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 Maria Spencer

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to speak to many types of groups—many of them with an audience of primarily women and/or moms. I have had a question come up repeatedly from mothers of typically developing children that I feel is so very valuable and the subject needs to be brought to the surface. Many women have asked me, “When my child sees a child that is differenty-abled,

by Tulika Prasad

The holiday season is the season of cheer and miracles and the most likely of places to find miracles is in the least likely of places. So guess where we found Santa… At the pool !!! It was the weekly swimming lesson we were at. This was an indoor pool of a hotel on a weekday and like most weeks, we were not expecting anyone in there.We walked in and

by Jessica Ebersole

I wrote the following poem after the Talent show night at our Joni and Friends family retreat during my internship at Spruce Lake. Family Retreat is a time for families with special needs to come and be refreshed from the daily grind of life with a disability. I had the opportunity to share this poem with the other two talent shows at the following weeks of retreat. Lights, Camera, Action!

by Tulika Prasad

With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to think about gifts and when it comes to buying gifts for a child who has autism, it can get really challenging trying to figure out the best options. If they are obsessively interested in something , chances are that all the gifts they get end up being only a particular kind. If they do not really have much of an interest in

By Mary Ellen Bogucki

PART TWO

Recently, while attending the Special Olympics World Tennis Invitational in Santo Domingo, I took notice of the theme on the back of many t-shirts–“Stand Up For Inclusion!” I realized how important the Inclusion Revolution movement truly is and I recognized the time is now to STAND UP for inclusion! I understood this because there was a video that went viral showing

By Mary Ellen Bogucki

PART ONE

A few months ago, I wrote about the “Inclusion Revolution” and the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary celebration. While we were at the 50th celebration, my daughter Bree had the great honor of meeting Cándida Montilla de Medina, the First Lady of the Dominican Republic. We also had the privilege of hearing the First Lady, who is

by Maxine Rosaler

When I was looking for schools for my son twenty years ago, private special education schools were the only schools equipped to give autistic children anywhere near the kind of help they needed. The competition for these schools was very stiff: it was not usual to find out that there were fifty applicants for every spot. And if a parent was lucky enough to have her child accepted at one

by Tulika Prasad

We all know how difficult it is for a differently abled individual to navigate the world with its prejudices. There is much to be desired when it comes to acceptance and inclusions. It often makes me nervous thinking about what kind of a world will my son find himself in when he grows up and when I might not be around to be his eyes , ears, and voice.

by Carey Handley

Several years ago, when I was in counseling for depression, my therapist asked when the last time was I went away with the girls for the weekend. My very clever response was to look at her blankly and say, “Uh…never. It’s never crossed my mind.” She returned the blank look and, speaking with disbelief, told me it was about time I did exactly that. Later that night, as I was

by Lisa Blumberg

On Friday March 23, 2018, when Janice, the pet therapy lady, came with a languid dog whose name evades me, I could still take some steps if I leaned my full weight on my walker. My internist had just told me that my MRI indicated that the progressive weakness in my extremities was being caused by upper spinal cord compression from cervical stenosis. This totally surprised me. I was having