Unique Minds: Advocates of Change

In a world full of judgment, ignorance, and stereotypes, organizations like Unique Minds stand out as leaders of change on issues in our communities that are often overlooked or neglected. From the moment the words came across the doctor's lips, Tameka's life was forever changed when finding out that her daughter had autism. After months of not knowing, doctors brushing off her symptoms, it was a relief to finally put a name to the problem. Where some parents would have felt lost and discouraged, Tameka felt determined and empowered to learn more about this condition and how she could help her daughter best. Alone, with her 4 children, in a new city, with family far away, Tameka exhausted all her options when it came to resources and assistance for herself and her child. Doors were closed, and disappointment was a familiar feeling when it came to working with these various organizations. Through her struggles and pitfalls, she found salvation that led her to found Unique Minds. Unique Minds is an organization that is everything that any parent with a special needs child could need. Mentorship, guidance, reliable resources, opportunities, and so much more. From her experiences of finding herself, and raising her special needs child, she created Unique Minds to what many organizations failed to do for her. Every month, they offer support groups to parents looking for an outlet to not only vent their frustrations but also find help from other parents experiencing the same things as them. While they are focused on helping these parents raise their children with special needs, it's also integral for them to teach these parents to care for themselves as well. Outside of the support groups, Unique Minds offers a number of events throughout the year to bring the community and parents together to connect them with resources, as well as raise awareness for special needs diagnoses. This past weekend, in their first event in the Lowcountry, they brought parents out to their resources fair where a number of organizations provided information to parents and guardians in attendance. One of the most notable activities of the organization is their social media campaign #IAmNotMyDiagnosisDoNotLabelMe which encourages parents to not let the diagnosis their child have to discourage them from getting help or being an advocate for their child. Your child may have a diagnosis, but the diagnosis doesn't have to have your child! Along with this messaging, they hope to wake up those in the community unaware of special needs conditions to educate themselves, rather than judge or stereotype. Tameka's testimony has given birth to so much through Unique Minds, and her efforts continue to grow even more. In addition to sharing her experiences of raising her special needs daughter, Tameka plans to publish a book that will serve as a guide for parents to use on their journey. Interactive activities and resources will be mixed into her storytelling to further empower and inspire those who read it. Tameka's story and the beautiful work that Unique Minds is doing should serve as an empowering example of true leadership and self-sufficiency. No matter what the odds are against you, or the circumstances you may face, never give up and always keep moving forward to better days. Strive to be an example, versus a cautionary tale. If you are a parent in need of help with your special needs child, learn more and get assistance at www.uniquemindsllc.org

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