Georgia moms start nonprofit to help families of special needs kids

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Four metro Atlanta moms came together to form a nonprofit designed to help families with special needs children. The women each have their own children with special needs, so they formed a parent support group and way to connect families to resources through "Telic Empowerment."

The Vangorter family is one of many families who comes to Telic Empowerment for support.

"We were new to the state, so finding resources was really a problem," said mother Melissa Vangorter. "It was really frustrating."

The Vangorters connected with the women of Telic Empowerment, who helped them find a pediatrician that specializes in treating children with special needs.

"We provide a monthly parent empowerment groups where we provide resources and support and really teach self-advocacy," said co-founder Lisa Lake.

Telic Empowerment offers connections to vital resources for moms and dads of special needs kids, including medical care, entertainment and academic services.

"We really want parents to feel like their life isn't over because they have a child with a disability," said Lake.

The group started because the women behind it experienced similar struggles raising their own children with special needs.

"For me, I felt some level of discouragement, and to some degree, I felt helpless because you don't know what to expect," said Lake.

Now, Telic Empowerment also hosts inclusive events for kids with all kinds of disabilities.

"They don't have to go through the ups and downs of finding resources for their kids and knowing if they're good – we do all that verifying for them," said Bettina Newton, who directs programming for the organization.

All of this is done so parents will have more time to enjoy with their children.

"Being able to be encouraged by other families that understand helps so that hope is not lost for the next day's set of challenges," said Newton.

If you'd like to join Telic Empowerment's monthly parent self-advocacy group, click here. For more information on resources you can get connected to, click here.