Tag: hidden disabilities

adoption, Special Needs

Parenting when you’re stuck in the mud

I am a horse trainer’s daughter so the majority of my life has been lived in the country.   When I was little, we lived on a ranch with a horse pasture just outside our front door.  I had tons of adventures, and several injuries, in that pasture.  My brothers and I built an obstacle course for our bicycles there and…

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Counseling, Epilepsy, parenting, PCDH19, Special Needs

7 tips for parenting special needs siblings

I am writing this post from the Starbucks in our children’s hospital. For once, I’m not here with Alyssa. She is spending this rainy, Saturday afternoon at a family birthday party while I’m in the city with one of her brothers.  He is here to spend a few hours with kids like him, boys and girls who have siblings with…

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Counseling, Epilepsy, PCDH19

Sick Days for the Soul

Most people still don’t understand that epilepsy can be fatal and is actually a leading cause of death. Families like mine are very aware of the statistics. We know that we could lose our children while they sleep and that every seizure could be their last. Madeleine’s death was still a devastating shock though. She was a vibrant 16-year-old with her life ahead of her and a family that adored her.

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Epilepsy, PCDH19, Special Needs

In the shadow of the valley of SUDEP

Four times this month, the monster has won. Four times. Four mothers have been forced to bury their small children. Four kids are gone because of a disorder that most of the world still sees as non-life threatening in spite of the 50,000 people in the US who die seizure related deaths every year.

I was sitting on the couch a few days ago reading Facebook when another post stole my breath. A sweet girl was curled up in her daddy’s arms watching TV and then she was gone. No warning. No preparation. No goodbyes. Just gone. I looked down at my own little girl with her head on my shoulder and I felt my heart stop because as much as I try to pretend we’re OK, I know that monster lives in my house too.

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Education, Epilepsy

Why Character Awards Really Matter

I don’t believe that everyone has to be a winner but I also recognize that not everyone is playing the same game. I’m not asking that Alyssa be given some patronizing certificate simply because she has a disability. However, I think that it is time for schools to recognize that different kids have different goals and they should be recognized for achieving them.

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Epilepsy, relationships

Leave the diagnosis at home this Valentine’s Day

If you are the parent of a child with special needs, you are likely very well aware of the divorce statistics for our cohort. Our marriages are significantly more likely to end than our peers with healthy children. It just seems cruel that the disorders that try to steal our children attack our marriages too. The truth is though we can experience stress levels similar to those of soldiers in combat and that puts strain on even the healthiest relationships. Our marriages aren’t doomed though. We just need to understand what we are facing and protect our relationships while we weather the storm.

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