ACS offers support groups for KMC families

Tryn Rekker and Kari Sharpe
Contributing writers

The U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern’s Exceptional Family Member
Program at Army Community Service offers many services to families with
special needs.

These services include referral to community resources, advocacy and a
resource library. Additionally, the program has been creating and
sponsoring a number of informational and support groups based on
community needs and client feedback.

The existing groups are outlined below:
Autism Support Group – This group meets 6 to 7:30 p.m. the fourth
Tuesday of every month at Vogelweh Elementary School’s Library. The
group was formed in November 2004 for parents and caregivers of
children on the Autism Spectrum, to include those with Pervasive
Development Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified. The meetings always
include a guest speaker who is a professional working in a field
pertinent to the Autism Spectrum. The next meeting is Nov. 22.

Autism Playgroup – This playgroup meets 5 p.m. the second Saturday of
each month. The group meets to play at Donelly Park, weather
permitting, on Ramstein and eat dinner together at the Pizza Gallerie.
The next playgroup will meet Nov. 12.

Gastric Bypass Support Group – This newly formed group meets 10:30 to
11:30 a.m. the third Saturday of every month at the Vogelweh Community
Center. This is a support group for people who have had or will have
the gastric bypass surgery. Guest speakers offer useful information and
fellow group members offer emotional support to one another. The next
meeting is Nov. 19.

Cancer Support Group – The first meeting of this group will be 10:30 to
11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Vogelweh Community Center. This is a support
group for people who have had cancer or whose close relatives have been
diagnosed with the disease. Patients at any stage of treatment, as well
as cancer survivors, family members and friends are welcome to join.

Children with Learning Disabilities – This group meets 6 to 7:30 p.m.
the third Tuesday of the month at the Vogelweh Community Center.
Parents and caregivers have the opportunity to share ideas and
techniques about how to support their children’s efforts in school.
Guest speakers will provide information on learning disabilities and
useful tips for parents and their children. The next meeting will be
Nov. 15.

For more information, or to suggest other support groups, call 489-8358
or 0631-536-8358, or visit the EFMP office in building 2891 on Pulaski