Christine Matus, Red Bank, New Jersey Special Needs Trust Attorney, Interviews Founder of New Jersey Autism Warriors
Toms River, New Jersey - As part of her continuing series, Conversations From the Heart, New Jersey special needs trust attorney Christine Matus interviewed Stacey Murray, founder of the group New Jersey Autism Warriors, and Theresa Muenzel, one of the current administrators of the group. Her conversation will premiere on the Matus Law Group’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/matuslawgroup on April 2, 2021, at 10 EST.
“For me, and I’m sure it is the same for other parents of special needs children, I find comfort and solace when I’m around other families in similar situations,” said Ms. Matus. “I’ve always believed that knowledge is power, and there is so much value in surrounding ourselves with others who may have more experience or who can offer support so we don’t feel so alone. I’m always fascinated how Facebook has managed to provide this platform of support for us and was curious how New Jersey Autism Warriors started and how they grew into the support system they are today.”
During the interview, Ms. Murray explained that she started the group in 2012 after her son Jaden was diagnosed with autism. At that time, she knew nothing about autism, but through the Facebook platform, she was able to meet other special needs parents. Soon after, she met and was joined by Ms. Muenzel, who is now one of the administrators of the group and others who have supported each other on their journeys. New Jersey Autism Warriors now has approximately 5,300 members and is the official support group for POAC Autism Services, a local 501(c)3 nonprofit supporting families in New Jersey.
Because New Jersey Autism Warriors is New Jersey specific, they can offer physical support as well as online support. The group sponsors many activities throughout the state and has maintained a network of special needs-friendly places that understand and have made special accommodations for them as a group. Through the group, many lasting friendships have been made between parents and children alike.
“I think it’s that we are really a family,” explained Ms. Muenzel during the interview. “We have grown so much as a group that we’ve really gotten to know each other and that we aren’t alone in this. Before this group, it was almost as if it was every man for himself. Parents had to seek out physical groups for support if they could find one at all. But with this online platform, we’ve been able to form friendships and offer support for each other. Twenty-four hours a day, you can post a question on our board and someone will be there, someone will answer.”
Christine Matus, Esq. is an experienced special needs trust lawyer in New Jersey as well as a special needs parent herself. She offers conversations and support for others in her video series as well as educational seminars and service for those who can benefit from information on special needs families and planning for their future.
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