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Special Needs Parenting

Autism Without Fear: We Raise Money for Autism Research... But Not for Our Kids' Schools and Service Agencies?

Michael John Carley | Posted 12.19.2014 | Healthy Living
Michael John Carley

Many of us, as parents of spectrum kids, participate in "autism walks" or other events to raise money for autism research. But we don't volunteer anywhere near the same capacity for entities that directly impact our children -- our kids' schools or service agencies. Why?

The Hardest Part Of Autism

Lauren Casper | Posted 12.15.2014 | Parents
Lauren Casper

As much as I sometimes want to, we don't pin a sign to Mareto's shirt explaining his autism. So other people, particularly strangers, give us a lot of attention in the form of staring, dirty looks, snide under-the-breath comments and just overall judgment.

What We Can Learn From the Developmentally Disabled

Karen Zainal | Posted 12.10.2014 | Impact
Karen Zainal

I love the work organizations like KEEN does, but it saddens me that we actually need to recruit volunteers to fulfill social and emotional needs that wonderful people like Charles are often deprived of.

What Big Boys Can Do

Mary Evelyn Smith | Posted 11.21.2014 | Parents
Mary Evelyn Smith

The words marched across the page, cold and unfeeling like a barricade. No way around them, no hint of subtlety to their meaning, no chance to rearrange the letters and make them right.

As a Mother of a Son With Down Syndrome I Would Vote for More Acceptance

Kari Wagner-Peck | Posted 12.03.2014 | Parents
Kari Wagner-Peck

For the first time ever, my son had ordered his own meal and was understood. As the three of us sat at the table basking in his moment, I noticed my son's attention was drawn to the table behind us. First, he was smiling and then he wasn't. He was frowning.

"Normal" Is a Dryer Setting: We're All More Alike Than We Are Different

Debra Jenkins | Posted 11.30.2014 | Impact
Debra Jenkins

I was honored to be a presenter at TEDxHuntsville on September 7 and am thrilled that the video of my talk has now been posted.

The Great Disclosure Debate: When Should You Tell Strangers Your Child Has Autism?

Julie M Green | Posted 11.26.2014 | Parents
Julie M Green

Is it better to be upfront about your kid's disorder to bemused strangers, or to keep your private business private?

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."

I Won't Let My Daughter With Down Syndrome Be Defined By A 'List'

Deanna Smith | Posted 11.25.2014 | Parents
Deanna Smith

When my daughter was diagnosed with Down syndrome, I was given a list. A list of potential features and problems to expect. This list is cold, emotionless and almost comes across as grotesque if you are reading it with fear already in your heart.

Dogs in Asia: Doctors Not Dinner

Jill Robinson | Posted 11.15.2014 | Green
Jill Robinson

In a continent where dogs are often regarded as food, a change in attitude is palpable as the science behind the healing powers of canine therapy is being embraced by animal lovers and doctors alike.

When A Little Girl Felt Sorry For My Son

Mary Evelyn Smith | Posted 11.09.2014 | Parents
Mary Evelyn Smith

I felt it more than I heard it. Deep in my stomach, in that place right below my breastbone. The place where I keep all my fears and my sadness. I felt it like a kick in the ribs.

5 Facts High School Freshmen Want Parents To Understand

Suzanne Perryman | Posted 11.03.2014 | Parents
Suzanne Perryman

Our teens are walking around in these adult bodies and sometimes we forget that they are still forging their way, trying to figure out how to de-stress and carry on conversations IRL.

When the Unthinkable Happens at School: Keeping Your Child Safe

Suzanne Perryman | Posted 10.26.2014 | Parents
Suzanne Perryman

I watched Sandy Hook on the news last year and the tornado-torn Plaza Towers news reports and tried to imagine my child in the middle of such chaos. People with disabilities were among the hardest hit in disaster areas of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

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.

To The Typical Siblings

Ellen Stumbo | Posted 10.20.2014 | Parents
Ellen Stumbo

You are perhaps more mature than someone your age. You've probably had more responsibilities than most of your peers. I guess in some ways you've lived a different life, life impacted by disability.

Autism In Our Family

Courtney Fitzgerald | Posted 10.12.2014 | Parents
Courtney Fitzgerald

He alone makes me a better mother than I thought I would ever have to be. Every point he makes, I see his side -- and I pray he understands that I'm ALWAYS on his team.

The Reality of Being a Special Needs Mom

Kathy Radigan | Posted 10.06.2014 | Parents
Kathy Radigan

I am not the same naive young mom who thought she could solve any problem that came her way. I know better.

Autism Parents Build Virtual Birdhouse for Others

Rabbi Jason Miller | Posted 09.28.2014 | Technology
Rabbi Jason Miller

Dani Gillman was a single mom in Metro Detroit with an autistic daughter, Brodie, who ran a popular blog detailing her daughter's challenges and successes as a way to help other parents of autistic children.

To The Me Of 10 Years Ago

Phoebe Holmes | Posted 08.17.2014 | Parents
Phoebe Holmes

You will learn to be a fighter. You will find strength you never realized you had and overcome your fear of confrontation. You do this because not doing this is not an option. That baby girl needs you to be this way. And you're not about to let that girl down.

Summer Camp for a Child With Special Needs: Learning New Things, Meeting New Friends and Trying Something You Never Tried!

Marla Murasko | Posted 08.12.2014 | Parents
Marla Murasko

A lot of camps may encourage inclusion for children with special needs to take part in their camp activities with their typical peers.

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.

Recipe for Good Mothering

Suzanne Perryman | Posted 07.06.2014 | Parents
Suzanne Perryman

It is the directions we ignore, the techniques we adapt and the new processes we create that make each batch wonderfully unique -- and never exactly the same.

5 Helpful Practices for Parents of Children With Special Needs

KnowMore TV | Posted 06.30.2014 | Parents
KnowMore TV

Only when we are functioning well physically, emotionally and spiritually can we address the often constant needs of our children.

15 Things I'm Aware Of As The Mother Of A Son With Autism

Allie Smith | Posted 06.24.2014 | Parents
Allie Smith

I know there's some really bad stuff that goes along with having a child with autism. But I'm also aware that there's an abundance of gratitude, support, grace, hope, happiness, acceptance and love in our life thanks, in part, to autism.

How to Thrive: The Third Metric Approach to Parenting

Suzanne Perryman | Posted 06.07.2014 | Parents
Suzanne Perryman

Being the mother of a special needs child has given me a unique perspective. I have the ability to celebrate the simple moments of parenting, but it has also made fluid my own definition of what I perceive successful parenting to be.