Tag: special needs parent

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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Advocacy, Special Needs

For special education students, accommodations may depend on your parents.

Children are being discriminated against and denied access to special education services they need to because their families are not equipped to fight for their rights. Schools have gone to such extreme lengths to add red tape and made it so difficult for parents to request services that many are not able to navigate the system. Those who speak English as a second language or have limited education themselves especially struggle.

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parenting, Travel

How to Road Trip with Your Family and Still Love Your Kids

I may sound crazy but I absolutely love road trips.  I spent my adolescence driving to rodeos around the country and I took my oldest son his first road trip when he was 3 months old. There is just something special about seeing the country between vacation destinations. My husband and I have three kids now (5, 7 & 10)…

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Epilepsy, PCDH19, Special Needs

On Finding My Tribe

As we sat around the fire pit in the hotel courtyard and talked for hours, I suddenly felt my soul exhale. Every woman in that circle knew what it was like to hold your seizing daughter in your arms and pray she takes another breath. Every woman understood that strange mixture of devastation and relief that comes with a diagnosis. Every woman bears the scars of dreams that were ripped from her chest. Each of them understood the pressure of carrying this burden but somehow as we all shared our stories and shared the weight, it seemed to get a little lighter.

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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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