Marriage and Family Life

Emotional Communication on the Spectrum

The autism spectrum has recently been undergoing something of a revolution in thinking thanks mainly to a number of free-sharing individuals on the spectrum, most notably Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg, who have spent the last few years sharing their stories and feelings while challenging the belief that people on the autism spectrum are lacking empathy -- and in some cases, even emotions.

Kids with ADHD: Hard to Parent

Kids with ADHD Are Harder to Parent: Here’s How to Do It Better

Some people say that ADHD is the result of bad parenting.  There are even some research studies that come to this same conclusion.

A Family Picture

Picture this with me:

A dad.  A mom.  Two daughters -- one who is thirteen years old and one who is ten years old.  A nice little family that remembers the baby days with fondness but is content for them to be just that; memories. 

Different, Not Less

I saw this quote the other day and thought about how it applies to my daughter Kayla, who has Down syndrome, and people who have disabilities. The quote is "Different, not less."

On Being Rare

We just celebrated Rare Disease Day on February 29th, which in itself is rare!

Having a child with a rare diagnosis is a hard, wonderful, terrifying, liberating, and exhausting thing.  There are 6,000-8,000 rare diseases that have been identified.  Then there are cases like many of our friends who do not have an official diagnosis.

Professional Vs. Personal

In my previous life (before I was a special needs mom), I was a social worker. My resume is almost as eclectic as I am and I worked with a large variety of people. Foster care, adoption, child protective services, group homes, palliative, Native Americans, teenage sex offenders, elderly, abused, medically fragile, addicted, you name it...I probably ran into them.

Support for Special Needs Parents

The view of special needs children and their parents is not always a pleasant one.  The stigma of parents with special needs children often leads to those parents fearing for their reputations, which can result in extreme behavior.   Reports of parents essentially keeping their child as prisoner to protect the family’s reputation is not necessarily a foreign concept, as heinous as it may be.

Firing the Butler and the Maid . . .

. . . A strategy for helping your child with special needs learn to problem solve.

Moms and Dads of children with special needs tend to take on the role of butler and maid far too long for the well-being of their son or daughter. As a consultant I have seen how the pain and guilt of having a child with developmental challenges affects the expectations parents have for their son or daughter with Autism, Asperger, Pervasive Developmental Disability or Attention Deficit Disorder. 

Adult ADHD Doesn't Have to Harm Your Marriage

Does one of you consistently promise to do chores but then forget them? Does your relationship suffer from chronic nagging or anger? Does one of you feel that you are living with another child, rather than a spouse? Did you used to feel important to your spouse, but now feel like chopped liver?

If so, your marriage may be suffering from the effects of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Dealing with Staring and Special Needs

No doubt about it, when people stare at our children (or us), they make us squirm. Let's face it, people rarely stare at us because they're mesmerized by our great beauty. More likely, they are sizing up our glaring imperfections. For kids with special needs, those imperfections may be hard to hide.

During an especially intense episode of staring, most of us (if we are really honest) have found ourselves thinking, "If only our looks back could kill ...!"