Our Experience at the Matrix Parent Network’s Annual Luncheon

We were  delighted to be  invited  to be the Keynote speakers for the Matrix Parent Network’s Annual Luncheon fundraiser event in Marin County, California. Our  talk and follow up discussion  was set amid the lovely atmosphere of the Marin Art and Garden Center, the perfect environment for discussing stressors and solutions for couples who have children with disabilities.  Speaking to the audience of about  200 parents, educators and other professionals about  children with disabilities and the impact on couples raising them, we saw many heads nodding in recognition of some of the issues  discussed.

Questions and comments raised by the  attendees  spanned a variety of issues including: differences in reactions of fathers and mothers and stress that created in relationships,  different configurations of family, interacting with schools, managing with not enough time, respite care so parents can get out occasionally, stress associated with having adult children with disabilities still living at home… and the list goes on. We enjoyed  the opportunity to meet so many dedicated, committed individuals in a forum that seemed to create other connections  for participants.

Our experiences in research  on disability issues and  our interactions with families over the years continue to  highlight that parents can be the best advocates for their children. Coming together, networking and sharing not only concerns, but solutions that have worked for you, may also be helpful to other parents.  We would love to hear about solutions that have helped you as a parent to cope, to  better communicate with your partner, to  navigate the system, or assist in increasing independence for your child.


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