Northeast Arc is in the process of developing a support group for Cambodian families, in collaboration with the Cambodian Mutual Assistant Association (CMAA). The group is being led by Sreya Shepard, who has been connected to Northeast Arc for many years.
Sreya lived in Cambodia until she was eight years old, when her family moved to the United States in 1989. She graduated from Boston College with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and is pursuing a master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis at Endicott College.
Sreya had her first child in 2010 and her second in 2012. After her youngest son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when he was two years old, Sreya connected with Northeast Arc’s Autism Support Center and her family has been empowered by the ASC ever since, taking advantage of opportunities to learn about autism services, trainings, and events for the entire family.
Support groups gave Sreya the opportunity to find others who understand her concerns, and gain strategies for home, school, and community integration. She was a speaker at the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Civil Rights Forum in Boston last October offering perspective on being a Cambodian special-needs parent.
Sreya would like to share her experiences with Cambodian families who need support and cultural sensitivity. Working in collaboration with Northeast Arc and the CMAA in Lowell, she looks forward to helping families access resources as they try to create a meaningful and productive life for their children and family.
Sreya and her family reside in Groveland, MA and in her spare time she enjoys crafts, volunteering, traveling, and networking.