Parenting support groups are typically started by individuals who are hoping to unite others who are facing the same or similar challenges. The objective or the purpose of a support group is to bring together people who have firsthand experience in a particularly challenging situation or event and these groups hope to raise awareness for a cause, while offering meaningful support to members.
South Africa has benefitted from the development of a number of online support groups; however traditional support groups meet in person and on a regular basis and contacted is maintained by frequent phones or emails, with the hope of offering ongoing support and understanding.
South African Multiple Births Association has been in operation since 1975, when a mom of multiples, Eileen Franklyn of Durban, asked the Living & Loving magazine if there were mothers of twins who wanted to become part of a Parents of Twins Club. Ellen received a good response and then opted to name the club or group MOTA (Mothers Of Twins Association). In 1981, the name changed to SAMBA with a motto, -Where God chooses the members .
SAMBA holds regular teas and arranges many outings for families with multiples. More than providing helpful support and advice to parents with multiples, SAMBA has created support groups for multiples with special needs as well as HOPE, a group within SAMBA that offers bereavement support to families who have lost a child, or children.
SAMBA members can also benefit from discounts off various baby care products and an online classified section gives new members the change to purchase clothing, furniture, etc at reduced prices.
Tel: 0861 432 432
Autism South Africa
This organization aims to raise awareness for autism in South Africa and give parents the opportunity to become involved in events which help to enhance autism awareness. The website, www.autismsouthafrica.org/index.htm notifies members of upcoming events and workshops, and also gives information on specialised schools and educational resources for children with autism.
The message that this group is hoping to convey is the shocking fact that every hour a child with autism is born in South Africa, yet only 0.001% of children with autism in South Africa have access to an education that is geared to meet their specific needs.
When visiting the website, parents can join online and they may also access downloadable brochures and reading materials that focus on autism.
Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Support Group of Southern African
With more and more children in SA being diagnosed with ADHD, this South African based support groups hopes to raise awareness for this condition and at the same time provide worthwhile support for those who suffer from ADHD, as well as family members affected by ADHD.
The mission of this support groups is to provide up-to-date information for teachers, parents and caregivers (and adults with ADHD) and to offer effective counselling and guidance.
Parents of ADHD sufferers can join this group online by visiting their website, www.adhasa.co.za. Members are given a list of foods approved for both adult and children sufferers and they will obtain notifications for events held around the country which aim to promote and raise awareness for ADHD. The annual membership fee is R250 per family.
For more information, call 27 (0) 11 888 7655 (Mornings until 14:00), or visit the website listed above.
Single Parent Group
The Single Parent Support Group began in a bid to meet the demands of single parents. Single parenting is becoming increasingly common in South Africa. The Single Parent Group in Gauteng will provide social support to all parents no matter if they are the legal custodians of a child or children. For more information on how to join this support group, please contact Elaine on 082-958-6992.
A support group for parents of premature babies. The object of this group is to provide parents with up-to-date information on caring for a premature baby and the importance of Kangaroo Care. Parents with premature babies are often overwhelmed and SA Premmies are on hand to give parents information relating to the care and the rights of the babies and the parents.
Down Syndrome South Africa
The support group was formed in the mid 1980s with an aim to become an advocate for rights of those with Down Syndrome. Parents are encouraged to join this group as it offers an abundance on information relating to the syndrome while giving members the chance to find out more about alternative therapies available.
Postnatal Depression Support Association
The support group will put women in touch with trained counsellors who are experienced in postnatal depression and in addition to extending a helping hand and a compassionate ear to women suffering from post natal depression, PNDSA gives guidance to family members. In this way, families can ensure that the condition is identified early thus enabling women affected by postnatal depression to receive effective treatment in good time.
The website, www.pndsa.org.za is also an online support resource. The objective of the Postnatal Depression Support Association is to increase awareness for the cause and deliver current and accurate information which relates to the treatment and diagnosis of postnatal depression, which allows women and their families to be educated on the condition.
Fertilicare – Fertility Support
An online support group, www.fertilicare.org. The website displays a list of South African infertility treatment centres and its objective is to convey care and support to those who are battling through the trials and tribulations of infertility.
Information on this group can be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org.