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Local Educators Launch Support Group for Caregivers of Neurodivergent Children

Find support, resources, and a community that understands at the next free Bucks Co. Neurodivergent Family Connections meet-up on May 16.

Finding Support After a Neurodivergent Diagnosis

When parents and caregivers first find out that their child has autism or other neurodivergent diagnoses, it’s hard to know what to do next. Parents can become overwhelmed with where to start in getting their children the help they need. That’s why Rachel Fischer, educator and founder of The Most Au-Some Journey, and Bethie Magid, educator and fellow mother of a neurodivergent child, created the support group Bucks Co. Neurodivergent Family Connections.

The Need for a Local Support Group

Fischer and Magid are friends, Bucks County residents and mothers of young, neurodivergent children. Fischer, whose son has Autism and ADHD, and her husband experienced challenges in determining which therapies their son needed and where they could find them. While information online is plentiful, she said, it’s no replacement for hearing about the firsthand experiences of other parents and families who were in similar situations, especiall in the Bucks Co. area.

“I wanted to create a space where people could learn from each other, exchange resources and communicate the needs of their families,” Fischer said. “I also wanted other caregivers to know that they weren’t alone.”

A Community That Understands

For Magid, her motivation for starting the support group was to meet families who were on a similar path as she was to obtain services for her child. She also felt that there was a community wide need for caregivers to come together, form relationships and have honest conversations.

“We share in each other’s victories, fears and sadness,” Magid said, “But at the end of the day we are part of a community that gets it.”

Inspiring and Impactful Sessions

Bucks Co. Neurodivergent Family Connections held its first meet-up in 2023 and has had two additional sessions in 2024. The outcomes, according to Fischer, have been inspiring and impactful.

“Once Bethie and I opened up about our own experiences, we got to hear about the struggles and setbacks of the other caregivers,” Fischer said. “From here, we were able to offer honest insight and concrete solutions based on what they shared.”

The exchange of information and candid reflections—among attendees themselves—has also been a rewarding effect of the sessions.

Future Plans and Themes

In the future, Fischer and Magid are planning to invite speakers, such as educational advocates and respite care professionals, who have subject matter expertise in topics and issues that are top of mind of caregivers and the community at large. They are also planning to have theme specific sessions, including “Surviving the Holidays” where caregivers can exchange information on how they have adapted traditions and activities to suit their families’ needs.

A Lasting Impact

Overall, Fischer and Magid are looking forward to the next series of sessions occurring on a monthly basis. Fischer is particularly optimistic about the long-lasting impact Family Connections can have on caregivers and their children.

“It’s about making sure that caregivers have the context, community and confidence to not only navigate their child’s diagnosis but also know how to celebrate it along the way.”

Join the Next Meet-up

Bucks Co. Neurodivergent Family Connections meet-ups are held at Montgomery County Square UMC in North Wales, and attendance is completely free of charge. To sign up to attend the next session on May 16 from 6 to 8 p.m., email BucksCoNDFamilyConnections@gmail.com. For more information and resources, visit most-au-some-journey.com and follow @most_au_some_journey on Instagram.

Founder & CEO, Family Focus Media | Creator for Main Line Parent, Philadelphia Family, & Bucks County Parent | @sarahbondffm | sarah@familyfocus.org.