MI mom-son team teach compassion to local special needs students

Published: Oct. 6, 2017 at 2:26 AM EDT
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News 10's morning anchor Lora Painter talks with a Pewamo-Westphalia mom who's son is changing his classmates attitudes towards children with special needs. With help from the Michigan Alliance for Families, they're helping teach Mid-Michigan students about compassion and empathy.

Debbie Rock, a mother and parent mentor with Michigan Alliance for Families, said, "It can be very isolating. You see your child struggling, and you're not sure how to help."

That's where Michigan Alliance for Families comes in. It is an advocacy group helping local families who have children with special needs find additional resources Rock is one of them. Her son Robert is now a high schooler in Pewamo-Westphalia.

"All of a sudden you just know that your child can learn. He may learn differently from somebody else's child, but all of a sudden there's a way to make that happen," Rock said. "When you go from being in the dark about something and then you find this information and the light's turned on, you begin to see a path."

Rock said when her son Robert was in middle school, she teamed up with educators to make a PowerPoint presentation to help his classmates understand some of the disabilities kids in the area may be dealing with. That presentation included information on what autism is.

"It's made a world of difference," said Rock. "Having Michigan Alliance for Families behind us... has really improved his education."

For more information on Michigan Alliance for Families: