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 Meikele “Lee” Needles

I dreamed of being a mom. I wanted to be a good mom like my mother. Happy, gentle, and supportive of me just as I was…but would do whatever needed to protect my baby. What a premonition of my future! And I had no idea what was in store. I met, married and we started our Family in Helena, Montana. Our first Daughter was normally active and even advanced in

My name is Jess Paciello, and I am 21 years old. I guess that makes me a millennial (yikes!), but I am not too fond of millennial culture. Anyone that knows me knows that I love my quiet time alone (you can probably find me binging on Netflix), casual wine nights IN, I am so terrified of setting foot in clubs or big bar scenes, I have strong negative views of “hook up” culture, and

by Carey Handley

I remember the day we were told our daughter would never drive, would never live alone, would never reach many of the milestones most children will. And then there was the day she stood beside us in court as the judge declared her permanently disabled and granted us Guardianship. I listened as the judge asked her questions, some of which had to be rephrased so she could understand them. On

by Tulika Prasad

Autism is a complex diagnosis. It’s a spectrum so it makes it all the more difficult to put it within the boundaries of a set of characteristics. As they say, every autistic individual has very unique traits and since it’s not a physical disability , sometimes autism is simply considered to be the result of bad parenting or a set of behavior anomalies that a person might

by Maxine Rosaler

I really can’t say what bewildered me more–the callousness with which the people at the school district responded to my requests for them to help my autistic son, or the occasional encounters with kindness I had along the way. My first encounter with kindness occurred during my son’s second week in kindergarten at a special needs school: The principal had called to tell me that she didn’t think

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by Lynne Pearson 

We didn’t do a lot of birthday parties for Edward when he was younger as we pretty soon got the idea that he didn’t enjoy them.

At his 5th birthday party we had invited a few friends round (mainly the children of our friends). We had organised some games and  all the kids, with the exception of Edward, loved playing them. Whilst the games went on Edward

by Amala Mani

This post is for someone who is looking for a motivation today.. Recently I’m seeing lots of parents busy in social network groups. Thanks to our technology that we have thousands of such support groups. I feel that the purpose of such groups should be something like, helping parents find suitable resources in there residential city and maybe for some push and suggestions when struck. For e.g., I want

by Carey Handley, 2018

I recently read an article concerning the isolation that Special Needs parents often feel. It was an intensely personal look at the part of being a Special Needs parent that no one thinks about and, although I could have written it word for word, I didn’t. That’s not to say I don’t have many thoughts on the subject, only that I haven’t shared many of them in

by Nicole Kolenda

As a Speech Language Pathologist with a specialization in Speech Sound Disorders, I am constantly teaching and thinking (and speaking!) about clear speech production.  On the path to clear, adult speech, all children will have a learning curve.   Think about the 12-month-old saying “ba-ba” for bottle or the 18th month old saying “ca” for cat.  We have all heard a 2-year old’s “wed” substituted for “red” as well as

by Shandra Umazar

Almost 29 years ago, my husband, Islah and I sat in the conference room at a big long table. We were on one side and the Genetic doctors were on the other. We sat quietly as the doctors told us all the things Islah would never do. What stuck out most in my mind was telling us that she would never be able to live alone. I remember how hard