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Always Climb Higher

July 5, 2016
When my twin sons, Nick and Jack were born in 2007, I was overwhelmed and thrilled. When Nick started missing his milestones, I was concerned. We took him to pediatricians who sent us to psychologists, occupational therapists and autism specialists who performed evaluations and tests. When Nick was...
Denise Zavaleta's picture

Sharing stories - building tolerance

July 5, 2016
What is it like to be a parent of a child with disabilities? This has become a very common question as I’ve started to share more publicly about the challenges my child faces and how they impact her and our family. The truth is that there is no exact answer. Each parent has their own unique story...
Sheila Arias's picture

Autism's Out for Summer!

July 5, 2016
Kids and young adults are out of school and will be spending more time at parks, pools, malls, and restaurants. Among these young folk there will be a sizable percentage of kiddos who are Autistic or otherwise Developmentally Delayed. Parents and caregivers want nothing more than for their kids to...
Michelle Korth's picture

"your daughter ... Autism"

July 5, 2016
"Ms. Cooke, the team has concluded its assessments and observations and we have come to the conclusion that your daughter NaVia fits the criteria for our exception needs program as a child with Autism." At least that's what I think they said. All I remember that late spring day in 2011 was "your...
NaShonda Cooke's picture

Tilt at the Windmills, Stop the Stigma

July 1, 2016
Mental illness, psychiatric disorders, learning disability. neurotypical, neurodiversity. Crazy, impulsive, paranoid, moron, stupid, lazy, normal, weird. I have ADHD. Undiagnosed (and un-medicated) until my mid-twenties, I had a well-developed arsenal of coping mechanisms that did a decent job of...
Stephanie Lormand's picture

Meeting My Hero

July 1, 2016
I will never forget the day I met the man who changed my life. It was a hot July day in Washington DC, and I had been advocating on Capitol Hill for military children with special needs. For days, for meeting after meeting, I shared stories of children who had been repeatedly denied healthcare...
Susan Reynolds's picture

Parenting a child with a hidden disability

July 1, 2016
My story begins 17 years ago. I had the most beautiful baby boy. He loved life. He loved people. He had big blue eyes and a big toothless grin and an even bigger heart. He was always the one to make sure you were ok. As he grew, he was excited to go off to school. He loved pre-school and...
Julie Day's picture

It is not the challenges that define us, but how we respond to those challenges

July 1, 2016
I remember when my husband and I decided to try for a second child. I wanted to have our children close together – have both in diapers – to power through this phase and be able to get back to work as soon as possible. I got pregnant quickly and breezed through doctor appointments, feeling like a...
Iara Peng's picture

A Mom’s Wish

July 6, 2016
Today is Justin’s birthday. So hard to believe that it’s been 36 years since I first held that little miracle in my arms. So many thoughts and feelings overwhelming me at that moment—relief, pride, exhaustion, wonder, love, protectiveness, and yes, fear. And what new mother doesn’t experience fear...
Wendy David's picture

Mi historia #InsideOut: Cómo el aprendizaje socioemocional ayudó a mi hija

April 23, 2016
Como madre de dos hijos, incluyendo una niña que tiene necesidades especiales y un defecto de nacimiento, he podido ver cómo los padres, hijos y la sociedad se benefician si las familias tienen acceso a atención infantil de alta calidad, programas de aprendizaje temprano y programas de salud mental...
Sheila Arias's picture

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