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Support group to aid parents of kids with disabilities

Krystle Wagner • Oct 6, 2018 at 4:00 PM

Parents of children with disabilities will soon have a new place to turn for support.

Beginning Oct. 16, Laura Marcus-Nolan will lead a peer group called Parents of Children with Developmental Disabilities, which is aimed at providing parents the ability to share their experiences and resources. The group will meet from 7-8:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month at the Momentum Center Annex, 712 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven.

Registration isn’t required and the group is free to attend.

Having raised a son with autism for the past 27 years, Marcus-Nolan says she knows what it’s like to be uncertain about what questions to ask and what resources are available. Her son, Trevor, was one of the first children in Grand Haven to be diagnosed with autism, she said, so there weren’t many parents around in the beginning for her to speak with about their experiences.

Marcus-Nolan said it’s difficult to navigate through the system.

“If I can help anybody with any little thing, that’s the goal,” she said.

It’s a peer support group, not clinical or therapeutic, noted Barbara Lee VanHorssen, the executive director of Extended Grace, which operates the Momentum Center and its programs.

Since Trevor recently transitioned into living in a residential facility, Marcus-Nolan said she will have time to share her experiences with other parents.

The group will initially meet once a month, but they’re open to offering it more often.

There is also a Family Support Group for caregivers, family members and loved ones of individuals living with mental illnesses. That group meets at the Momentum Center from 7-8:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month.

For more information, call the Momentum Center at 616-414-9111 or Laura Marcus-Nolan at 616-822-9493.

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