Welcome to The Special Parent. Let me tell you a bit about why I’ve started this blog. When I started all of this I was the mom to two wonderful children, one of whom had special needs. In less than pc terms she has disabilities – or as some I know like to say, she’s “differently abled”. Since that time my youngest has been diagnosed as on the autism spectrum. It’s a very different journey than my eldest who has multiple diagnoses. Because I know you’ll be asking (or thinking about it, wishing you could ask), here’s a run down of my daughter’s diagnoses:
- Stroke (before birth)
- seizure disorders (tonic/clonic, absence, and maybe now complex)
- hemipareticdevelopmental delays (her most recent test puts her IQ at 48 overall)
- psychosis NOS
- bipolar disorder
- complex migraines
- mitral valve and tricuspid valve prolapse
- high blood pressure
- hypothyroidism (secondary to lithium usage)
- chronic pancreatitis (secondary to depakote usage)
So between both of my kids, we deal with a bit of everything, the list of specialists goes on and on. Those of you who are well into this journey of special needs parenting likely know exactly what I’m talking about, those of you just starting, will soon know. I’ve been at this parenting gig now for *yikes* just shy of 20 years. Some of these years I’m not even sure how I got through it with my own sanity intact (many would argue I haven’t). Heck there are some day and weeks even now, I am not sure I will make it though. This life is like a roller coaster ride – it has brought some of the highest highs and the lowest lows.
I will try to cover topics that range from getting into finding information for your child’s specific conditions to federal laws (IDEA, waivers, ADA, etc.) and a whole bunch of everything in between. I’d like to tell you about the books I’ve read (and they are many), the magazines I still read regularly, the resources that exist to you now and in the future. I will try to cover everything I can from early intervention to transition planning to vocational training. Some of you may need all of these topics, some only a few. It is my hope that my path will give you the breadcrumbs you need for yours.
Please understand I’m no expert – I’m a mom – not an educator, attorney or medical practitioner. All I knew a month ago was that for all the websites in my bookmarks and the books on my shelf – I struggled to find them, and more importantly I had yet to find a place that contained all this information I found helpful to me all in one place. It’s my hope that this can be that place for you. I am absolutely interested in things you’d like to hear about, information you’ve seen and think would be valuable and I am also open to guest writers! You can contact me via the contact form. Because of this I’m constantly on the search for information that can give me the ability to make the most of each of the kids different ABILITIES I hope you’ll find that the information will continue to be varied, and allow people who don’t necessarily share my exact experience glean information useful in your own journey.
My hope is that with this blog we can form a community, that this place will become a resource for information through my experiences both good and bad. I hope that the information I struggled to find and experiences I stressed out getting through will ease your journey. Take the next step with me, together the journey can only get easier.
~Kyron Arambula, The Special Parent