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Special Needs Parents

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.

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...

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.

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

Lisa Eicher | Posted 11.10.2014 | 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 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.

My Child Can't be Defined By A Parent Intake Form

Kathy Radigan | Posted 11.05.2014 | Parents
Kathy Radigan

The other day I was in the middle of my morning routine of packing snacks, reminding people to wear underwear and ordering them to brush their teeth when I happened to see it, my special needs daughter's red take home folder.

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

Jamie Davis Smith | Posted 11.03.2014 | 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 10.26.2014 | 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!

To The Summer Camp Director Who Excluded A Child With Special Needs

Laurie Levy | Posted 10.12.2014 | Parents
Laurie Levy

Please don't bring Olivia back tomorrow, the person in charge stated. We need the helper to manage the behavior of other children in the class as well. Olivia just doesn't fit in because she needs too much of the helper's time.

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.

For Special Needs Parents, Every Milestone Is Major

Ellen Seidman | Posted 09.07.2014 | 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 08.19.2014 | 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 08.12.2014 | 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 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.

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.