Parenting always has its challenges, and parents need support from their friends, family, and community in a variety of ways. Parents of special needs children experience above average amounts of stress, uncertainty, and isolation. The Center for Parenting Education states that parents may experience “frustration with inconsistent information from specialists, sadness for dreams unfulfilled, and resentment that every day is filled with challenges” (2019).
Hawaii’s Special Parents Information Network (SPIN) offers parents and family members from across the state much needed support, resources, and education. SPIN “helps families put together the pieces of the puzzle, so they can have a clearer vision of where they are heading” (SPIN, 2019). The annual SPIN Conference took place at UH Manoa Campus Center on April 13, 2019. I had the privilege of sharing information about music therapy with the family members and professionals who attended. I also learned about new providers in the community who help people with special needs find appropriate housing, transition out of the school system, and advocate for themselves. The SPIN Conference also offers an opportunity for parents to connect with families who have been through similar experiences, so they don’t have to feel alone in caring for their children. See below for more information about some of the resources available to families in Hawaii. Mahalo to all the families, caregivers, and professionals who work tirelessly to provide a vibrant future for our keiki.
Resources for Families and Caregivers:
- SPIN (Special Parents Information Network)
- TACA (The Autism Community in Action)
- Assistive Technology Resource Center
- Autism Society of Hawaii
- Comprehensive Services Center
- Epilepsy Foundation of Hawaii
- Hawaii Disability Rights Center
- Hoomana Group
- LDAH: Leadership in Disabilities and Achievement Hawaii
Sources: spinhawaii.org, centerforparentingeducation.org