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Special Needs Kids

The Inclusive Gap Ad That Has Everyone Cheering

The Huffington Post | Caroline Bologna | Posted 10.16.2014 | Parents

Earlier this month, Gap posted a photo on the brand's Facebook page to promote its autumn kids collection. The ad shows a group of children getting re...

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

Lisa Eicher | Posted 09.11.2014 | 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 09.09.2014 | 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 09.09.2014 | 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.

I'm So Sorry My Daughter's Disability Is Such An Inconvenience For You

Jamie Davis Smith | Posted 09.03.2014 | Parents
Jamie Davis Smith

If you think individuals and their families are just trying to game the system for their own benefit, think again.

An Awesome Life Lesson From My Son With Down Syndrome: Friends and New Beginnings

John M. Simmons | Posted 08.26.2014 | Parents
John M. Simmons

In Jack's mind, you never lose friends, you just don't see them outside of your own mind as much as you used to. And to my son, that is the beauty of life. You just keep adding more and more friends. It never ends!

Yes, My Child With Special Needs Understands You -- Please Talk To Him

Ellen Seidman | Posted 10.21.2014 | Parents
Ellen Seidman

When you meet a kid with disabilities, talk to him, not just his parent. If he doesn't seem up for interacting, back off.

The Land of Empathy and Wonder

Kristi Rieger Campbell | Posted 10.21.2014 | Parents
Kristi Rieger Campbell

The only thing important in my imagined land is a person's heart. And his empathy. And his ability to find wonder.

Advocating for Independence Days

Shelley Hendrix Reynolds | Posted 09.16.2014 | Politics
Shelley Hendrix Reynolds

You don't have to be a grown-up to advocate. You have to care about something and, most importantly, you have to act on it. So teach your children well. Get them involved in whatever issue is central to your life.

Does This Photo of a Teen With Cerebral Palsy Shock You? It Shouldn't

Ellen Seidman | Posted 09.14.2014 | Parents
Ellen Seidman

The truth is, the realities of raising a child with physical challenges are often not pretty, however lovingly they are handled.

To the Wonderful Mom That I Met Today

Meg Harris | Posted 08.24.2014 | Parents
Meg Harris

As we sat in line waiting for our children to be let in to the Dinosaur Dig exhibit today, we shared knowing glances as our boys raised their hands in excitement and answered every question that the very patient narrator asked.

The First Time I Said 'My Daughter Has Down Syndrome'

HuffPost Live | Posted 06.04.2014 | HuffPost Live 321

Tara McCallon can remember the first time she ever articulated that her daughter had down syndrome. She was in the hospital gift shop, waiting for ...

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

Ellen Seidman | Posted 08.04.2014 | 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 07.22.2014 | 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.

A Dad Sounds Off on Why the BatKid Was Important

Rob Watson | Posted 02.04.2014 | San Francisco
Rob Watson

For Miles, it was a great day. For those of us in its midst it was a necessity. We needed to know it could happen. We needed to know that the possibility of making it and other impossible dreams happen is within our grasp. It was a journey that rescued us from cynicism and took us into a community of hope.

The Grief My Son Does Not Deserve

Ellen Seidman | Posted 01.25.2014 | Parents
Ellen Seidman

Max's 11th birthday is coming up. My 11th anniversary as a mom is coming up. His birth will never be a happy event for me, yet why does it have to still hurt so much? It feels as if I am doing Max wrong by grieving this way. He doesn't deserve that.

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.

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.

We Tithe, Pay Our Bills, Are Deep in Debt and Want to Buy a House

Steve Rhode | Posted 07.23.2013 | Business
Steve Rhode

Reader Question My husband was without income or on reduced income for 3 years. We accumulated debt during that time in the name of "just surviving",...

My Message For People Who Pity Kids With Special Needs

Ellen Seidman | Posted 07.20.2013 | Parents
Ellen Seidman

How crushing would it be to know that others think you are a lesser human being? Or that you are an "unlucky child" (who grows into an unlucky adult)? Our kids need every bit of confidence they can get in this world.

How I Found The Words To Advocate For My Daughter

Suzanne Perryman | Posted 05.30.2013 | Parents
Suzanne Perryman

There just isn't a teacher, a doctor or other well-meaning professional who definitively knows what is "best" for my child. As Zoe's mother, I see her as the whole child she is: her spirit, her strengths, her abilities.

The Only Way To See The Truth About My Daughter

Amy Julia Becker | Posted 05.13.2013 | Parents
Amy Julia Becker

To think that a child's life can be summarized by the balance of her flaws and her achievements, with a scorecard at the end that deems her either a burden to our family or a productive citizen within our society, betrays my role as her mother altogether.

The Upside of Autism

Jackie Morgan MacDougall | Posted 05.01.2013 | Parents
Jackie Morgan MacDougall

People often talk about the difficulties associated with parenting a child with autism. But this post isn't about that. I want to recognize and celebrate the upside of autism, a blessing we "special needs parents" are given somewhere, somehow -- packaged up in a gift I like to call "perspective."