PARENTS

Care Maps: Special Needs Mom Inspires Others To Illustrate Their Own Support Networks [PHOTOS]

01/26/2013 11:46 am ET | Updated Jan 26, 2013

When Katherine Kowalski read the story about Gabe's Care Map here on HuffPost Parents last week she recognized her own life. Like Gabe Lind, whose mother, Cristin, drew a complex web to reflect all it took to care for the medically impaired ten-year-old, Katherine, too, was having a difficult time explaining her life to those outside it.

Her two-year-old son, who she calls Orange on her blog to protect his privacy, does not yet have a diagnosis for his cluster of symptoms, delays and disabilities. "Poring over (Cristin's) map and nodding in recognition," Katherine writes, "I started to think about how I might communicate what life is like caring for Orange, using images as well as words." The result is a work of art, as well as a graphic representation of the emotional journey Orange's family takes every day.

Both Katherine and Cristin appeared on HuffPost Live where they agreed that making their maps -- seeing their challenges and support systems in black, white and multicolor before them -- was reaffirming. It allows anyone, whatever the details of their life, to take stock, and appreciate their village.

Katherine's Care Map is below. We also invite you draw your own and send it to us at parents@huffingtonpost.com. We'll collect them as a tribute to parents, and all that they do.

(Click FULLSCREEN to see larger images.)

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