I recall the day when I knocked on the door of a family home and it appeared someone was there but perhaps, they didn’t hear me knocking. I wondered whether to persist or not. Perhaps, they were having a bad day and didn’t want to invite this ‘specialist’ inside. She came to the door, having just got out of bed. She had been on night shift and lost track of time or just basically needed to sleep. Working and caring for a child with special needs is damn hard work. And for those families who experience this from the birth of the child, the outcome from this long awaited pregnancy has provided something totally unexpected. You then became an automatic member of a new club. It’s one of those clubs that you didn’t choose but a club that can reap benefits when you get actively involved.
I was an active member of a club too, one I didn’t choose but I’m so glad it found me. SANDS Queensland provided for me a place to spend time in familiar surroundings amongst those who understood. I wasn’t the only one feeling angry when I looked at pregnant women in the shopping centre, or mothers complaining about their child’s need to be picked up all the time. The friends I made in SANDS, the special times I shared, the stories we all shared, the many coffees we drank, and the joy shared together when positives came from our past negatives were all great benefits from being a member of this club. I valued the other members. Some knew more than me, others not as much. People had been there before or had a longer connection with “the Club”. I got very involved and volunteered my time for events, along with representing SANDS Australia that was successful in obtaining a National contact number for grieving parents and families.
Membership always involves commitment and motivation to be active.
Do you think you use your membership to the fullest?
Membership to the 'Parents of a child with a disability' club is free and support is there when you are ready to ask. Of course, some members might come and go or take a lot longer to join. Who is the one missing out if you join late? Where are you as a parent if it takes you a few years eventhough you suspected some issues presenting ? What effect do you think that has on your child - the one with the diagnosis, the mystery syndrome, the one avoiding detailed tasks and fine motor activities. Early intervention is proven to make a huge difference on a child, so you need to join that club pretty quickly so you can find out about the good deals, the free events and the supporting people of the club to ensure early intervention is successful. Understandably, for some families there are the ongoing, numerous medical appointments that their life must fit around now. This child though, will be expected to go into an educational program at the right age so they need that support beforehand to assist them in developing pre-requisites for school.
So when you feel ready to join 'the club', you can explore this website for guidance and direction, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to ask more questions. Did you know that we also have an active Facebook page to keep up to date?
NDIS Registered Provider no. 4050011793
Kerri Weaver is a service provider for children with disabilities.