Jessica Lilly Published

Parents of Children with Special Needs Lean on Each Other


Often referred to as, ‘the greatest job in the world’, taking care of a child with special needs can be challenging for parent. Parents of children in Mercer County have formed their own support group. 

Living in rural areas often means living significant distances from medical specialists, and sometimes treatment. For example the best form of treatment for Autism is applied behavioral analysis. While there are limited specialists across the state, there is not a single specialist south of Charleston in West Virginia.

Support groups are no different. There are very few in the region. 

“Unfortunately where we are in a very rural area there’s not a lot of access to support groups like you would see in bigger cities,” Carla Poseno said.

Carla Poseno is the Vice President of the K.I.D.S Project.

“So what we decided to do is make an all-inclusive special needs support group to work in the community,” she said.

While the support group is meant to help parents and caregivers of children with special needs, the group is also to help remind the children that they are kind, important, determined, and strong … which is what the “KIDS” in “K.I.D.S Project” stands for.

“It’s really helped me because my daughter is kind of my full time job,” she said. “Best job on earth but at the same time it can be stressful.”

Poseno knows that raising a child with special needs isn’t always easy.  

“Sometimes it can be hard it can be stressful,” Poseno said. “You have sleepless nights there are days that sometimes you are lucky to get a shower because your child needs so much from you.”

“It’s worth the fight to fight for your kids when they have special needs.”

Children with various diagnoses and disabilities are all welcome and so far parents of children with special needs that range from autism, to spina bifida, to bipolar have attended meetings.

Kristal Jones, coincidentally a McDowell native, is the president of the group.  

“The very first meeting it struck me that this is something that we really need in our area,” Jones said.

The group is also a place for parents and caregivers to share resources and advice. Jones’s daughter has A.D.H.D.

“If you don’t request certain things they may not know that your child needs that additional help on testing per say,” she said.

The group meets every fourth Monday of the month at Princeton Public Library. The next meeting on December 30, however, will be at the Glenwood Green Valley Fire Department. The K.I.D.S project is hosting a holiday party for families with members with special needs.