Parents for Parents support groups to meet starting Wednesday

Make-up sessions for meetings that had to be postponed due to inclement weather will take place during the May gatherings of Parents for Parents, a monthly support group for family members and care givers of people with special needs.

The meetings will be held Wednesday at The Resource Center’s administrative offices, 200 Dunham Avenue in Jamestown, and May 14 at the Connections North Center, 10825 Bennett Road (Route 60) in Dunkirk. Both meetings run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

At the Jamestown meeting, representatives from the Parent Network of WNY and The Advocacy Center will give parents advice on teaching their children how to cope with being bullied. Parents also will learn advocacy skills so that they can work with school officials to build supports and services into an Individualized Education Program to help promote the social growth of their children. Parents will have the opportunity to share their children’s experiences about being bullied.

For the Dunkirk meeting, Dr. Andrea Zevenbergen, an associate professor in the psychology department from SUNY Fredonia, will present on parent-child shared reading and how this technique is found to improve the language skills of children with receptive and expressive language delays. Researchers have been investigating how typical parent-child shared reading programs, such as dialogic reading, may be modified to best meet the needs of children with autism spectrum disorder and children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. This presentation will focus on strategies for enjoyable and educational parent-child shared reading, with consideration of the need to tailor reading methods and materials to each child’s individual strengths and challenges.

Parents, caregivers and all who support individuals with special needs are encouraged to come to these workshops. The regular support group will meet following the presentation.

Parents for Parents is a monthly parent/caregiver support group organized by The Resource Center and Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. The groups, directed by a licensed master social worker, connect and support families of individuals with special needs. The groups offer support, information, speakers and presentations on topics pertaining to parents and caregivers in Chautauqua County. The meetings are an opportunity for parents and caregivers to come together to discuss common triumphs, challenges, issues and concerns.

New members are welcome to join Parents for Parents. Meetings are free. Those planning to attend should register ahead of time so that organizers can have enough materials on hand. Parents desiring assistance with child care, respite or transportation should phone in advance to make arrangements. Those planning to bring their children must call ahead so that organizers can have enough children’s activities and support staff on hand.

For more information, phone 661-1057 for the Jamestown meeting or 366-8176 for the Dunkirk meeting.