Thanks to Professionals Who Bless Our Special Needs Life


Today I appreciate professionals who give great care, good advice, and are wise enough to consider what it’s like to be a struggling child and a parent of that child.  Here are some shout-outs to those who made our lives easier:


  • The neuropsychologist who took half of her workday to evaluate my daughter at home where she could really see and understand the challenges that others missed. Her efforts gave us the correct diagnosis so we could move forward.


  • The college student I hired who was gifted in her ability to engage my pre-schooler with autism. This was a serendipitous engagement.  The first time we spoke over the phone, she recalls thinking it might be a good job because Katie was “artistic” and this student liked art.  She lightened our days, became my friend, and helped me enjoy life again.


  • The behaviorist, the best I ever met, who taught us how to calm my daughter’s rages. It was nothing short of a miracle.


  • The psychiatrist who not only prescribed the right medicine but shared pieces of her own life which put us all at ease. She attended meetings to educate the school staff who discounted my child’s anxiety because it did “not appear” to be a problem at school.


  • The psychiatric nurse who openly shared her family’s struggle with mental illness on our first visit with our depressed and angry child. She helped us feel normal and showed us that life and laughter continue after a mental health diagnosis. I cannot thank her enough for the candid disclosure which lightened my emotional load.


  • The school autism specialist who started an excellent after-school social training program for children with autism. She wasn’t paid extra to run an after-school program but knew it was important. A family advocate at heart, she welcomed children with autism and their families into her home every Christmas and summer.


  • The itinerant teacher for autism, who spoke to parents as allies and equals. She calmly addressed behavior problems as understandable reactions to stressors, taking the “scary” out of erratic behavior. As I got to know her, she shared her own struggles as a teen and young adult. Watching this down-to-earth young professional gave my heart hope that kids often grow up and find their way.


  • The school psychologist who acknowledged how hard our lives must be sometimes—and shared her own struggle with her son. She was professional, compassionate and brainstormed solutions that worked in real life, not just on paper.

Please share a sentence about who and how professionals have blessed your life as you raise your child with special needs.





Pray, Show up and Trust

parenting effortsAre your parenting efforts making a significant difference? How can you know? Spoiler Alert! –You can’t know!

Parenting is just like that.  You may be working on potty training, language skills, academics, or polite behavior.  You may research the best strategies, prepare and even get teaching “props” to enhance the learning.  But sometimes your kids don’t respond in the way you want. They don’t react like your friend’s child, or like the blog-post child, and they certainly don’t meet your expectations. Then what?

A recent experience reminds me of this issue.  I traveled out of state to present a workshop to encourage parents raising their children who had disabilities. I spent weeks trying to perfect the workshop. When the day came I began by introducing myself and asking the participants to do the same.  Their introductions through me for a loop!  The room was filled with loads of teachers and only a few were parents who had special-needs children. What? I am happy to speak to teachers– but I use a different presentation. That day I was ready to talk to parents and my preparation reflected it.

What to do?  I presented my material as planned and tried to tweak it with discussion (theirs and mine) in order to meet the needs of teachers.  However, this group was quiet, leaving me uncertain about whether my attempt was successful.

This is when experience saved my day:  

It told me just to teach to the best of my ability.

It told me that the participants were here for a reason because this event had been prayed over in advance.

Experience told me that God sometimes takes us by surprise and uses us in ways we don’t expect.

As a matter of fact, at the end of the day one woman told me she attended the workshop to get continuing education credits, but that she realized she was really there for her own personal encouragement.  She gained spiritual insight she didn’t know she even needed.

You might be doing something now on behalf of your child or some other situation in your family.  You may not be seeing the results you expected.

It’s okay. Take comfort in knowing that sometimes much is happening even though you can’t see it.

As I sit here blogging in a coffee shop, I just ran into a friend who is a women’s minister.  She told me that a group of moms in her church have been using my book, Persevering Parent, in their support group, and how much it has helped them. I had no idea about this group–and it’s been in progress for six months. Good things happen that are beyond our view.

Are you unsure if your efforts are making an impact?

Take heart and know that your efforts with your children are changing them little by little in ways unseen. The situation where you see no progress may be transitioning to an outcome that just has not been revealed to you yet.

In short, over 25 years of parenting, God has repeatedly taught me to do three things:  

1) pray about situations,

2) show up, and

3) trust Him with the rest.

In what ways are you discouraged?  Are you praying about it? Showing up?  Then trust God with the outcome!

“So do not throw away your confidence: it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God you will receive what He has promised.”  Hebrews 10:35-36

Winning the Race by Stepping Off the Treadmill

Hello!  I am so thrilled to be communicating to you for the first time through this blog post.  I know your life is so busy, as is mine, and I am honored that you chose to spend a moment here. Although I claim no special knowledge that is overwhelmingly smart or worthwhile, I am continually praying that God will reveal himself to you during my blog posts. He is SO BEYOND SMART and WORTHWHILE and I hope that you are able to benefit from His words (even through this tired vessel of an ordinary mom).

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