autism.

Parental Supports

Marriage support for Parents of Autistic Children

I came across this website that offers a grant to those who are having marriage difficulties and are raising an autistic child.  http://www.nationalautismassociation.org/familyfirst.php

The goal is to keep families together.  In downloading the application, I discovered that it was only applicable for a limited amount of time.  There is a contact person so it’s something I need to look more into.

It’s really vital for the progress of the autistic child and the over all health of the family, for the parents to have a stable marriage.  Our difficulty has arisen in trying to make it on one income.  I don’t know how other parents do it, or single parents.  We have the goal for our son (and all the kids) to achieve their highest potential and also be able to support our family and not lose sight of our real need to be mutually supportive to one another, encouraging growth in our gifts while striving to achieve our goals, for the benefit of all.

Grants for Helping Families

Providing all the enrichment opportunities for a child with autism is extremely expensive.  There is help out there, for the average family with average insurance and average income.  You don’t have to be the Gates’ to get good treatment for your child.  I have yet to apply for the various grants but here are the sites of those I found from National Autism Association:  http://www.nationalautismassociation.org/helpinghand.php

We suggest contacting the following organizations for information on their grant programs.
ACT-Today at http://www.act-today.org
United Healthcare Children’s Foundation at http://www.uhccf.org
TACA: http://www.talkaboutcuringautism.org/resources/financial_issues.htm

It’s nice to have connections and I happen to have a few, regarding applying for grants.  Getting all the help from your support network that you can is advisable.  What I have found is that people want to help.  They just need to know how they can and what you need.  I am grateful for the various people in my life who hold us up as we continue on this journey.

Department of Developmental Disabilities

One of Amanda’s recommendations to me was to apply for Department of Developmental Disabilities services for Joshua.  This would help in getting additional treatment, materials, and necessities, such as pull-ups, wipes, and dietary needs.  I contacted the coordinator for Region 4 of  DSHS DDD Services and got a packet of information sent out to us.  It was certainly encouraging to see how much we could get support in providing for Joshua but we had to wait to see when some money would become available, especially due to the budget cuts with the effects of the economy.  I have so much hope that, perhaps, DDD could help with some of the extras, such as pull-ups, and his special diet we are attempting, in addition to some wishes of getting him into music therapy at some point due to being musically inclined, and swimming lessons at some point.  It is supposed to take 6 weeks from when the paperwork was submitted, however, due to budget cuts, I’m not holding my breath on any money being available to soon.  I am considering it a pleasant surprise if anything ever comes of it.

School District Support Groups

Our school district offers a Special Educational Parent/Professional Advisory Council (SEPAC).

SEPAC is a group of parents, professionals, and administrators who work together for the benefit of the special needs children in the X School District. SEPAC sponsors monthly presentations, and also holds a monthly Meeting to discuss and advise on district special education programs.sponsors monthly presentations, and also holds a monthly Board Meeting to discuss and advise on district special education programs.

I haven’t been able to go to any of these meetings, but am glad to know is available.  They have stipends for conferences and scholarship money available, too, for summer educational experiences to help the disabled child “catch up”, etc.  They offer parent support groups that are available in the community, sibling activities, Mom’s spa night, family events, etc.  Check out your school district website or talk with someone in special services for what is available in your community to assist you in caring for your special needs child.  That Mother’s Spa night is getting my attention!  Siblings groups, too!