Summer 2012: TLG Local News: “In Crowd” Moms’ Support Group

TLG’s “In Crowd” is a mothers’ support group for moms who have intellectual disabilities and who live in the East Bay. The meetings also include a playgroup facilitated by TLG developmental specialists for the children who have not yet started kindergarten; the children who come with their moms attend the playgroup while the moms are meeting in the support group. The “In Crowd” meets monthly and has been facilitated by two TLG Clinicians, Sherrie Hansen and Donna White. TLG has had the opportunity to develop this unique model of a therapy/support group for parents with intellectual disabilities (which is described in detail in a training module published by TLG). During the meetings, the moms have an opportunity to share things going on in their lives and to talk about parenting joys and challenges; these discussions are facilitated by the Clinicians. There is also time for informal chatting, sometimes having an activity such as BINGO or balloon volleyball, and having lunch together. During the summers, the group has a restaurant outing and a BBQ in the park; during these special events, the moms bring their older school-age children as well.

The success of the “In Crowd” has exceeded our expectations in many ways. Members have gained self-confidence and positive identification as parents, developed ongoing friendships with one another, become more assertive, enhanced social skills, and become less isolated. Also, having a group and outside relationships with other mothers with disabilities have been very empowering and enhancing of self-esteem for the members, allowing them to share disability challenges and to support one another. In many ways, members have flourished in the supportive group setting. TLG is very appreciative of the moms who have been in our group and proud of its success. The “In Crowd” will be celebrating its 13th anniversary this October!