To all the parents juggling working from home while bringing up their kids and managing their education: you’re all superheroes.

There’s one group at Cisco sharing what’s in their superhero toolkit amongst each other, and it started with an unexpected item – a hairbrush.

The Special Kids Group: Parents supporting each other  

The Special Kids Group at Cisco is an employee resource network that supports Cisco families with special children, or those working through special circumstances. The support group is about the power of connecting people experiencing similar challenges, rallying around each other, and providing insight, guidance, and support.

Without this group, they’d be left to the standard responses for standard challenges. Special children have special challenges and need special responses, and peer support avenues for parents can have a positive impact on carer wellbeing.

Powerful phone calls in a pandemic

The Special Kids network has provided a sense of connection and shared understanding, an especially active network in Australia and New Zealand. The group meet virtually to connect, inspire and support each other in times when it is most needed.​

“It’s been so great to have people to talk to about the challenges of my day and hear that they’ve had a similar experience the day before,” shares one member of the group.

For many parents of special kids, working and learning from home can be a preferred situation for neurodiverse children. But it’s not without challenges such as limited childcare during the pandemic, and limited access to required physical appointments.

“There was one day where I was having a tough day with my daughter. It was really hard that day, and I was reflecting on how there must be an easier way to brush her hair.”

After speaking with someone in the Special Kids group, they shared a recommendation for a hairbrush well suited to children with autism. “It was the most incredible $35 purchase of my life. It totally changed our mornings.”

“Being able to connect with someone going through the same experience as me and being able to laugh and cry with each other is like absolute gold. I’m so thankful for this group, I don’t know what I’d do without them.”

The Special Kids Group is connected to the Disability Action Network, an employee resource group within Cisco.

International Day for Persons with Disabilities is on this Friday 3rd December. You can find out more here