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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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How Superheroes Decompress: Respites & Shawarma (A Tribute to Volunteers)

    Confessions of a Respite Groupie Hello.  My name is Diane.  And I am a self-professed Respite Groupie.  If there’s a church respite event within a 45-minute radius of our home:  We.  Are.  There.  “Neither rain, nor sleet, nor dark of night…”  Whatever, man.  We are there.   It’s the only event I’m ever on…[READ MORE]


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How Special Needs Ministry Benefits Volunteers & Churches | Meet Mr. Nick

  In last week’s post, I shared about how Special Needs Ministries are needed to reach the 90% of special needs families who do not attend church.  Most simply can’t.  I also shared a few practical ways that extended –and spiritual– family can help. You can imagine how inclusive churches and special needs ministries bless…[READ MORE]


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How To Support Special Needs Families & Ministries | BASS Conference 2014

  This is my family.  Over the last ten, post-diagnosis years, these fine folks have looked for excuses to line our pockets, knowing full well we have gaping holes in them.  My parents have provided us with uncountable financial support, particularly during our chaotic Early Intervention Years, when we hemorrhaged money for therapies ($7,000.00 a month out-of-pocket.)…[READ MORE]


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Got a Heart for the Disabled? How to OVERWHELM a Special Needs Family

    In summer 2012, our family had the honor of being interviewed by Joni Eareckson Tada.  Getting personal time with Joni and Ken was a privilege already, let alone being featured on her radio program.  But we had no idea that would lead to being selected for the annual Valentines campaign, “Hearts for the Disabled.” Almost…[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 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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Goldeluxe & The Three “Must Bears” of Special Needs Ministry

  A tribute to special needs ministry champions who honor our families with “Gold-deluxe” service.   I’ve been each of these three “Must Bears” at some point.   Supporting complex families like ours can be a delicate, sensitive and prickly endeavor.  Thank you for your calling, passion and dedication to serve where many others dare not…[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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Swim-A-Thon: Let’s Go Team Jeremy!

  As you can see, Jeremy LOVES the water.  His current record is six hours in the swimming pool, coming out only for mandated potty breaks.  But swimming lessons for a pre-verbal kid with autism who requires 1:1 instruction, can be prohibitively expensive.   All the more reason I’m so grateful for SNAP.      …[READ MORE]


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Siblings: Support Resources (Sib Panel Pt. 4)

  Part IV in Sibling Panel Series In the first post, we shared our adult Sib Panel’s personal insights at growing up with a special needs sibling.  Earnestly and honestly, they shared their struggles as well as blessings gained. In the second post, we highlighted practical recommendations how parents and families can help support Sibs. In the…[READ MORE]


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Siblings: Research & Resources (Sib Panel Pt. 3)

  Part III in the Four-Part Sibling Panel series In the first post, we shared our adult Sib Panel’s personal insights at growing up with a special needs sibling.  Earnestly and honestly, they shared their struggles as well as blessings gained. In the second post, we highlighted practical recommendations how parents and families can help…[READ MORE]


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Siblings: How to Help (Sib Panel Pt. 2)

  Part II of a Four-Part Series on Special Needs Siblings This picture was taken two summer ago when Justin was five.  The boys were swimming at the pool.  An older girl about ten began harassing Jeremy, who is sweet, passive, and non-verbal with autism.  I was ready to launch into Mama Bear Mode when…[READ MORE]


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Autism Awareness: OK. You’re Aware. Now What?

Yesterday, April 2, 2013, was the UN Autism Awareness Day (April is Autism Awareness month.)  I’m really glad we get a month, because autism is tricky, especially when no two people with autism are the same.  I’m now eleven years into it with our son, and I’m still learning.  So I completely respect that autism can…[READ MORE]


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Who You Callin’ “Retarded”?

  Ending The R-Word Let’s face it.  Most typical kids think Special Ed kids are weird.  I was once a kid, too, so I know how it is.  I used to  toss around The R-Word on the playground and locker room, just like everybody else. Then I grew up and had a kid with autism.  Meanwhile, the world…[READ MORE]


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Testimony @ Joni Eareckson Tada’s Bay Area Tour

 In March 2012, I had the honor of introducing Joni Eareckson Tada during her tour of the San Francisco Bay Area, by sharing my family’s testimony.  Video (10:30) and transcription below: In 2005, when my son Jeremy was 18 months old, our family returned from a year serving abroad in Uzbekistan.  Jeremy still wasn’t talking, so…[READ MORE]


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