By Nancy Gutierrez

The Lindsay Unified School District has started a parent group called Special Parents with Special Kids. Director of Pupil Services Suzzane Terrill said the program is open to any parent who feels they have a child with special needs whether that be an identified disability or a struggle with school work.

"The purpose is to bring together these parents to form a group," Terrill said.

The meetings will provide disability awareness and discussion concerning issues children face for parents in attendance. In addition, meetings will cover learning obstacles children face while developing a comradery among parents who are facing the same issues with their children. Currently a small committee of parents are organizing the meetings.

"They are very enthusiastic about the meetings," Terrill said. "Each individual person has wanted to do this for a long time and they all came together with the same hope of making this a reality."

Terrill said the meeting agendas and topics will be decided by involved parents based on their shared needs. The committee also plans on having guest speakers from the district at meetings so parents can familiarize themselves with the specialists and service providers that work with their children. Terrill said she hopes that the meetings will build healthy and positive relationships between parents and schools while addressing and meeting the needs of the children.

"We want to make available the resources there are in the county and district that parents may not know are available," Terrill said.

Terrill also said that there is the potential for subgroups to be formed from this main parent group, to meet at separate times. Subgroups would include many variables such as parents with children who have similar disabilities or academic areas to improve on, for example.

The first Special Parents with Special Kids meeting is from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 17 at the Lindsay Healthy Start office located at 475 E Honolulu St. Terrill said they are looking into providing child care for those who attend.

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