“What if Jack needs me?” That is what Sam, my nine year old son, said to me when I pulled him out of his room and away from his older brother. His eyes were red and his chin was tight. Jack, who has severe autism, had been screaming every night, and even though Sam was usually adept at sleeping through Jack’s meltdowns, we decided it was time to separate them. Sam wasn’t getting enough sleep, and it showed. He wasn’t… Read more

This is an excerpt from our newly-released devotion book for special-needs parents! Click below to receive a free copy! God is our refuge and strength,an ever-present help in trouble.Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1-3 (NIV) Inside a two-story concrete home in 2008 in Indonesia, I felt the ground move for the first time. My ears plugged as the… Read more

Have you seen it on Facebook? The image of the “special-needs parent” who has just survived a battle, and when asked how things are going, gives two thumbs ups? I smiled a little when I saw it the first time. It is summer break after all. And my son with level 3 (non-verbal) autism is not a fan of summer time. The lack of structure gives him anxiety. He doesn’t know what to expect, and he can’t control his schedule…. Read more

June is PTSD Awareness Month, and though I sometimes feel there’s nothing more for me to write on post traumatic stress disorder, here I am blogging about it again. Specifically about PTSD in children, also known as childhood developmental trauma. Here are 5 reasons this topic is worth writing about year after year. Reason #1: Too Many Children Suffer from PTSD Exact numbers are hard to pin down, but as this report from the National Center on PTSD indicates, more children… Read more

I don’t know about you, but raising kids who have chronic illnesses and special needs has made too many of my summers start with good intentions, but end with disappointment. Summer time is pregnant with possibility as the balmy temperatures move in, parades and picnics usher in celebration, relatives and friends relax together, and the relentless work of the school year slows down. Our family has always had dreams of getaways during these months, hoping to camp or sight-see. At… Read more

Already wondering how you’re going to fill those long summer days? We’ve got 100 fun ideas to keep you and the kids (or grandkids) busy! Plant a garden Find a pen pal Start a new collection Climb a tree Make crock-pot apple sauce Play in the sprinkler (affiliate link) Pick strawberries Water balloon toss Try essential oils (tips on using lavender from My Blessed Life) Start a new therapy (We’re starting feeding therapy this summer. It’s pretty intense so summer is a… Read more

My daughter, Katie, flung the game pieces across the room as she lost her temper during a board game.  A lower tolerance for frustration accompanied her diagnosis of autism, but we were trying to work through it to enjoy a family game night.  Unfortunately, the only “togetherness” that night was my husband (Bryan) grabbing Katie’s hands before she swept the game board clean. As summer nears, our family, like yours, would like to plan and spend some fun time together…. Read more

After our son’s autism diagnosis, everything changed. Our priorities changed. How we spent our money changed. Our schedule changed. And although we weren’t prepared for it, our friendships changed. We were going through a season of grief and confusion, and we felt more isolated than ever. When we got through those early years after his diagnosis, we were able to look back and evaluate what changed about those relationships and think about how to develop future friendships after our move… Read more

Maybe you’ve seen some of the recent news stories I’ve read. The headlines look something like this: Brent has autism, but he’s great at building furniture. Shelly has Down syndrome, but she made the cheerleading squad. This actor has cerebral palsy, but stars in TV show. I love what these young people are accomplishing. What I don’t love are the buts in each sentence. When my son James was first diagnosed with autism, I was stuck in a world of… Read more

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sit down with the parent of a child with special needs and ask them what it is like? More than likely you would be greeted with a glazed stare, both from exhaustion and from determining if you are safe person to share with. They say that the best way to get to know a person is to walk a mile in their shoes. This really hits home with families impacted… Read more

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