“The MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network matches parents who are dealing with their children’s disability or disorder. See more parenting pictures.©iStockphoto.com/Luis Sierra
Being a parent is hard. Being the parent of a child with a disability or a medical condition can be even harder. Sometimes just being able to talk to someone else who knows what you’re going through can make a difference. That’s why Wisconsin mother Julie Gordon founded MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network in 1979. What began as a small group of mothers whose children had cerebral palsy meeting in a living room has since grown into a global database serving more than 20,000 families all over the world [source: MSN Health].
MUMS stands for Mothers United for Moral Support and its goal is to connect parents of children with disabilities or disorders with other parents whose children suffer from the same conditions. They call it parent-to-parent matching and it gives parents the opportunity to talk with others who are going through the same trials, tribulations and triumphs as they are, and also to exchange important medical information. Today, more than 3,500 disorders are covered by the MUMS database, and it works closely with other matching organizations to ensure that even rare conditions can be matched. The network also helps people find local support groups or start their own.
MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network is a private, non-profit organization. It offers services such as parent matching and a regular newsletter for a fee, although the fee can sometimes be waived if there is financial hardship.
Parents of a child with a disability or disorder often become experts on the issue at hand, and the MUMS network gives them a way to share their knowledge and help others who might benefit from it. Keep reading to find out how you can use the network.
Using MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network
Using MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network is quite simple. The first step involves filling out a survey about your child’s disorder or disability and how it affects you. The information you provide allows MUMS to enter you in its database and connect you with parents or care givers who share your experiences and might be able to help you. The survey inquires about everything from hospitalization history to the greatest gift your child has brought to your life. It can be found on the MUMS Web site in the How to Join MUMS section [source: MUMS: Survey]. The form may be mailed or e-mailed.
At the bottom of the survey, you can indicate which services you would like. A list of parent matches is $5, but if you can’t afford it, the fee may be waived. Once you have been entered in the database, MUMS will send you a list of parents whose children have similar disabilities or disorders along with their contact info. The network can also put you in contact with local support groups or help you form your own. If you wish to contact MUMS directly, you may find telephone numbers for doing so on the Web site.
Many parents have found that joining MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network can be a rewarding and worthwhile experience, and the support can be invaluable. Keep reading to find out more about the possible benefits of joining.
Though MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network uses the word "national" in its title, it extends far beyond the borders of the United States. The database currently consists of members from 56 countries all over the world, and that number could continue to grow in the years to come [source: MUMS: History].
Benefits of MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network
With the continued growth of the MUMS database, more and more families are using MUMS to connect with others who understand what they are going through. As a result, light is being shed on even the rarest of conditions. Parents are not only able to provide one another with support and encouragement, but they can also share important medical information such as names of doctors, healthcare facilities and new medical breakthroughs.
MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network also acts as a resource for finding support groups in your area. Many dedicated parent members are very knowledgeable about their children’s disabilities and may be able to provide information to new parents in the same situation. If you find there is no support group in your area yet, there are resources available through MUMs to help you start your own. The organization may not be able to connect you with others in your area going through the exact same thing, but it can usually put you in contact with local people who are going through something similar.
Another benefit of MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network is the quarterly newsletter it publishes. An annual subscription costs $15 for parents — a fee that can be waived if you can’t afford it — and $25 for professionals [source: NHIC]. The newsletter allows families to share their stories on a larger scale and highlights some of the biggest issues affecting families with children who have a disability or disorder.
If you have a child with a disability or disorder, MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network may be able to give you some peace of mind. For even more information on the MUMS network and database, check out the links on the next page.
Lots More Information
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- How to Use Local Parent-to-parent Networks
- How ADHD Parent-to-parent Network Works
- Understanding How Children Mature
- How parent2parentnetwork.org Works
- How to Discipline a Child
- Danielle’s Foundation. "MUMS." (Accessed 12/24/2009)http://www.daniellesfoundation.org/Information-Center/Resource-Center/MUMS-Parent-to-Parent-Network.aspx
- MSN Health. "Parents of Disabled/Ill Children." 2009. (Accessed 12/24/2009)http://health.msn.com/health-topics/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100107463
- MUMS. "Class Action Lawsuit to Get HBOT Covered by Medicaid & Insurances." (Accessed 12/24/2009)http://www.netnet.net/mums/Lawsuit.htm
- MUMS. "MUMS: History & Mission Statement." June 8, 2007. (Accessed 12/24/2009)http://www.netnet.net/mums/whatis.htm
- MUMS. "MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network Survey." (Accessed 12/24/2009)http://www.netnet.net/mums/howtjoin.htm
- National Health Information Center. "MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network, Mothers United for Moral Support, Inc." November 14, 2006. (Accessed 12/24/2009)http://www.health.gov/NHIC/NHICScripts/Entry.cfm?HRCode=HR2575
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. "MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network, Mothers United for Moral Support, Inc." December 11, 2008. (Accessed 12/24/2009)http://www.healthfinder.gov/orgs/hr2575.htm
- Walworth County Department of Health and Humans Services. "MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network." March 24, 2009. (Accessed 12/24/2009)http://www.co.walworth.wi.us/Human%20Services/Website/IRis/Information%20please/wcir0391aa.html