Sharing Experiences Brings Families Together

Feeling supported by your community is paramount to making it through challenging times. Sharing your knowledge with others creates a community. These concepts are the starting point for the two new Thrive workshop opportunities Coffee & Conversation and Thriving for Knowledge. Both groups offer information and ideas for parents and caregivers of loved ones with developmental or intellectual disabilities, in a relaxed supportive environment.

“We noticed that many of our families were feeling isolated in what they were experiencing with their family member with developmental challenges,” said Mike Diggins, Thrive’s Family Support Coordinator. “The thought was if we could unite families, they Coffee and conversationcould talk about their experiences and create a community of sharing, helping them feel connected rather than alone,” he added. That was the seed for the Coffee & Conversation group. Meeting the second Wednesday of every month at Thrive headquarters, the group is open to all and no registration is required. “We really want families to connect with one another and learn from each other’s experiences. No matter how seasoned you are, there is always something new to learn and others can certainly benefit from your knowledge,” stated Diggins.

If information on specific services and supports is what you are looking for, check out the Thriving for Knowledge workshop. This workshop meets the third Wednesday of every month and covers topics such as Social Security, MassHealth, housing, domestic benefits, transportation, medical and educational coordination, DDS applications, PCA services and ABA resources. Laurel Hill, attendee and parent raved, “This is the most informative workshop I have ever attended. There are so many resources I did not know about and can’t wait to start accessing them for my son.” Presented by a Thrive family support staff member, topics are driven by attendee suggestions and pre-registration is recommended.

Parenting and caregiving isn’t easy, but having a support system of people with similar experiences helps. These workshops reinforce Thrive’s goal of bringing families together into a community where they share common ground and create a supportive nurturing environment. If you have ideas or suggestions for topics for other workshops, please email familysupport@icanthrive.org.