Families confront enormous challenges in raising a child with special needs. They must navigate through multiple and highly complex service systems and process huge amounts of often conflicting information about their child's disability. Difficulties in coping with the strain on the family's physical, emotional, and economic resources make it difficult to maintain a functional and cohesive family. Confidence and mastery of the unique skills required to effectively parent a child with special needs are necessary goals that are often not fully met. One of the most efficient and effective ways for parents to meet these challenges is to network with other parents who have experience in raising a child with special needs.
In 1985 a group of Santa Cruz County parents of children with special needs began meeting together for support. Through the years parents have continued to maintain the organization that, in 1996, became known as SPIN (Special Parents Information Network). In June, 2000, SPIN became incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable corporation. SPIN continues to support and provide information about resources to strengthen families.