Sometimes the phrase “support group” is a buzzword that gets thrown around. Support groups are needed as therapy for a number of different walks in life and experiences you may be navigating on your own, but ultimately, support groups are necessary for a number of different kinds of therapy solutions. Support groups for birth injuries are no different, and if you think you may need a support group as someone who has been affected by a birth injury, you may want to look at the benefits.
What are the Benefits of a Support Group?
Group therapy–or a support group–is a form of therapy that helps you to connect and network with people who may have the same or similar experiences that they likewise would like to heal from. If going through this experience is like an independent study class, the support group is the equivalent to classroom discussion. This discussion allows attendees to feel less judged by outsiders who don’t understand, but discussion can also help attendees know the different stages of the topic at hand –in this case, birth injuries. The attendee can see other people affected by birth injuries, in different forms, different stages, and different degrees. Attendees can be warned by others with regards to future stages. The bottom line is that it’s important for attendees to see that they’re not alone, that other people have gone through the same thing they are going through, and that there is someone available to help.
What Kinds of Birth Injury Support Groups Are Available?
If you are someone who has been affected by a birth injury, you could find solace in a number of different kinds of support groups. Some groups are available for the specific kind of birth injury (such as cerebral palsy or spina bifida), some groups are available who can related to malpractice in your area, and some groups are available in relation to what role you plan in connected to this birth injury. For example, there are birth injury support groups for parents of children with birth injuries, and there are birth injury support groups for individuals who have birth injuries.
What are the Benefits for Parents of Children with Birth Injuries?
If you are the parent of a child with a birth injury, your benefits for attending a support group may be numerous. At the very least, you may be comforted by being around other parents of children with birth injuries, and feel less isolated. When you’re around other parents, you can relax, be real, and understand that you are all people who have placed blame on yourselves for the birth injury –when in fact the blame belongs on the medical providers. You may also benefit from talking to parents who have been through what you’re going through in getting the proper care or diagnosis for your child, and you may likewise benefit from talking to someone who has fought the same legal battle that you have. These other parents can help warn you about tricks that insurance providers or hospital representatives might attempt, but they can also help you feel like you have resources and a place to turn to if you have questions regarding the place in which you currently are. Another added benefit is that you might make a connection with a parent who has a child with a similar birth injury, creating an empathetic friendship for you and a peer for your child.
What are the Benefits for Individuals with Birth Injuries?
If you have a mild birth injury, or a birth injury that allows you to socialize, a support group may be a way of making empathetic friendships. If you attend a Support Group for Individuals with Birth Injuries, this allows you to see that you’re not alone and that there are other people who have struggles similar to your own struggles. This allows you to feel a little less lonely, but it also provides an opportunity to ask for help with certain activities that you may need extra assistance in. You can ask your peers how they navigate these obstacles, and learn for yourself in a sympathetic way.
Support groups are important. To parents who are struggling through the diagnosis of their child’s birth injury, a support group can provide welcomed understanding and answers. To children suffering the birth injury themselves, a support group can create alliances with like-minded children who understand the struggles of their peers –whether they can articulate that or not. Support groups are wonderful to both parents and children, so if you want to learn more about support groups, take a look at how they can help.
Where Do I Find a Support Group?
When your child has been diagnosed with a birth injury, you may often be contacted by support groups associated with the hospital. Sometimes the support groups are general birth injury support groups, and sometimes the support groups are for specific birth injuries such as cerebral palsy or brain damage. These support groups are the easiest to join because they find you, but if you want to look for other support groups, you can sometimes find them on a hospital directory, on social media or Craigslist, and sometimes just by doing a Google search for your area and the support group you’re looking for.
What Kind of Help Can I Get From Support Groups?
Support groups can provide different kinds of help. Sometimes they merely provide listeners to hear your story and to empathize with your child’s birth injury. Support groups often have members from different walks in the birth injury process, providing veterans of birth injuries to guide you along the process of navigating doctors, the process of navigating a lawsuit, or the success of certain medications, research, or reading materials. Like-minded parents can help guide you through the trials of navigating a birth injury, but can also tell you about financial opportunities. Parents with children whose birth injuries match your child’s birth injuries can tell you about scholarships, grants, or supplementary assistance programs that benefitted them, and they can tell you how to qualify for the same assistance programs.
Support groups also help the children of the birth injuries. If the children have a brain injury and aren’t articulate or don’t know how to articulate their difficulties, support groups for kids might just mean getting the kids together for a play date. But it is refreshing for children to see that they’re not alone: being around children that are like them can help them to see that they’re not alone, and they can play with children who are at the same level that they are. As children with birth injuries get older and realize the importance of talking about their disability, they can meet with other adults with the same disabilities and therein find comfort.
Do You Have to Regularly Attend a Support Group?
A support group exists just to serve the needs that you may have. Because support groups want to meet everyone and help them at every level, they also understand when you may only be able to make meetings every once in a while. It’s hard to live with a birth injury and to also have a job and a social life, so support groups are happy to have you come whenever you can, without the pressure on you to come if you can’t.
Where Do I Find Out About Support Groups?
If you’re looking for a support group that meets your needs, check with your local hospital, adult center, and library. Adult centers and libraries are generally places where communities meet with bulletin boards announcing schedules for group meetings. As birth injuries are therapy-related and medically-related, hospital bulletin boards may also be a place where you can learn about support groups and their meeting times.