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August 6, 2021

3 Ways Community Helps Our Sanity

When I started The Parenting Cipher, I had one goal in mind – to ease the journey of a concerned parent when it came to their child’s academic success. Some years later, the goal did not change. That goal turned into multiple goals still focusing on providing parents with the knowledge to gain control over their child’s academic success while mastering their learning disabilities. I knew then parents needed a community, so I started one. 

Community Defined – We are a Minority, Too

I found many definitions for Community yet; these were my favorites:

  • People who are considered as a unit because of their common interests – Cambridge Dictionary

  • A unified body of individuals – Merriam-Webster Dictionary

  • A group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists – DictionaryDotCom

Of the definitions I found, DictionaryDotCom’s definition fits US! We are indeed sharing common interests that are distinct from the larger society. We are parents to children with Special Needs. By definition alone, we are a minority community.

No Man is an Island – 3 Ways Community Helps Sanity

As parents to children with Special Needs, we have more challenges to face than other parents are totally unaware. We are their protectors and their advocates. Parenting is hard, no doubt. Being a parent to a Special Needs child is twice as hard. That’s why we need and should rely on our community.


When you need that safe space to scream, cry, rejoice, or celebrate, many can’t grasp the depth of your feelings like one of your own. A fellow Special Needs parent can give you that because they know on a deeper level than a non-Special Needs parent. They simply understand without you having to explain how each piece of the puzzle fits.


When you don’t know, the best person to ask is someone who has been there or is there. Within our community, the school may tell you one thing, but experience will tell you something much more useful. A fellow parent has been through what you’re going through and can talk and walk you through the best process with much more detail. They can make it make sense to you. If you feel blind going in, an experienced parent can be your guide.


Playdates for your children are great. What about parental playdates? We need them too. The more active you are in the community creates friendships. It’s a default reaction. No one will understand that last-minute therapy session phone call better than a parent who has received the same call. These friendships can spill-over to the children as well which then becomes a win-win for all involved. 

Conversation, Support, and Friendship are three very important ways to gain and maintain sanity through the ups, downs, and running-around that come with parenting. You have to be sane to be a benefit to yourself and your child.

My Communities

While I urge you to join community groups of your choosing, I have to tell you about my own. The Parenting Cipher is definitely a community group I love sharing with you. I also have a Facebook community group, in case you were unaware:

  • Facebook group – Together, we will address specific topics around special education, managing your child’s diagnoses at home, self-care, emotional support, and entrepreneurship while simultaneously acknowledging cultural biases and stereotypes ever-present in our school systems.

  • “Back to School Workshop” - August 15, 2021, join me in my Facebook group for this free webinar. Promptly starting at 12 p.m - 2 p.m. EST. I will give you tools, tips and tricks to help prepare for your child returning to school. I will also answer questions live that appear in the comments section.

Remember, you don’t have to do any of this alone. My community groups and others are there to converse with you and support you through you and your child’s journey. The friendships created are added bonuses. Embrace it all. 

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