Calling all #Autism Parents: What do you need or want in an #Autism parent group?

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I had a phone meeting with the Director of the Autism Society of Greater Akron this morning.  We were discussing the setup of a parent group in Canton, Ohio.

My thought would be to run a group in a very similar fashion to what I do on this site or Facebook page.

I would want this to be something that actually benefits the parents.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what would benefit you personally.  Remember, this isn’t necessarily about kids with Autism, but instead about the parents that raise them. 

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Ann Gorseth

Parents usually join groups not only for support but for solutions to problems. The Internet seems to be overflowing with venting but short on explanations for behaviors and on actions to take to solve problems. I would suggest you involve adult autistics as group leaders. Also, researching how other parent groups function might be beneficial. Good luck!

AutismAdventure

We have only been to one parent support group meeting and are now starting one in our town.  We sort of have a support group at adaptive swim at the Y.  I am interested in the answers to this question as we move forward with our group.  I know that I would want it to be very welcoming to dads.  Moms seem more able to share, support and understand each other even if their kids don’t have the same issues.  I have found that the guys just don’t have that kind of conversation a lot.  My husband was so relieved just to hear someone else talk about feeling the same way or having the same sort of issues to think about.  I would want to have some laughter involved.  
Also, helping parents find the help they need would be great but, at a once a month meeting, I don’t know how much of that can get done.
I am trying to make our group a place that we can relax, have some nice snacks, and have some adult time while the kids are well taken care of.  That is my biggest stressor – making sure we have adequate child care because I want people to be able to come and enjoy themselves without worrying too much about the kids.

MrMiller23

Tips on what works (and doesn’t work) in terms of teaching children with autism. Personally, I have issues trying to keep my son interested or focused in doing things like holding a pencil correctly, using a mouse on a computer, putting on socks correctly, etc. He CAN do things like that, but often gets too excited or distracted or just wants to go a little crazy and can be a bit destructive. I’d assume with groups like this there’s always room for discussions on potty training ideas, keeping kids occupied on long car trips, handling public meltdowns and so on.  
We just put our son into mainstream kindergarten and he’s struggling. I’m not sure if it’s the extended hours (full day as opposed to half-day), the added structure, or what. I’d like to hear what other parents have done to help the child cope with that change…

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