Love it or hate it Social Media has a lot to answer for. For the great many Parents of children with Special Needs; Social Media has brought to the fore the light that really was at the end of a very long tunnel.
I remember years ago when Conor was born, I searched and searched on line. I tried to find one other person who was in the same position as me. I had a gorgeous little baby boy, who couldn’t sleep, eat, speak, sit, stand, walk or crawl. He couldn’t communicate, he had extreme anxiety, hated going outside the house, feared meeting anyone new, detested almost all foods. I Loved him so much but I was so lost.
I didn’t know it straight away but Conor was born with Special Needs. A few years after he was diagnosed, I finally found my TRIBE- the people who were the same as me; parents who walked this road many years before me, parents who walked it alongside me and parents who were coming up behind me. Finally I knew where I belonged, finally everything started to make sense, finally I had HOPE. Through private Facebook Special Needs Groups I entered a new world and finally knew where I belonged.
Since starting my Blog I receive emails all the time from new parent’s asking for advice and support. I do my best to reply to them all but sometimes life gets in the way. Looking after two little boys with Special Needs together with their big sister means I haven’t got heaps of time to reply to everyone unfortunately. I have been asked many times about great Special Needs Facebook Groups that I would recommend. I am learning about new Groups everyday so this list will be updated from time to time and I would love to hear about private groups you would like to add to the list.x
So here is my first draft of excellent Facebook Groups, many will be Autism specific as both my boys are Autistic but there are a great many groups I have been told about that deservedly will feature on this list. (As noted above if you would like to see your group or a group you are a member of featured, leave a comment below or message me over on my Facebook Blog page which you can find here)
Autism Support Groups
Autism Mommies – an online support group for mothers of children with Autism or Aspergers.
Autism Mamaí – an online support group for mothers of children with Autism or Aspergers living in Ireland
Irish Autism Mammys- an online support group for mothers of children with Autism & Aspergers living in Ireland.
Autism Parents Ireland – an online support group for parents of children with Autism or Aspergers living in Ireland
Autism living on the Spectrum – an online information sharing support group for Carers of children living with Autism worldwide.
Female Aspergers/Autism Support Ireland – on line support group for females young and old on the spectrum.
Mayo Autism Support Association – If you are living in County Mayo and you have a child with Autism/Aspergers then feel free to “add” yourself to this group for updates on upcoming meetings and events together with online support.
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Support Groups
The following are all support groups for Parents and/or Carers of children with SPD, they provide resources, advice, links and supports to their members. Collectively they have a wealth of knowledge that can help to benefit you and your child with SPD.
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Support
Sensory Processing Disorder (Ireland) – a support group for Parents/Carers living in Ireland who have children with SPD.
SPD Parent Support with Positive/Gentle Parenting
Sensory Room – a support group for Parents/Carers of children with SPD
Sensory Processing Disorder Parents
Sensory Wonderland an ideas sharing group to help your child with SPD.
Voices of SPD – this is an excellent information sharing group.
Disability Allowance/Domicillary Care Support Groups
DA Crossroads – Support, help and advice for families as their children transition from DCA to DA and for all individuals applying for DA.
DCA Warriors – information and support for parents of children with disabilities and special needs in Ireland who are applying for or in receipt of DCA (Domicilliary Care Allowance)
Support Forums wherein all Special Needs Groups are supported
Special Needs Parents Association Ireland – support for parents of children with disabilities and special needs living in Ireland
Special Needs Equipment~Buy Sell Swap (Ireland) – group for parents to buy sell or swap special needs equipment in Ireland.
Speech and Language Support Groups
Special Needs Communication – an online support forum for Mothers of children with Special Needs who use alternative Communication Methods that I set up in the last number of years. It is is an ever growing support forums for Mothers living in Ireland over seen by experienced, supportive Admins together with members.
SSLI Parents Support Group – an online support group for parents of children with Specific Speech and Language Impairment
Other Online Support Groups
As I am a Mother of two Non-Verbal Boys who both have Autism and SPD I know more about these conditions then any other. However over the years I have heard of other excellent groups and here are just a few-
Cerebral Palsy Ireland Family Group – online support group for parents, family members and people affected by cerebral palsy living in Ireland.
Epilepsy Ireland – online support group for people affected by epilepsy
Irish Fragile x Society (IFXS) – to raise awareness for the most common genetic cause of autism.
Kids with Epilepsy Ireland – a group set up by parents of children with epilepsy in Ireland.
Raising a Child with Down Syndrome in Ireland – for parents and guardians only, to discuss and ask advice about raising children, teens and adults with Down Syndrome in Ireland.
Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland Parents Group – support group for parents (ONLY) of children with spina bifida and/ or hydrocephalus living in Ireland
As noted above I do not know of every invaluable online support group so if you would like to have your group appear on the above list or a support group you are a member of please leave a comment below in the Comment Section of this Post and I will update the post regularly as I learn of new Groups.
Many if not all of the above Groups have strict admission policies to their groups. When you click on the button to enter the group ensure you check your “other” folder on Facebook Messaging Tab as it is routine for Admins on most groups to email potential new members to ensure they are adding themselves to the correct groups. Most if not all will not accept you to the group if you do not reply to the Admission Email.
When you find YOUR TRIBE
Through many of the above Groups I have met some of the most amazing, courageous parents. I learn so much from them each day, I am inspired by their courage, bravery and their support.x My life changed the day I first met a fellow Special Needs Parent and I have never looked back since.xx
Please share this post to help raise awareness of the many invaluable Support Groups that may just help someone you know who is struggling today.xx
As always thank you for stopping by my little corner of the web.x I update my Facebook Blog everyday so pop over to find out what we get up to each day.xx You can find a link to my Facebook Page here.x
Cottage Autism Network, Wexford
A parent-led support group for families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder.
fabulous! This is a great resource to share! Thanks for raising some awareness for disability and special needs.
Angela from daysinbed
Hi there, I am a parent of a 10 year old diagnosed with sensory processing disorder. I have not been able to find a support group or courses that would allow me to better understand and support my child. I’m doing the best I can at present to keep the boat afloat so to speak. He has had a block session with ot last year which did help a lot. However I feel left alone to get on with it. I completed the maria cassidy programme which also benefits my son. Are there any local support groups for parents.