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Ellen Stumbo
Ellen Stumbo is the founder of Disability Matters. She is a writer and speaker who focuses on sharing the real -sometimes beautiful and sometimes ugly - aspects of faith, church, disability, parenting, and adoption. Ellen’s writing has appeared on Focus on the Family, LifeWay, MomSense, Not Alone, Mamapedia and the Huffington Post.

Ellen blogs at

Entries by Ellen Stumbo

This Is Life Parenting Kids With Disabilities

(7) Comments | Posted January 26, 2016 | 3:53 PM

Sometimes as special needs parents, some of us feel like this:


There is too much going on and we cannot focus.

Parenting is hard. So hard. There is no manual and you just try to do the best you can. And if your...

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Ne glorifiez pas votre enfant sous prétexte qu'il a joué avec le mien

(0) Comments | Posted February 9, 2015 | 10:21 AM

Ce sont des choses qui arrivent. Un enfant joue avec un camarade handicapé et les parents, tout fiers, tiennent à le féliciter en leur disant quelque chose du genre : « C'est adorable, mon chéri ! » « Tu es vraiment le plus gentil du monde ! » « Tu...

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Please Don't Praise Your Kid for Playing With Mine

(7) Comments | Posted February 4, 2015 | 4:25 PM

It happens. A kid plays with a child with a disability and the parents are proud; they want to praise their kids, and you might hear statements like, "Oh honey, you are so wonderful!" "You are the kindest person I know!" "You are the sweetest thing!" "You have a heart...

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To the Typical Siblings

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 11:39 AM

Dear typical sibling of a brother or sister with a disability,

Today I want to speak to you as a parent. Perhaps not your parent, but a parent nonetheless.

I know you've had to sacrifice so much, and I wish you hadn't. For the many times you've thought it wasn't...

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What If She Lives With Us Forever?

(9) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 1:27 PM

Call me crazy, but one of the first thoughts that crossed my mind when my daughter was born with Down syndrome was, "Will she live with us forever?"

When my oldest was born, a typical baby girl, those thoughts would have felt so... outrageous! I mean, who thinks about their...

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Where Did My Super Cape Go?

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2014 | 5:57 PM

Just spending a few minutes on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram makes me realize I'm surrounded by super moms. I really don't mean to, but I end up comparing myself to these moms. Where did my super cape go?


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I Wish You Could See What I See

(4) Comments | Posted April 10, 2014 | 12:46 PM

It's no secret that two of my girls have special needs. You can easily see the facial characteristics of Down syndrome, or the walker, wheelchair and poor gait that point to cerebral palsy. Delays, poor speech, clumsy steps. I know that's what you see.

I know you see the behaviors,...

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Special Needs Parents, You Are Not Invisible

(4) Comments | Posted February 21, 2014 | 8:45 AM

Having a child with a disability can be difficult. There are moments when you wonder if anyone will ever understand or get what it's like to walk in your shoes. You parent a child with special needs and sometimes you feel alone and invisible.

But you are not. Today, I...

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The Only Resolution You Need: Live Intentionally!

(0) Comments | Posted January 8, 2014 | 7:18 PM

Sometimes, I feel like New Year's Resolutions can be limited to a) lofty goals, b) a list of our flaws and shortcomings c) a detailed descriptions of who we wish we were.

We want to lose weight, to exercise, run a 5K, a half marathon. We want to wake up...

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A Christmas Gift of Hope and a Future

(0) Comments | Posted December 13, 2013 | 11:21 AM

Kiev, Ukraine, December 25, 2009

I sit up in bed and take a deep breath. The air is cold and stale; vanilla air freshener mixed with the cigarette smoke that oozes from the walls of the one-room apartment. The dark brown curtains try to conceal the light, yet the morning...

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7 Practical Ways to Help a Special Needs Family

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 2:16 PM

When looking at a special needs family, have you ever thought, I don't know how they do it, or I could never do it? Here's a secret: We are no different than you. We are doing the best we can with our children, but the truth is, sometimes, we feel...

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What My Mother Knew The Moment She Met My Daughter

(112) Comments | Posted October 22, 2013 | 11:22 AM

My mother always told me it was better to be smart than to be beautiful. "If you are smart, eventually you will afford to be beautiful." A successful career could result in an abundance of money that could buy the right clothes, find the perfect haircut and shade for my...

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