"We're here for you," the Parent Network of WNY extends a helping hand to parents

Specifically, ones with children living with disabilities
Posted at 5:00 AM, Sep 04, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Parents have a lot on their plate right now, especially those who have children living with disabilities. But they're certainly not alone in WNY, there's a resource out there with help.

"First of all breathe. It's going to be okay, it's going to be okay," said Susan Barlow, Executive Director at the Parent Network of WNY.

They're a local resource for parents with children living with disabilities located on Main Street in Buffalo, but they cover eight counties in WNY. They provide parents with one-on-one support and answers to their questions.

"We have a lot of different materials. We have a lot of online learning that you can just do at two in the morning," said Barlow.

They have resources in seven different languages and with school coming up, they're catering to specific needs.

"We're doing sessions like right now with the back to school piece, we have a structure and routine session," said Kristi Moscato, Community Engagement Manager for the agency.

They have a calendar full of events, Wednesdays are Q&A sessions to ask questions about things that are bringing them stress. That's where they give tips like this.

"I think structure and routine is the most important. Practice, practice, practice, practice wearing masks for periods of time at home. The visual schedules are really really helpful," said Moscato.

They also have support groups where parents can talk about what they're going through and exchange stories. And if you can't make it, just call.

"This is a new experience for everybody and we want parents to know they're not alone, they're not alone we're here to help. To provide advice or provide some resources, we'll do whatever we can to help parents," said Moscato.