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Special Needs Moms

A Tough Love Message to Charter Schools About the Dangers of Zero-Tolerance Discipline Policies

Marilyn Rhames | Posted 05.12.2016 | Education
Marilyn Rhames

I'm an avid supporter of charter schools. I work at one. I send my kids to one. I donate to one. I'm making this disclaimer early, lest what's to come...

Why I Call Myself An 'Autism Mom'

Shawna Wingert | Posted 09.30.2015 | Parents
Shawna Wingert

Being a momma of a child with autism has its own challenges, its own rewards, its own misunderstandings, its own joy, and its own grief. And talking about it, writing about it, being honest about it, and owning it -- that matters.

My Daughter Is Much More Than One Word

Kathy Radigan | Posted 06.09.2015 | Parents
Kathy Radigan

I've never been comfortable using words that soften things. When my kids ask me a question, I give them the most honest answer that I think they're able to handle.

When Your Child Has an Invisible Disability

Pacer | Posted 05.21.2016 | Parents
Pacer

"Look at that mother up there with that little blonde kid," barked the middle-aged woman in the red dress. "Who does she think she is? There isn't a thing wrong with that child!"

A Mother's Day Wish for Special Needs Moms

Mary Hickey | Posted 05.08.2016 | Parents
Mary Hickey

Happy Mother's Day amazing mamas! Today we celebrate YOU. You have made a profound difference in the life of a child.

Passover Sedars - Traditional to the Future and Back

Harriet Heydemann | Posted 06.09.2015 | Religion
Harriet Heydemann

I never liked Passover when I was a kid. Sedars were long and tedious. We couldn't eat anything until all of the blessings were said, and all of the commentaries were read in Hebrew and sometimes in both Hebrew and English.

Down the Rabbit Hole Again in Search of a Diagnosis

Kathy Radigan | Posted 06.07.2015 | Parents
Kathy Radigan

I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared for what the next few weeks and months may bring. I want the best for my son, and I want him to have a happy life. I know that by sharing our story, it may mean that at least one other family may know they're not alone. And isn't that what these awareness campaigns are all about?

A Birthday Dinner, Autism Style

Jennifer Lovy | Posted 06.02.2015 | Parents
Jennifer Lovy

When his sixth birthday rolled around, he was going through a phase where restaurants were too loud, too dark or too much fire (it's amazing how many restaurants have candles, pizza ovens or openly visible grills). The pressure was on to come up with something special.

Who Who Cares What 'They' Say

Randi Evans | Posted 05.30.2015 | Parents
Randi Evans

As I'm sitting in the front row on the bleachers, I can hear your whispers to your spouse, friends and other parents. I hear what you say.

Dear Teacher

Shanell Mouland | Posted 05.19.2015 | Parents
Shanell Mouland

Do you know how many doctors' appointments and autism therapy sessions she has sat through, watching everyone in the room fawn and flitter around her sister, Kate?

But She Can Talk?

Shanell Mouland | Posted 05.11.2015 | Parents
Shanell Mouland

She talks pretty much non-stop. Sometimes, it drives me crazy and I feel immediately guilty for thinking that, because some of you have yet to hear the sound of your child's voice -- some of you might never hear that sound.

Girl Without Speech Speaks Her Mind

Harriet Heydemann | Posted 05.05.2015 | Technology
Harriet Heydemann

She was around 20, when she received a new communication device, a sophisticated system that came with hundreds of short phrases, as well as an alphabet with word prediction software.

Not Your Typical Artist

Harriet Heydemann | Posted 04.22.2015 | Good News
Harriet Heydemann

"She may look like a little kid, but she'll hate you if you treat her like one. She's trapped in a body that doesn't work. Inside, she's just like you." I said this to the millennials who applied. We rarely hired anyone who wasn't a millennial. Ariela wanted to be with her peers.

In Your Own Time, Baby

Shanell Mouland | Posted 04.19.2015 | Parents
Shanell Mouland

I told you how happy I was for you. What an occasion it was. I made excuses to let you go and then I cried. Kate hadn't spoken yet. Hadn't uttered a sound.

Holland and Other Places

Beth Whitley | Posted 03.31.2015 | Parents
Beth Whitley

can adapt my expectations about my life so that the disappointment and shock of landing in Holland instead of Italy is turned into celebration. I can do that.

Parenting a Limb Difference Kid

Jill Robbins | Posted 03.22.2015 | Parents
Jill Robbins

We all want life to be easy for our kids and sometimes, it's hard to see him standing out when he'd rather fit in. My son's limb difference isn't always the first thing people notice, but eventually, they notice.

My Special Needs Princess and the Dreaded Parent Intake Form

Kathy Radigan | Posted 02.15.2015 | Parents
Kathy Radigan

Tears I had no time for started to fall freely. I gave myself two minutes and then made myself stop. I knew my 9-year-old's bus would be here soon. I found the form in a box I use for all the things I don't want to face and set it out on the table so I could fill it out once he got home.

What It Feels Like To Be A Special Needs Mom

Kristi Rieger Campbell | Posted 02.09.2015 | Parents
Kristi Rieger Campbell

You'll see love that's bigger than you are. Life will be different than you imagined. But ya know what? It's going to be just fine.

How I Earned the Privilege of Being Called 'Mommy' By Our (Adopted) Son

Kari Wagner-Peck | Posted 01.31.2015 | Parents
Kari Wagner-Peck

I stopped asking him to because it seemed more important to him not to call me mommy than it was for me to hear it.

Learning to Trust My Parenting Instincts

Kathy Radigan | Posted 12.03.2014 | Parents
Kathy Radigan

Trusting my own instincts can be very hard for me at these times. I find myself caught between wanting to be the perfect daughter and making my parents happy and needing to be the mother that I know Lizzy requires me to be. Yesterday, motherhood won out.

How Not To Compliment My Son's Appearance

Lisa Eicher | Posted 11.26.2014 | Parents
Lisa Eicher

I can't count the number of times I have been told that Archie "hardly even looks like he has Down syndrome."

This Ordinary Family

Kathy Radigan | Posted 11.23.2014 | Parents
Kathy Radigan

I love my daughter. She's beautiful inside and out. Her humor and love of life are infectious. She makes our life as amazing and complete as her two brothers do. Yet she's different -- from her brothers, from other girls her age, and from what I expected.

No, Actually, It's Not OK For My Son To Lick You

Lisa Eicher | Posted 03.20.2015 | Parents
Lisa Eicher

The thing is, I can say with great certainty that if Archie had been a typical child, she would not have even looked twice. In fact, she may have even thought, too bad, punk. But because Archie has Down syndrome, in her mind, he needed to be let off the hook. Um, no.

What Are You Going to Do When He Grows Up?

Mardra Sikora | Posted 11.09.2014 | Parents
Mardra Sikora

There are times he comes out to tell you "the man helped me." With the sink, with the paper towels, with the door. Never a concern on his face. Never a problem breathed.

How to Talk to Kids About Disability (and Voldemort)

Mary Evelyn Smith | Posted 11.09.2014 | Parents
Mary Evelyn Smith

Voldemort is so freaking scary that if you even speak his name, all manner of horrors could rain down upon you. The kids at Hogwarts knew better than to mess with him because, just like we teach our kids in the real world, it's best not to talk about bad things.