Families Like Ours

Are you raising a child with special needs?

While all our family programs are open to all abilities, we also offer programming and events specifically for families raising a child(ren) with special needs.

Families Like Ours programming helps children and caregivers find community, support their child’s needs, and have fun! We offer in-person events like hikes, picnics, parties, and playgroups at accessible locations. We also offer a weekly online support group where families can both celebrate their joys and express their concerns and frustrations about raising their children.

All Families Like Ours programs are created and led by caregivers who also have children with special needs. We hope you will join us at our next event and make lasting connections with Families Like Ours.


Individual Education Plan 101: What You Need to Know | Wednesday, January 10, 11 am-12 pm

Online | Zoom Event

All children with learning disabilities/special needs are entitled to an (IEP), which is developed in collaboration with families/caregivers and school education specialists. Families play an important advocacy role for their children and should be aware of their children’s options and the programs available.

Individual Education Plans (IEPs) are intended to ensure that all students receive the best possible education and support services, regardless of ability.

This free online workshop and orientation program for families of public-school children via Zoom is hosted by Rania Markham, LCSW, and Melanie Wickwire of CHP Family Services, both parents of children with autism.

Bounce House Party! | Saturday January 13, 10 am-12 pm

Berkshire South Regional Community Center | Crissey Road, Great Barrington 

Join CHP Family Services for a bounce house party designed to accommodate children with special needs and disabilities and their families.
It’s no secret that kids of all ages love to bounce. But did you know how beneficial bouncing can be for children with general sensory issues? Bouncing can improve sensory skills, relieve stress, help kids relate, keep things calm, and it’s good exercise! Light snacks will be provided.
No walk-ins will be allowed. You must register with Rania.


Build Your Special Needs Binder | Fridays, 10-11 am

CHP Family Services | 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington

Don’t get overwhelmed. Stay organized! Feeling a little scattered about all of the information, records, and appointments you have for your child? CHP Family Services can help!

Join Rania Markham, LCSW, and staff as we help you organize the multitude of documents (IEP/School notes, all specialists, PCP appointments, and any special grants) families receive and need for their children.

You bring your documents; we will provide the guidance, support, and all materials, including binders, tabs, three-hole puncher, etc.

We will have games and space for you to bring your children. Registration is required.

Online Support Group | Fridays, 11 am-12 pm

Online | Zoom Event

Raising a child with special needs can be overwhelming.

Feelings of isolation are common. But know, you’re not alone.  This weekly virtual group provides validation, resources, and the opportunity to build friendships with people who face similar challenges. Facilitated by CHP’s Rania Markham, also a mother of a child with special needs.


Although the events shown below are not currently featured on the family services schedule, they are representative of the type of programming that CHP Berkshires has and continues to offer the Family Like Ours community.

Please bookmark this page and check back monthly for current programs and events offered, or refer to our calendar for a comprehensive listing of scheduled programs and events by month. You may also opt into our monthly Family Services e-newsletter here.

Special Kids, Special Diet | In-Person and Virtual

CHP Family Services | 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington | Zoom

CHP is excited to offer another session of Special Kids, Special Diets: A Workshop to Explore Ideas Around Diet for Children with Special Needs. 

Join CHP Family Services staff and CHP nutritionists for a discussion about programs available to all community members at CHP, nutritional guidance, and some alternative ways to reduce stress and anxiety around meal time.

Walk & Talk Support Group 

Old Route 7 Greenway that connects CHP and the Jennifer House Commons.

Join Families Like Ours for this weekly support group that meets at the Old Route 7 Greenway that connects CHP and Jennifer House Commons.

Starting at VCA All Caring Animal Hospital, we’ll stroll and discuss the joys and challenges of raising a child with special needs. We’ll end at the CHP Family Services building, where we can hang out and have lunch in the shaded play area outside or go into the Family Services building if the weather isn’t with us. Please pack a lunch.

Picnic & Play: Food, Fun & Friends!

Sheffield Town Park | 21 Depot Square, Sheffield 

Join CHP Family Services and Families Like Ours for an afternoon of food, fun, friends, and community. This free event is open to all ages, and the entire family and supporters are welcome.

Lunch will be provided. When registering, please let us know the number of people attending and if anyone has any dietary restrictions or food allergies so we can accommodate. Accessibility: The playground is adaptive and has a flat service. Please bring your chairs and/or picnic blankets.

Virtual Special Needs Support Group

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