The Joker, Gibberish, and the Macarena: Emergency Tools to Keep Afloat

When I want to sink, give up, chuck-it all, or throw in the towel, I know it is time to search for a life preserver - those daily, easy-to-use tools that save me when the darkness rolls in and the tide wants to pull me out. As a single parent with one child with special needs, it is vital to my life support systems to have a safety network of tools to reel me in to shore so I can dry off, pick myself up and go on. ...more

Stepping Out: A Necessary Time-Out for Moms

When I can count on my one hand how many times I've been out on my own without kids in the last few months, I get scared. Not a scream-in-the-dark-because-there's-a-monster-in-the-closet scared, but scared I'm getting crispy around the edges. ...more

Carry a Big Stick

He held the stick up to the sky. Though he was laughing, I stopped. For a moment he wasn't a child out for a walk, enamoured with a big stick; he was a warrior. It took a lot of strength to steady the long piece of wood above his head. He smiled and grimaced all at once. It was difficult to balance, yet he held on. ...more

A Parent's Confession: I am Craft Challenged

Crafts are adorable, wonderful, fulfilling, organizing, and delightful - when they are done by someone other than me. I do crafts - lots of them - yet my end product never looks like THAT. ...more

Taking on the Challenge: Would You Leave a Down Syndrome Baby With the Surrogate?

A Down syndrome child is left behind by an Australian couple after a surrogate gives birth to twins. Given a choice, which would we choose? Do we really know? Perhaps we are not free to judge. ...more
Shellireads The parents did know they were having twins; one child having Down Syndrome. They ...more

Adventure on Wheels: Road Trip Tips for Special Needs Kids

The doors open; we buckle in; the journey into the unknown begins - the family road trip. A legend of the modern times, the summer road trip carves some of the greatest and worst memories we have as families. As we choose to be tortured and delighted all at once, families pile into cars, vans, trucks, and trailers on a mission to seek out the new land such as the Grand Canyon, or the old such as your last, great, living aunt. ...more

An Eyepatch, a Dog with Sunglasses, and Sunshine by My Side

My son brushed back my hair and examined my eye patch. I put on sunglasses to help hold the mess of a bandage down. "Mommy doctor," he said and signed at the same time. "Mommy's O.K.," I said. I hadn't been able to find the scissors, so I'd ripped the tape with my teeth. I didn't look so good, I admit. Something irritated my eye a few days ago, most likely a contact lens. It felt better closed. ...more

I Want to Tell You More: Sign Language Gives My Son a Voice

I stood in front of my son listening and listening, and I still couldn't understand what he said. He calmly repeated the word over and over. I felt horrible. I wanted to understand more. "Boooey," he said, again. He opened his hand and placed the palm in front of his mouth, as if you were to blow on it, exhibiting patience with me as if he was the speech therapist and I was the student. ...more

Traveling by Train with a Special Needs Child: Fourth in a Series

Train! Train! my son yells whenever a train races by. Waiting for a train to go by or waiting at a train station is a delight for my special child. Trains can be a great way to travel. Less stressful than planes, trains shoot across country or a short subway ride. They offer an alternative we enjoy. Here's a few tips to make train travel easier with a special needs child. ...more

How to Be Psychic in One (Big) Step

My daughter asked me: What is a psychic? I loved the question. First, it made me appreciate that even though she has a great vocabulary, the deeper meaning of words and ideas are a vast world waiting to be explored. And, who wouldn't want to be able to look into the future? ...more