Inclusion Fusion 2012 We Are FAMILY

November 16, 2012


I’m “attending” the free online Inclusion Fusion 2012 Web Conference and I’d encourage you to check out the list of over 30 great presentations on all things related to special needs and special needs ministry.  Here’s a small part of a presentation by Joe and Cindi Ferrini, authors of Unexpected Journey.  In it they ask:

Why is it that parents of kids with special needs don’t get much outside support from their family and friends?   

Often family and friends really have no idea what mom and dad have to do every day, 24/7.  Often, parents make parenting their child look easy.  You love your child and you adapt in order to help him or her grow and develop, thus making parenting look easier than it really is.  One idea that Joe and Cindi Ferrini recommended was to ensure that you invite family and friends to be a part of the fun things that you do as a family.  Allow them to be a part of your family, not just for the care or everyday needs that have to be met, but the fun stuff as well.  Cindi stated that in their son’s early years they didn’t expect family to only come over to do the “work” and then afterwards say “see you later.”

Be sure to balance caregiving visits from family and friends with invitations to a birthday party, cook out, family dinner, or backyard event!  Another great idea was to ensure that you call family members or friends who have been a help to simply say, “thank you” or “how is your week going?”  Make sure that you are not just touch bases with them only when you need something from them.  Be careful not to get in the mindset of expecting people to continue to provide support.  More specifically, don’t get into the mindset that it’s someone’s “job” and if they can’t do it then get upset with them.  That will quickly drive family and friends away.  Consider their support icing on the cake.

Here are a few other questions that Joe and Cindi answered during their presentation:

  • Why do my typically developing children demand so much attention and why don’t the realize how much time it takes to care for the one with special needs?
  • Why do extended family seem so removed from us?
  • What do you say when your typically developing child asks, “Why don’t we get to do things that I want to do?”

Time is running out to register and watch all of the great presentations at Inclusion Fusion 2012.  It’s free.  It’s online.  It ends today so act quickly!

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About Michael Woods

Christ-follower, husband, chocoholic, and peanut-butter lover! I'm a father to triplet boys...each on the autism spectrum.

View all posts by Michael Woods


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