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20 Things I Know Now, That I Wish I Knew Then (The Special Needs Parent-Ninja Arts)

    From time to time I get asked, “Do you have any advice for a Special Needs Parent?”  It’s usually from someone freshly reeling from their child’s diagnosis, or a friend who wants to be supportive. BLESS THEM. To which I say (or think), Ohboyohboyboy! (and start mentally salivating.) I devoted this blog on Special Needs parenting to…[READ MORE]


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I’ll Never Hear, “I Love You, Mommy” (Lies The Devil Tells)

  As the mother of a non-verbal child with autism, I know lots of other mom-friends of children who don’t speak. We seldom discuss it. But, oh, how we all long to hear, “I love you, Mommy.” For my son, it took years of intensive speech and behavioral therapy before he could even identify me as…[READ MORE]


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Fatherhood, Hijacked | When Life Doesn’t Go According to Plan

    In the world of Special Needs parenting, moms usually get all the press (well, of the press we do get.)  Mom is usually the one to duke it out at IEP meetings.  Moms rule most of the blogosphere.  Moms march on Capitol Hill.  And all those da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael depictions of the Madonna? (The Virgin,…[READ MORE]


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“What About My Child?!” Amidst Grads, Gowns & Grief, A Different Story Unfolds

  Ah, the merry month of June!  A joyous and hectic season.  Flurrying about between graduations and gowns, gifts and weddings. “What’s next?  Which college?  What city?  Which company?” Their graduations and gowns; their shiny gifts and weddings.  I smile to suppress the slight rankle of bittersweet.  For within these hallowed months, the ghost of my Idealized Child returns to haunt.…[READ MORE]


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What Now? Overwhelmed & Underqualified | When Life’s Got You Hiding in an Upper Room

    “Who me?  A Special Needs Parent?  I can’t do this!  I’m not qualified.” Growing up, I was afraid of those handicapped kids, tucked away in the portables at the rear of campus.  I probably even used The R Word.  Even as an adult, I avoided making eye contact with someone in a wheelchair.…[READ MORE]


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Special Teams (The Kicker) | A Post-Game Huddle

Confession: I’m not much of a football person.  I just can’t wrap my brain around all the rules.  I’m not a rules person.  As they say in the Pirates of the Caribbean, “Rules? They’re more like guidelines, anyways…” Most of the time, I’m like this,   But I can get into a Super Bowl party (who…[READ MORE]


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When Your Temple Gets Wrecked: From Hallowed to Hollowed & Back Again

    Perhaps an ultrasound detected an abnormality: a potential genetic defect.  Perhaps physical evidence presented itself at birth: a disfigurement.  Perhaps years went by of blissful childhood, until subtle hints began to emerge: a series of missed developmental milestones, or a disconcerting sense of “something just not right.” Regardless of how incremental the onset, the…[READ MORE]


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Mary: How is this “Blessed and Highly Favored”?!

    In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.  The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The…[READ MORE]


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Unwelcome Gifts: Ambushed by Grace

Have you ever been ambushed by a gift?  Did the Gifter insist, even though you swore up and down you didn’t need it?  Did they end up being right?  Yeah, me too. *********************************** December 2005.  Christmas was approaching.  At the time, my husband and I were directing a college ministry.   ‘Twas the season of…[READ MORE]


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Waiting through fear and grief, “Do not be afraid!”

  “Your child has autism.  He’ll need at least 40 hours of intensive therapy a week.  He may not learn to speak, function or live independently.  He’ll likely not go to college, marry, or have his own family.  You’ll have to abort your plans and rearrange your lives to care for him full-time.  His prognosis?…[READ MORE]


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Faith Through Disappointment – Part 4: Get in the WORD

    In Part one of the series, “Faith Through Disappointment,” I introduced the “Four Gets” in my journey to wholeness.  The first was to Get REAL.  Be honest with yourself and with God about your grief and anger. Part two, was Get HELP.  In your struggle, don’t shrivel from self-imposed martyrdom.  Permit yourself a White Flag…[READ MORE]


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Faith Through Disappointment – Part 3: GET PEOPLE

    Four-part series, “Faith Through Disappointment” continues. Of the “Four Gets,” the first is to Get REAL:  Giving ourselves permission to grieve or get angry. The second, is to Get HELP:  Be willing to lean on others.  We were not meant to carry our burdens alone. The third, is to Get PEOPLE:  God provides help…[READ MORE]


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Faith Through Disappointment – Part 2: GET HELP

  In the previous post, I began a four-part series, “Faith through Disappointment.”  Of the Four Gets, the first was to Get REAL (giving ourselves permission to grieve or get angry.)   The series continues with the second Get:  Get HELP.    ************************************************************** 2)  GET HELP – Be willing to receive/ask for help Asking for help is…[READ MORE]


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Faith through Disappointment – Part 1: ALCF Women’s Conference 2013

On October 5, 2013, I had the privilege of speaking at my church, Abundant Life Christian Fellowship in Mountain View, CA.  It was an honor to be part of the teaching team for the annual Women’s Conference, composed of keynote Dr. Gloria White-Hammond, and five fellow workshop speakers:  Each uniquely gifted and passionate about seeing women healed and…[READ MORE]


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Why won’t You fix this? Why does God let this happen?

  “Why do You let this happen?!” In 2005, we’d been living post-autism for a year.   Three year old Jeremy had been immersed in aggressive therapy for 40+ hours a week.  The New Normal left no time for naps, leisurely trips to the park, or any other typical toddler-activities. Undergirding all the therapy was a severely…[READ MORE]


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Why did God let this happen? Did You lead us out here to die?

    “Did You lead us out here to die?” As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to…[READ MORE]


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“Who me, a Special Needs Parent? I’m the wrong person for this kid!”

  My mother often laments how I am such a LOUD girl. When we’re on the phone, she typically asks me to turn down my volume.  Or better yet, speak about a foot away from the mouthpiece. She’s perplexed how such a small person (I stand 4 feet 11 and 3/4 inches) could emit such…[READ MORE]


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How to help a SN Parent? Just LISTEN

        Much has been written about how folks get it wrong:  What not to say or do to a special needs parent, or how family fails to support them.  Here’s how a supportive friend got it right.         I have a dear friend named Cindy.  Someone like me might consider Cindy an “unlikely”…[READ MORE]


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Screwtape Screws with Autism: How To Ruin a Special Needs Family

        In homage to C.S. Lewis’ “Screwtape Letters,” How to effectively ruin a family affected by autism.   ***************************************     My Dear Wormwood, I understand you’ve been assigned to a special needs family for your next Patient. Autism, to be precise. Regrettably, I am dismayed at the Administration’s dismal appraisal of…[READ MORE]


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“Just a piece of paper” – In Honor of Autism D-Day

  In honor of our D-Day.  On August 20, 2004, a pediatric neurologist scribbled, “Diagnostic code 299.00.  Autism,” on a prescription pad.  Some pieces of paper cut far deeper than others. **********************************************************  “Just a piece of paper” A marriage certificate.  Divorce papers.  A Do Not Resuscitate Form.  An adoption certificate.  A will, deed or pink slip. “Just…[READ MORE]


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