When I found myself suddenly thrown into the world of special needs parenting, the stress and isolation was overwhelming. Sure, I learned a lot from books and Google, but I found support in Facebook groups. There were groups for special needs parents in general, as well as for specific disorders and diagnoses, and it felt good to find others who knew the lingo and the struggles and the victories that come with special needs parenting. It felt good to have community with other special needs parents, even if it was just online.
But I couldn't find a good group for Christian special needs parents, and that is what I desperately needed. The anxiety and faith-questions I experienced were not solved in my church or my Bible study group, it would only be met by meeting with other Christian special needs parents, even if it was online. These groups are a safe place to share prayer requests, find resources and encouragement, and find a community of people who truly get it.
There's a few groups out there now for Christian special needs parents, and I wanted to share my favorites with you:
This is an active, supportive Facebook group that I started where you can safely share your questions and frustrations, helpful resources, prayer requests and praises, Christian encouragement, and more. The group also does praying Scripture challenges a few times a year to help you pray Scripture for your family, for your children, and for yourself as a special needs mama. Click here to join.
A friend of mine started this group so that you can "Connect and find encouragement in your faith, self-care, relationships, and mental health wholeness." She has tons of resources and support to help you in your faith and mental wellness journey as a special needs parent. Click here to join
I love the name of this Facebook group so much, because self-care and soul care are both vital and hard to come by in this special needs parenting journey. This Facebook group was created by Sandra Peoples, author of several books and a podcast for Christian special needs parents. It's not as active as it once was, but still an encouraging place to ask questions or share a prayer request. Click here to join.
Rising Above is a ministry to special needs families that I absolutely love, and they have events and online and in person community groups and Bible studies for special needs moms, dads, and siblings. Check out the community groups they have going on now.
Key Ministry is another organization I love, which supports special needs families and disability ministries in churches. They also have online groups based on diagnosis for your child, so you can find a group that understands your family's unique challenges.
Hope Anew is another community led be husband and wife team Sarah and Jonathan McQuire created an online community just for families like ours to support one another and grow in their faith. You can learn more about it here.
Bonus: Not an online group, but if you're on Pinterest, check out this Pinterest board. Christian special needs bloggers all contribute encouraging faith based and practical resources for your special needs parenting journey.
If you know of another great online support group for Christian special needs parents, please let me know in the comments below, I'd love to check them out and add them to this list. Hope you find a group (or several!) that encourage you in your special needs parenting journey! Because no one should go this challenging and lonely journey alone.