According to Wikipedia, a support group is a place where “members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others’ experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks.”
Ask any parent who is rearing a child with special needs about the sheer necessity of having a group with whom one can share frustrations, lessons, questions, fears, and triumphs.
It is a lifeline.
When I leave my Autism support group, I feel both exhilarated and exhausted. The amount of information shared makes my head feel as if it is about to explode. The task of parenting a child on the spectrum is overwhelming.
But at least I know that I am not alone on this path.
I look around the room and think that I wouldn’t have chosen most of these women, for they are mostly women, as friends. And then I marvel that these women know things about me that I don’t even share with my closest friends.
Because they know. They get it. They understand. And I can’t imagine doing this without them.