By Tara May Tesimu
Chicago Tribune's TribLocal
When Marla Davishoff joined a Deerfield support group for parents of special needs children, she already had plenty of information.
She'd done the research, knew about the treatments and read the books.
She just wanted a place where she could talk about how she felt.
"We're at the group because of who we are, not because of who they are," said Davishoff, a Deerfield mom who belongs to the group. "It's a unique resources. There's lots of resources out there for the kids, and that's essential, but we're trying to deal with all of this, too.
"None of us would trade our children for anything. But we all have dark moments, and this group is a place where we can talk about that without judgment."
The group is celebrating its five-year anniversary in May. It meets at 7:30 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of each month at Christ United Methodist Church, 600 Deerfield Rd., Deerfield.
Kristen Scott, the Deerfield mother of an 18-year-old son with severe autism, started the group in May 2005 after meeting another parent of a newly diagnosed special needs child who was feeling alone.
"I thought I could make use of where I'd come from and the trauma I'd gone through," said Scott, whose then 13-year-old son, Daniel, had already been diagnosed with autism years ago.
Scott said for several years after her son's diagnosis, she lived in a state of denial. She brought her son to his therapy, nodded her head at the doctors and doing everything that needed to be done.
"But in my heart, I just couldn't understand—or accept—that this was going to be forever," Scott said. "That was a journey I had to take on my own time."