SACO — A new support group is forming for parents of children with disabilities.

The group’s first meeting will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 26 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Saco Community Center, 75 Franklin St., according to group organizer Carrie Woodcock, a family support coordinator with the Maine Parent Federation.

Woodcock is mother to Samantha, a Young School student with Down syndrome. She said she was approached by two parents interested in starting a support group for parents of disabled children. The group is open to anyone who has a child with any sort of disability, said Woodcock.

The meeting is free. Parents are welcome to bring a snack, but it’s not mandatory, said Woodcock. A behavioral health professional trained in first aid and CPR will provide baby-sitting.

“This is our first-ever meeting, so we will gauge what we will offer in the future by what parents tell us they would like,” said Woodcock.

She said she envisions some meetings will be informal, where parents can discuss what’s on their minds, while others will be more educational, and some may have guest speakers.

Woodcock said she hopes the group will meet on a monthly basis.

The Maine Parent Federation is a nonprofit organization that provides services to parents of children with disabilities or special health care needs, as well as to professionals who work with these families, according to information from the organization. Services are offered state-wide at no cost to parents, and provide assistance and information on a wide number of topics, including specific disabilities, parenting issues and family support.

For more information on the group, contact Woodcock at 229-2006 or [email protected]

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, Ext. 325 or [email protected]



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