2. Invite fellow caregivers to join
When Vivi started her group, she also took a step out to share about her group with her friends, or when the opportunity arose. As word of mouth spread that her group existed, more members joined when they heard from their networks that there was a group for caregivers to learn more about ASD, ADHD and ADD.
Vivi shared that she realised there were many ‘invisible caregivers’, caregivers who journeyed alone without any support group or sharing about their dependent’s condition with anyone other than their family. She was glad that some of these caregivers heard about her group and joined to find the support they needed.
3. Set ground rules and moderate consistently
In ASD, ADHD and ADD Supports Group Singapore, topics must be related to the three special needs conditions. Vivi encourages open sharing in a pinned post that says “I would like to encourage all members here to share some of their good ideas or problems here in the way to support our beloved ASD, ADHD or ADD family member or self, so other will also have something to learn or might share their own experiences which might help yourself too.”
Her group accepts marketing posts by businesses who cater to the three special needs conditions as she thinks that caregivers should have more information and choices to mull over, instead of not knowing what help is out there. She also encourages members to be independent by doing their own checks and ‘homework’ on the marketing posts.
4. Focus on what benefits your members
When Vivi started the support group with her friends, she just wanted to have a space for fellow caregivers to learn from and encourage each other. She shares stories, visuals, poems, webinars, resources and more to benefit members, and gently welcomes members to open up about their experiences too.