This Is How Parents Helping Parents Helps Children with Special Needs

Based in San Jose, California, Parents Helping Parents educates, supports, and inspires families and communities with the goal of building a better future for adults and children with special needs. The organization delivers assistance, training, information, and a variety of other resources with the goal of helping to improve and enrich the lives of people with disabilities.

Parents Helping Parents has supported families for more than 40 years

Parents Helping Parents was established with the vision of building a world where all children feel included, valued, and respected, irrespective of their abilities. The organization strives to impart hope and to provide the families of children with special needs with a sense of optimism. Moreover, Parents Helping Parents shares the skills and knowledge necessary to create meaningful opportunities and provide children with a secure future.

A proponent of inclusivity and diversity, Parents Helping Parents endeavors to ensure that its board, volunteers, staff, and donors reflect the community that they serve. The organization’s experienced staff members have earned a national reputation as a trusted source of information, supporting the parents and caregivers of children with special needs.

In 2019, Parents Helping Parents supported over 7,500 parents and professionals

The organization delivered nearly 19,000 services. Moreover, 80% of the families served by Parents Helping Parents represented communities of color.

From March to June 30, 2020, Parents Helping Parents witnessed a 200% increase in website traffic as compared with the same period in 2019. In 2019-2020, the nonprofit served more than 70,000 people.

The pandemic has triggered an increase in the number of people in need

Since shelter-in-place started in March through June 30, 2020, more than 2,500 parents have benefited from Parents Helping Parents’ over 90 live webinars.

During the Covid-19 outbreak, Parents Helping Parents connected more than 500 parents to critical support, establishing a new record. Professionals and parents received 740 hours of training via the E-Learning Library, establishing another all-time high for the organization.

In Parents Helping Parents’ 2019-2020 Annual Report, executive director, Maria Daane highlighted the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on children with special needs and their families. She explained that shelter-in-place resulted in serious consequences, causing many parents to struggle. Children with special needs continue to experience a prolonged loss of critical services and support, as well as depression and anxiety.

With Covid-19 triggering job losses across the United States at a rate that has not been seen since the Great Depression, families have been pushed to the breaking point. Every day, parents struggle to educate their children at home and on their own, managing a multitude of challenges to try to stem regression.

The parents of school-age children with special needs face added challenges. During the pandemic, they were twice as likely to report that distance learning posed a challenge.

68% of Parents Helping Parents’ services are directed at areas that are underserved

In its 2019-2020 annual report, Parents Helping Parents reported that people of color with special needs who lived in communities that are underserved were more than twice as likely to contract and die from Covid-19 as compared to the rest of the population.

Throughout Santa Clara County, there are 144,000 residents with disabilities, including 33,000 enrolled in special education, which represents 12% of the region’s total student population. Approximately 40% of parents of children with special needs reported concerns about their children’s mental health, according to a ParentsTogether Action Survey released on May 27, 2020.

65% to 70% of young people who enter the justice system have a disability

Parents Helping Parents is committed to imparting lasting change, one community, one family, and one child at a time.

The organization’s E-Learning Library offers critical information pertaining to children with special needs, which includes podcasts and videos that parents, caregivers, and professionals can access on demand. The Parents Helping Parents E-Learning Library helps parents and professionals to obtain vital knowledge of complex educational, medical, social service, and legal systems in order to help families to care for loved ones of any age or ability.

E-Learning Library categories cover a variety of different topics, including the following:

  • Coping and support for families
  • Assistive technology
  • Covid-19 resources
  • Financial planning

In her webinar, Michelle Garcia Winner identifies four critical life skills for young people that often remain untaught. Designed for parents whose high-functioning children are struggling in life or at school, the presentation outlines social and organizational competencies that young adults and teens are presumed to naturally develop, but which present significant issues for some. An author, public speaker, and clinician, Garcia Winner explains how parents can observe their children, explore strategies to help older children learn how to help themselves, and impart skills to help young people achieve success once their formal schooling ends.

Parents Helping Parents empowers families at every stage of their children’s lives

The organization supports parents every step of the way, from birth through adulthood. Offering programs that cover early childhood, adolescence, and beyond, Parents Helping Parents delivers a wealth of resources with the goal of expanding opportunities for children with special needs.

About Mark Stevens

Mark Stevens

Based in Menlo Park, California, Mark Stevens is a venture capitalist with three decades of experience investing in the technology industry. Currently, he serves as managing partner of S-Cubed Capital and as a special limited partner of Sequoia Capital.  Continue.