As a parent, it is not easy to suddenly be dependent on the advice of others to raise your child. However, since there are so many treatment options, it can help to have the advice, experience and support of a team that you trust and who will be patient with you as you make decisions for your child. This team can consist of a variety of people: family members, friends, social workers, therapists, teachers, classroom aides and medical specialists. It is especially helpful to talk with other parents who have gone through a similar situation before. The right support person will not only agree with the priorities you have laid out for your child but also will have a positive impact on the whole family.

But, remember: you are the primary advocate and decision maker.

“Who is rich? He/she who rejoices in his/her portion.”

Pirkei Avot - Ethics of the Fathers

South Jersey Resources

South Jersey has multiple resources that will provide parental support. Please spend some time reviewing the South Jersey Jewish Abilities Alliance web directory (SJJAA).  SJJAA provides you with an invaluable resources that will help you and your family navigate your individual family journey. Some resources are:

Jewish Family Children and Children’s Services of Southern New Jersey provides support groups and advocacy.

The MOM2MOM helpline can be reached at 1-877-914-6662 (1-877-914-MOM2) and is a 24 hour, 7 day a week helpline coordinated by Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care (UBHC). The helpline features peer support, telephone assessments, a network of referral services and support groups. You will speak with other mothers of children with special needs.  Many resources for children with special needs have been established with a focus on advocacy, education and financial support for those loved ones. The missing link however has been the recognition for the needed services for the primary caregiver’s mental health and wellness, specifically a service for mothers.  For more information, please visit our MOM2MOM Website.

Many of these resources may offer guidance and navigation, support and assistance, or may just provide a sounding board for you where you may voice your concerns and frustrations. In addition, JFCS, The Jewish Abilities Alliance of the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey and the JCC, will offer workshops and support programs for you and your family in a non-threatening environment.