EAGLE ROCK, Calif.—The Armenian Parents’ Support Group of the Lanterman Regional Center held its third annual Christmas celebration on Tuesday, December 18 at the Homenetmen Western Region’s Headquarters. Among the attendees was California State Senator Anthony Portantino, parents of the support group, a few special needs children, Lanterman Service Coordinators and members of the Armenian American community at large.
The purpose of this support group, which meets every third Tuesday of the month at the Library Connection in Glendale located at 1100 E. Chevy Chase Drive, is to bring together parents of special needs children, organize lectures on various subjects pertaining to the special needs community presented by various professionals such as attorneys, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, psychologists etc…
The meetings enable parents to become better advocates for the rights of their children by becoming better informed. The group also holds open topic discussions which in the past have included the following: “The stigma of raising a child with stigma with special needs in the Armenian American community”. “What will happen to my special needs child when I am no longer here? ”The impact of raising a child with special needs on marriages and siblings.” These open discussions enable parents to express their thoughts freely and in a non-judgmental environment.
Nanor Kabakian, facilitator of the support group welcomed the attendees, gave an overview of what the support group accomplished in 2018 and shared the plans for the upcoming year.
Kabakian also gave an overview of the Homenetmen Hrashq Program since its inception to the present time and encouraged all attendees to participate in it as it gives children the opportunity to practice social skills, communication skills as well as improve their overall physical well-being.
Representing the 25th State Senate District, Senator Anthony Portantino joined the support group meeting along with representatives of the Homenetmen Western Region Executive Committee to meet the parents in attendance, most of whom had enrolled their children in the Homenetmen Hrashq Program. Ms. Kabakian thanked Senator Portantino for his support of Homenetmen Hrashq, citing that he was there cheering on the 20 Hrashq athletes as they made their entrance into Birmingham High School’s stadium during the Navasartian Games’ closing ceremonies last July.
The senator shared some of his personal life experiences with the special needs community and praised the Homenetmen Hrashq Program for providing an invaluable service to the community, not least of which, the parents, for their utter dedication to their children.
Kabakian and Homenetmen Western Region Executive Chairperson, Hagop Tufenkjian, presented Senator Portantino with a Homenetmen Hrashq Jersey to thank him for his support of Homenetmen Hrashq on behalf of all the special needs parents in the Armenian American Community whose children participate in this program.