DOWN SYNDROME PARENT TO PARENT SUPPORT
The Arc of Essex County's Down Syndrome Parent-to-Parent resource offers support and current information to parents and families of newborn children with Down Syndrome. This is based on a broad spectrum of personal experiences within the group. Organized through a skilled professional, trained mentor parents are prepared to meet and share experiences to establish a lifelong resource connection.
*Down Syndrome Parent-to-Parent puts parents in touch with other parents who share similar experiences as well as speak to parents who are seeking information when they find they are expecting a baby with Down Syndrome.
*A member of Down Syndrome Parent-to-Parent will visit new or expecting parents in the hospital or at home to share information about specific services and programs available for both parent and child.
THE ARC OF ESSEX COUNTY'S PARENT SUPPORT GROUP
The Arc of Essex County's Parent Support Group provides information, education, resources, and services to sustain parents in their caregiving role of raising a child who has been diagnosed with an intellectual and/or developmental disability (i.e. Down syndrome and autism spectrum disorders). The group is run by an Arc of Essex County coordinator who schedules the monthly meetings, works closely with The Arc’s social worker in planning monthly topics, schedules special guest speakers, and answers any questions that parents may have. Meetings provide the opportunity for parents to connect and share information with each other. Topics such as “Transitioning In or Out of Pre-school”, “Advocating for Your Child”, and “Strategies for Managing Your Child’s Behavior” have been popular discussion points. Experts in the special needs field often volunteer their time to speak at meetings on topics such as “Basic Signing for the Child with Cognitive Disabilities and Hearing Impairments” and “Navigating the Maze of Services Available For Your Special Needs Child”. If requested beforehand, the coordinator will arrange for childcare for parents attending meetings.