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Reflecting On Our Family Support Groups – 2018

After more than two decades, the Chinese Family Support Group continues to be a huge success.

Every third Saturday of the month, DDA hosts a parent-to-parent support and information group for Chinese speaking families. The group is parent-centred and helps to connect them with other parents and family members. This is very important when they feel alone or unheard. Any participant may bring any issue up to the meeting facilitator to see if the topic warrants a group discussion. According to families, meeting another participant who understands and can provide information on what they are experiencing, is crucial and beneficial.

In September, an Information Officer from Autism Information Services British Columbia (AIS BC) held a presentation in Mandarin about the Individual Education Plan (IEP) and the school system. This presentation was relevant to many parents because some of the families are new immigrants and do not quite understand the complexities of a school system. The majority of family members speak English as a second language and benefitted from learning about the IEP. All the parents have the same goal: They wish to help their child at school. There were 42 parents that attended. They listened carefully, took notes in detail, and asked many questions regarding their concerns.

In October, a board-certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) provided a workshop about Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) and explained this approach to behaviour management. After the presentation, parents divided into two groups and discussed more information related to the topic. They shared their own stories and successful educational/behavioural strategies with each other. After the meeting, the family members said they have more confidence and appreciated the presenter and the parent group facilitator for hosting the workshop. They all think parent support groups are fantastic and useful.