It struck me last night that perhaps this should have been my very post on this blawg. Better late than never I suppose ...
In rereading my copy of "Changed By A Child - Companion Notes for Parents of a Child With Disability" (which, by the way, I highly recommend - notice I said rereading), I was once again reminded (as if I could ever really forget) of the importance and strength of the connection between parents of children with special needs.
Many years ago I learned that the absolute best source of information on what resources might potentially be available for my children was another parent. Not a social worker, a doctor or some other professional who is paid to help and support our family but another parent. One who has walked in shoes that fit at least somewhat similarly to my own. And while I lamented (and still do) about how hit and miss that made the process of any particular family ever discovering exactly what resources or programs were out there, I remain awed by how well that network can and does work at times.
On a related note, a large part of what motivated me to sit down and start writing this blawg in the first place was the realization, which also came to me long ago, that parents of children with special needs who also hold a professional degree in some area (be it medicine, education, law or some other profession) are in a unique position to make a difference for our kids.
For example, not only can the parent/lawyer bring a wealth of background knowledge as to what it's really like to live this life and how school boards really operate to their advocacy for a child with special needs, they can also connect with the client/parent at some deep level which can, I think, bring a sense of assurance to that other parent that they are finally dealing with a professional that really 'gets it'. That not just talks the talk but also walks the walk. And it certainly cuts down on the amount of background explaining that the parent/client must do.
Substitute the word teacher, psychologist or doctor for lawyer above and you get the picture.