Sandra Peoples has been in a special-needs family since the day she was born, first as the little sister of Syble, who has Down syndrome, and now as the mom of James, who has autism. She has met hundreds of amazing special-needs parents who put the needs of their kids above their own each day. She wanted to honor these parents and decided Special-Needs Parents Appreciation Month would be perfect.
As the manager of Not Alone, a website for special-needs parents, Sandra interacts with special-needs parents from across the country each day.
“One quality so many of us have in common is exhaustion at the end of a long summer when our children are out of their normal routines. So I thought August would be the best time to honor the parents who work hard all year round, but are especially frazzled this time of year.”
Sandra launched a Facebook page for the celebration in the spring of 2015, but as word spread and interest grew, she decided to devote a website to getting even more people involved.
People can visit the website to nominate friends and family members who are special-needs parents to be featured on the site each day in August. Thanks to generous donations from our sponsors, we plan to give free gifts to one special-needs parent each day in August.
The site also encourages churches and communities to get involved by honoring special-needs parents. In August, churches can visit the site and print off a bulletin insert that will encourage the special-needs parents in their congregations. There will also be ideas for events to bless these families, like a day of pampering for special-needs moms or respite nights, when parents can drop off their kids for childcare and have an evening out.
Communities can feature special-needs parents in newspaper articles or on local news stations. Bookstores can host signings for authors of books for special-needs parents. Restaurants can promote sensory friendly events so parents can take their families out to eat without worrying about disrupting others. Everyone can be a part of celebrating special-needs parents!