“Having P2P’s support helped us to realize other parents have the same difficulties.”

March 31, 2009

Dear Legislators,

We are unable to attend Family Advocacy Day but would like to let you know how the Parent to Parent Program is important to us.  First a little background information about our family.

We are a family of three – Arv, Charla and a 17 year old son, Ole.  Our son has multiple developmental and mental disabilities – high functioning autism, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, sensory processing problems, Bipolar and is also legally blind in one eye.  Raising him has been challenging but also enlightening because of the way he processes information.  Luckily I was able to be a stay at home mom and Arv is now retired.

Parent to Parent has been a life saver the last several years.  The Mother’s Network meetings have helped me connect with other Mom’s going through the same difficulties I have and also to know that I am not alone.  The same goes for the Father’s Network for Arv.  Speakers at other meetings have helped us stay informed and learn new ways of working with Ole.  Lego Club sponsored by the Snohomish Parent to Parent has been great for Ole.  It helps him connect with other kids and for us to connect with other parents.  There are so many ways that Parent to Parent helps us stay connected and feel we belong somewhere. 

It is hard for people to realize how isolated parents and families feel when they have a child with disabilities.  It is extremely hard when you are talking with other parents that have not gone through what we are going through and they tell you your child is “spoiled” or being a brat – they have not had to deal with issues we deal with.  Even the doctor’s have no answers on how to deal with him.  In fact the doctor’s were going to institutionalize him because they didn’t know how to deal with him.  Fortunately we did not give up and now have his anger somewhat controlled by putting him on a Gluten Free/Casein Free diet.

Having Parent to Parent’s support has helped us to realize that, yes, Ole is unique but also that other parents have gone through some of the same difficulties as we have.

We understand the difficulties you are having with balancing the budget but Parent to Parent Programs are extremely important to families with children that have disabilities. Please continue to fund the Parent to Parent Programs.

Thank you,
Charla and Arv Aurdal, Snohomish, WA