Exceptional Blog is a collaboration of blogs written by our amazing community. Please visit throughout the week to read posts for you by people who can relate with you. We have been fortunate enough to partner with a diverse group of people who may not all be professional writers but they all have fantastic stories to tell.

by Jim Turk

Remember in the Empire Strikes Back when Luke decides to use his harpoon to tie up the legs of those evil walking robot things to slow them down? He didn’t “defeat” them but he DID save the rebel force. It was a real breakthrough. …And the other day I had one of my own. Now, I’m no Jedi Master (even though I sometimes think of myself as one –

by Lynne Pearson

When Leila was four years old she must have decided that one younger brother simply was not enough and so she confidently asked me to provide her with a set of twin siblings, a boy and a girl. I smiled at my young daughter in the knowledge that Nick and I were hoping to have a third child and said,  “I’ll see what I can do.”. A few

by Colleen Berlingieri

I was in a bookstore the other day when I saw the title of a book that almost made me snort latte out of my nose.  It was called Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl To The Mall?   by Dr. Anthony E. Wolf PhD. This title is a perfect description of my current reality with my son.

Skills vs. Swagger


By Mary Ellen Bogucki

I believe friendship can be a difficult concept to maneuver for anyone, but in the special needs and Autism community there are times it may seem impossible. From the moment my daughter, Bree, was born, she had an instant friend in that of her sister, Kailey. Kailey was 2 ½ years older than Bree and was already a “little mother” in the body of a toddler. Kailey

by Patty Shukla 

In my more than 20 years as a children’s educational music professional, I have found that one question gets asked over and over again. “Miss Patty, do autistic children love music as much as your other students do?” Yes. The fact is that nearly all children have an inherent love of learning about and making music. From singing to dancing to playing musical instruments, kids of every description and

by Colleen Berlingieri

I first met Rachael at a bowling alley.  She is a support worker for people with disabilities and she was there with a client. At the time, I was looking for someone to work with my son and Rachael was highly recommended. Acquaintances told me that she was a safe driver, filled out paperwork on time and was very engaged with her clients. She sounded perfect, so I walked over to


Rare Disease 101

Rare Disease Day is an international awareness campaign that takes place on the last day of February each year. It is the one day the world comes together to recognize people with rare diseases with the goal of raising awareness among the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases. The global theme for Rare Disease Day 2018 is patients and research. For patients, their families and caregivers, getting up to

by LisaMarie Bernardo

You might be wondering what exactly a life coach is and what they do and how they can help parents of children with disabilities. A life coach can help parents — especially parents who are raising children with disabilities — take care of themselves while taking care of their family. Parents are usually thinking and putting their child’s needs first, putting themselves and their needs last. By constantly putting their

By Mary Ellen Bogucki

When I think of my daughter’s journey with Autism, I can think of many different analogies. One is the game of Jenga. There’s a tower missing a few blocks, but it’s still standing strong. Then in swoops a person who may remove a strategy, a modification or just strike a verbal blow that makes the tower sway and lose its footing. Oh…but it still balances without fully

by Lynne Pearson

Edward, our autistic son, used to go from 0 to 60 pretty much instantly when he became angry. He’d seem fine and then he’d suddenly blow. Big time. Tension and Frustration spilling out in crashing tidal waves no matter who we were with or where we were. It was nigh on impossible to talk him down once he’d blown up like this. The best tactic was to stay