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Special Needs Parenting

The Question I Would Like To Ask Betsy DeVos

Mary Hickey | Posted 02.16.2017 | Parents
Mary Hickey

The appointment of Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Education could not come at a worse time for our family and many others.

Surviving A Marriage When You Have Children With Special Needs

Eileen Flood O'Connor | Posted 11.01.2016 | Parents
Eileen Flood O'Connor

I saw a birthday card the other day that read Growing old ain't for sissies. I think the same goes for marriage when parenting a child with special n...

From One Parent To Another: 5 Tips On Having A Child With Down Syndrome

Meriah Nichols | Posted 10.25.2016 | Parents
Meriah Nichols

Pride being more powerful than shame, it makes sense to me to teach my daughter that she has a right to be here. She has contributions to make. Down syndrome can and should define her. Her presence is as necessary to the world as the star shine is.

Autism Helps My Little Girl Identify With SuperHeroes

Shanell Mouland | Posted 10.20.2016 | Parents
Shanell Mouland

It's ironic, if you'll allow me to misuse the word, that our Kate adores costumes so much. It was just a little over four years ago in Disney World, o...

My Daughter Has Special Needs And She's a Fashion Model

Kathy Radigan | Posted 09.23.2016 | Parents
Kathy Radigan

Last Saturday my beautiful teenage daughter and I spent the day in a crowded New York hotel ballroom getting her ready to model in a fashion show. Th...

I See The Picture You're Not Posting

Mary McLaughlin | Posted 08.31.2016 | Parents
Mary McLaughlin

Hey, parent? Yes, you -- the one with the incredible, wonderful child whose path has not been as easy as you'd like it to be. I just want you to know that I get it.

An Open Letter To Parents Of Well-Behaved Children

Jillian Lauren | Posted 08.12.2016 | Parents
Jillian Lauren

I had so many judgments about parenting... before I was a parent. More specifically, before I was a parent to two kids with special needs. I was sure I knew the magic formula to raising creative, inquisitive, polite, humble children -- full of curiosity and bursting with energy for seasonal crafting projects. I was kind of an ass. A well-intentioned ass.

The Only Federal Law Enforced By Angry Parents: How One Man Continues To Support Youth With Special Needs

Robyn Shulman | Posted 08.04.2016 | Education
Robyn Shulman

John, thank you so much for taking your time to chat with me today. You are a social advocate who has been fighting for the rights of disabled kids si...

Grief And The Special Needs Parent

Kate Welch | Posted 08.04.2016 | Parents
Kate Welch

When my son Caleb was born in 1996, he was taken from me by ambulance before he was 12 hours old to have open-heart surgery in another state. Recover...

Is Patience Part Of Your Wardrobe?

Dr. Mindy McNeal | Posted 08.02.2016 | Education
Dr. Mindy McNeal

It seems to be inherently linked with special education teachers. Yet, I would never have described myself as a patient person. Inquisitive, determined, flexible, even funny, yes, but patient? No way.

People React To My Daughter's Skin Condition And I'm Empowering Her To Respond

Courtney Westlake | Posted 07.20.2016 | Parents
Courtney Westlake

I wanted to insert myself into the conversation happening a few feet away from me, to explain and to defend -- but I held back. I craned my neck a bit, waiting to hear what my children would say to the little girl who had just asked about my daughter's red, peeling skin.

Remembering I'm A Special Needs Mom, Not A Super Woman

Kathy Radigan | Posted 07.05.2016 | Parents
Kathy Radigan

With everything my husband and I have done to ensure our daughter's safety, as well as never really letting her get that far from our sight, why on earth did her brother think he needed to be so responsible for her?

What It Means To Be A Special Needs Parent

Mia Carella | Posted 06.23.2016 | Parents
Mia Carella

Five and a half years ago we were blessed with a little bundle of joy on the morning of Christmas Eve. Our daughter, Evalyn, came into the world as an early Christmas gift for us. She was born with a serious congenital heart defect and struggled after birth.

I Became An Adult The Day I Learned My Daughter Has Special Needs

Kathy Radigan | Posted 06.21.2016 | Parents
Kathy Radigan

I now know I became a card-carrying member of the grown-up set the morning I looked down at my gorgeous second child, who was only six weeks old, and was struck with the overwhelming feeling that there was something profoundly wrong with her. Yes, I became an adult at 36, the day I knew in my heart that my daughter had significant special needs.


Phoebe Holmes | Posted 06.09.2016 | Women
Phoebe Holmes

There's a lot of talk of rape and sexual assault in my Facebook feed thanks to the fact that we still have to explain what rape and sexual assault is ...

Is This The Most Despicable Comedian in America Now?

Ellen Seidman | Posted 06.03.2016 | Parents
Ellen Seidman

Below is a post on the Facebook page of so-called comedian Gary Owen. As you may have read, Owen's Showtime special, I Agree With Myself, contains a s...

I Am That Mom

Eileen Flood O'Connor | Posted 06.02.2016 | Parents
Eileen Flood O'Connor

I am a mom. I am that mom. I have four kids just a few years apart and my oldest has autism. I have managed to lose each of them at different times for varying amounts of time.

My Daughter, My Hero

Christine Waltermyer | Posted 05.29.2016 | Parents
Christine Waltermyer

I still remember the day I received the results. "The baby tested positive for Down Syndrome." When the woman told me that I was having a girl, I collapsed to the floor and burst into tears. I was growing this precious life inside of me and was in love with her already. I was also suddenly afraid of all the unknowns.

My Daughter, the Star

Kathy Radigan | Posted 05.20.2016 | Parents
Kathy Radigan

It was bittersweet watching my friend's daughter take her bow as one of the graduating seniors. Now that she is 21, she is ready to leave the safety of school and join the community as an active member.

The I.E.P. Adventure

Olivia Rosewood | Posted 05.20.2016 | Parents
Olivia Rosewood

Would you like to come to an I.E.P. meeting with me? I know, it sounds like fun. What is an I.E.P.? It is an Individualized Educational Plan, and it is every differently abled child's right in the United States of America.

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...

A Child Doesn't Need Words to Say 'I Love You'

Angela Ashton Smith | Posted 05.11.2016 | Parents
Angela Ashton Smith

There are so many ways in which every child on the autism spectrum, verbal or non-verbal, is capable of saying "I love you." What they need is for us to realize that we can listen with more than just our ears!

Our Ordinary Lives Raising Children With Extraordinary Needs -- Two Mothers Reflect

Carrie Brennan | Posted 05.16.2016 | Parents
Carrie Brennan

People often view our lives as extraordinary, but perhaps they are more ordinary than others realize.

This Mother's Day I'm Thankful My Daughter's Life Was Saved

Hillary Savoie | Posted 05.06.2016 | Parents
Hillary Savoie

Five years later, my daughter's challenges are still mysterious. But they are familiar, and far, far less terrifying. This Mother's Day my mother, Esmé and I may be able to sit in the sunshine and admire the gardens as they burst into life.

When "I Don't Know How You Do it" Is the Worst Thing to Say

Hillary Savoie | Posted 05.02.2016 | Parents
Hillary Savoie

So, the next time you talk with someone and you think, I don't know how you do it, flip IDKHYDI on its head and make it a question: How do you do it? If they laugh nervously and say, "Me? Oh I'm fine..." wait for more. Let them know it's okay to talk about their fears, hopes, and dreams.