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Special Needs Parents

For Special Needs Parents, Every Milestone Is Major

Ellen Seidman | Posted 07.08.2014 | Parents
Ellen Seidman

When Max walks, says a word, feeds himself, picks up an object, uses his pointer finger, reads a word, writes his name, climbs the stairs, goes to the bathroom or uses his iPad speech app, I'll suddenly be filled with gratitude that he is able to do what he does. I take none of it for granted.

To The Woman In The Elevator Who Asked About This Bracelet

Mike Porath | Posted 06.19.2014 | Parents
Mike Porath

I'd never worn a bracelet -- I don't even wear a watch -- but when you get a diagnosis like we did and you don't have any answers, you do whatever you can to show support.

Celebrating All of the Dads With Special Needs Children

Meg Harris | Posted 06.12.2014 | Parents
Meg Harris

I recall feeling envious of his ability to just be one with her. We were both first-time parents with very little experience with babies. While I sat thinking, Will he drop her? Is she OK? He quietly slept as though he'd been holding her in his arms forever. It was a beautiful moment.

The Supreme Court Takes a Stand on the Term 'Mental Retardation'

Ellen Seidman | Posted 06.05.2014 | Parents
Ellen Seidman

Using more neutral terminology to describe a person with intellectual disability, when they need to be described at all, is just one more way to respect them. Not the only way, of course; just one. An easy one.

Not Pictured

Sarah Sweatt Orsborn | Posted 05.22.2014 | Parents
Sarah Sweatt Orsborn

The truth is, while I rationally know that we have made the absolute best decision to send Claire to a developmental preschool, I still sometimes feel guilty that she's not home with me and Etta.

Big Deal or Little Problem?

Raluca State | Posted 05.19.2014 | Parents
Raluca State

The teacher, in a calming, warm voice, said: "Big deal or little problem?" He thought about it for a second. His eyes focused squarely on hers. His hands relaxed motionless by his sides.

To The Woman Who Apologized To Me At The Supermarket

Rachael Clarke | Posted 04.29.2014 | Parents
Rachael Clarke

I wanted to tell you that you didn't have to apologize, that nothing had gone wrong. The man had been kind, expressed joy in seeing my daughter. He had wanted to make her smile, and he'd succeeded. There's no being sorry for that.

Special Needs Parents, You Are Not Invisible

Ellen Stumbo | Posted 04.23.2014 | Parents
Ellen Stumbo

You parent a child with special needs and sometimes you feel alone and invisible. But you are not. Today, I want to tell you that I see you.

15 Things Never To Say To A Special Needs Parent

Dr. Darla Clayton, Psy.D. | Posted 04.07.2014 | Parents
Dr. Darla Clayton, Psy.D.

I write this list in the hopes that it will be read by some of those good people who mean well but whose words can still be as sharp as knives.

Moving Forward

Joanne De Simone | Posted 03.30.2014 | Parents
Joanne De Simone

Another young boy sped toward us on his bike. I made comparisons, knowing I was breaking another rule. Don't compare your child to anyone else. I couldn't help it. The sight of him seemed to reaffirm the success of our experiment. We were having a normal day in the park.

How I Told My 7-Year-Old Son He Has Down Syndrome

Kari Wagner-Peck | Posted 02.10.2014 | Parents
Kari Wagner-Peck

I am feeling my way here in a world that does not provide a manual for how you tell your kid they have Down syndrome.

7 Practical Ways to Help a Special Needs Family

Ellen Stumbo | Posted 11.12.2013 | Parents
Ellen Stumbo

There are times when we could really use your help. Here are seven practical ways you can help a special needs family.

Case Of Missing NYC Student Stirs Parental Fears

AP | KAREN MATTHEWS | Posted 11.01.2013 | New York

NEW YORK -- NEW YORK (AP) — Parents of New York City's special-education students saw their worst nightmares realized four weeks ago when 14-year-ol...

Autism Deserves Better Responses From Adults

Brenda Rothman | Posted 11.24.2013 | Parents
Brenda Rothman

We need to hold the adults in our children's lives accountable for their reactions and how those reactions escalate our children's anxiety.

Don't Call Us Great Parents Just Because We Have a Child With Disabilities

Ellen Seidman | Posted 11.20.2013 | Parents
Ellen Seidman

Considering parents of kids with special needs to be saints overestimates us, and underestimates our children.

What You Don't Know And Can't See

Suzanne Perryman | Posted 10.31.2013 | Parents
Suzanne Perryman

I rolled over and took Zoe's hand in mine, trying to focus on her face in the nightlight glow. She is 11 now, and bedtime lately has taken a serious turn. We talk about kids who stare, what she is afraid of and how people are different.

To The Author Of The Anonymous Note Left On My Car Window

Suzanne Perryman | Posted 10.27.2013 | Parents
Suzanne Perryman

In your hurry to keep things neat and orderly, you didn't see the whole picture. You didn't see the wheelchair lift permanently installed into the back of my SUV, and you didn't see me unload my little girl's pink manual wheelchair that we use for "quick" trips.

Why I Choose to Celebrate My Sassy Tween's Back-to-School Attitude

Suzanne Perryman | Posted 10.21.2013 | Parents
Suzanne Perryman

As much as I want to expand into the quiet, empty space, claim it as mine and finally clear my never-ending list of things to do, there is something about that first day of school that tugs at my mother's heart.

What Would Happen If Kate and William Were Surprised By the Birth of a Special Needs Child?

Suzanne Perryman | Posted 09.25.2013 | Parents
Suzanne Perryman

Science can fail to forecast it, doctors can't always diagnose it, parents can never be prepared for it, and even the best social etiquette experts are unsure how to celebrate it; another child is being born, and sometimes unexpectedly, born with special needs.

How Pinterest Saved My Summer Parenting Plan

Suzanne Perryman | Posted 09.10.2013 | Parents
Suzanne Perryman

Pinterest is helping me parent this summer. To put it more emphatically, Pinterest is my parenting save this summer.

Dear Mom With A Prenatal Down Syndrome Diagnosis

Lauren Warner | Posted 08.19.2013 | Parents
Lauren Warner

I cannot tell you what challenges your precious one might have -- just as I cannot tell you what challenges anybody's child will have, "special needs" or not. One aspect of your child's life just happens to be detectable by prenatal medical technology.

6 Secrets Of Strong Special Needs Dads

Suzanne Perryman | Posted 08.15.2013 | Parents
Suzanne Perryman

No matter how many precautions they take, how physically present they are, how hard they work to support their family, even how hard they try, special needs dads will see their child and their family experience pain, over and over and over again.

What I Know About Fatherhood Now That I Have A Teenager With A Disability

Robert Rummel-Hudson | Posted 08.14.2013 | Parents
Robert Rummel-Hudson

There are only two things that I can promise my daughter without fail. I can promise her love, and the truth. One of these is much, much easier to give her with any real consistency. But both are key to being the best father I can be to her.

6 Secrets Special Needs Moms Know But Won't Tell You

Suzanne Perryman | Posted 11.03.2013 | Parents
Suzanne Perryman

I am a special needs mom. And I have secrets. Things I don't talk about and other moms don't know -- or maybe they just forgot about along the way. Here are six of them.

Why I've Always Struggled To Understand What My Son Needs

John Elder Robison | Posted 05.14.2013 | Parents
John Elder Robison

One of my greatest challenges as a new dad was determining what my kid wanted or needed. He seemed to get distressed and yell for no reason, but I knew there must be one -- I just couldn't discern it.