“How has Parent to Parent helped me to develop as a parent leader?”

by Alaina Kube, Parent to Parent Coordinator - The Arc of Snohomish County ..."Parent to Parent was a natural fit for me as I was able to build on my personal experiences and obtain the training and tools needed to support other families who have children with special needs. I now have an increased understanding of disability services and am able to better navigate systems and advocate for my family and the families we support at The Arc of Snohomish County. But most importantly, I am able to help families connect with each other and realize that they are not alone!"

My story of who I am, who is my family, what is our biggest challenge. 

I have been married for 23 years and we have 2 teen daughters, one in high school and the other in college.  After receiving my daughter's autism spectrum diagnosis, my family felt very overwhelmed and isolated.  It has been a challenge to find balance and we have learned patience and gratitude along the way.  Looking back, I am amazed at how far we have come together as a family.

How has P2P helped me with participation, knowledge, relationships, experiences and confidence?

I have worked as a Parent to Parent Coordinator at The Arc of Snohomish County for nearly 3 years.  I have been able to expand my knowledge and understanding of disability services and supports through trainings, workshops, and by working together with an amazing team of Arc staff and Parent to Parent Coordinators throughout our state.  I am able to help connect families with information and resources about their child's disability, special education, social & family supports, disability services, and community resources.  I have the opportunity to help families fell less isolated and more empowered through Helping Parent matches, Arc support groups, Sibhops, Lego Club, Connecting Families events, and Arc Speaker Nights.  Personally, I have developed confidence in facilitating groups and communicating with professionals and speakers to help educate our Arc families.  I am grateful for the friendships I have formed and the deeper level of compassion and understanding that our Arc families and my colleagues have taught me.

How has this impacted my family and community?

Parent to Parent was a natural fit for me as I was able to build on my personal experiences and obtain the training and tools needed to support other families who have children with special needs.  I now have an increased understanding of disability services and am able to better naqvigate systems and advocate for my family and the families we support at The Arc of Snohomish County.  But most importantly, I am able to help families connect with each other and realize that they are not alone!