No big whoop?

The special needs blogosphere and social media outlets are abuzz about this recent Target ad featuring a boy with Down Syndrome. This kid is cute. Really cute. It’s great to see him there. The big news isn’t the fact that he’s in the shot; what people seem to be focusing on is the fact that …

Asking Stupid Questions, aka Beginner’s Mind

Here’s another in my toolbox series of techniques that inspire me to live with joy, compassion and courage, as inspired by the Hindu goddess Durga  — my nominee for patron saint of special needs parents. When it comes to raising kids with special needs, there are a lot of gatekeepers who get to be on …

A new perspective on sinking and swimming

Other people’s dreams can be so tedious, I know, but it can’t be helped. I’m at a support group with other parents of special needs kids; I can’t see the other participants (am invisible to them, too) because the room is all obstructed views. I ask if we can re-arrange the seats, but am told that …

Families pull up a chair to the table

After years of asking myself questions like “Why am I filling out this medical form when this information is already in their computer?” or “Why does this doctor only see patients during school hours?” and other such silly observations along the journey through parenting a child with special needs, I suddenly find myself invited by …

My gut

In 10th grade business class, my teacher Mrs. Goldstein taught our class a model that promised to make us more successful in life. When faced with a difficult decision of whether or not to do something, she counciled us to execute the following strategy: At the top of a sheet of paper (this was the …

Let’s all go to the lobby and get ourselves a snack

Things have been silent on the blog front lately, not for any particular reason other than that I’m taking a little break from trying so hard. A time-out of sorts — a pause, a respite, a recess. Dead air, as they say in television. As Mother Nature unabashedly does her thing, pouring out verdant lushness, …

What’s in a number?

My son celebrates a birthday this month. It is a joyful occasion. Like all parents, I spend the days leading up to it planning surprises, buying and wrapping gifts, reflecting on how quickly the years are flying by. We are celebrating it not once (with cupcakes in bed on birthday morning), not twice (with a birthday …

Gloriousness and Wretchedness

Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. … On the other hand, wretchedness–life’s painful aspect–softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. …

You get me…you really, really get me

I just came home from two days of special needs parent training. It was the kind of weekend that makes my life seem almost glamorous—free hotel with a glorious night of uninterrupted sleep, food flowing all day with no dishwasher to load afterward, a cozy bar with a fireplace…oh, yeah, and the chance to learn a …

My love/hate relationship with Mamma Bear

Whenever I have an aversion to use a word or phrase that everyone else seems to love, I’ve started to realize it’s worth exploring. This week, a phrase that seems to be beloved in our special needs community has been caused me to wince several times. And that phrase is: Mamma Bear. I know that probably …