women stressed with chalk drawing

I held his hand as the anesthesiologist put a small mask over his mouth and nose, and I watched him fall asleep. I squeezed his shoulder and kissed his cheek as his eyes lost focus and gently closed. After four days of GI, my oldest son, Jack, was “under” for his colonoscopy and endoscopy.

Children playing in woods

This week, we received a secondary diagnosis for my son. It’s been a very hot week. It’s the end of the school year. He’s going through a growth spurt. Is everyone getting enough sleep? I think there’s too much sugar in our diets. We should probably cut back on screentime. Physical play is always good.

Doctor consults a young couple

When our son Jack developed a mysterious illness in November of last year, our world turned upside down. Our once funny, vibrant, energetic boy could hardly get out of bed. Within a few short weeks, he was no longer able to attend school or participate in activities he had once loved. Over the course of the past six months,

Colorful cogs and wheels

I learned early in my career as a child development therapist that the parent is the expert about their child. When a child and parent came into my office for visual spatial/cognitive therapy, or when I went to homes to provide DIR/Floortime, I thought about this parent-as-expert concept. I’ve always been drawn to supporting parents and the parent-child relationship.

The Parent/Professional Advocacy League (PPAL) is a statewide, grassroots family organization that advocates for improved access to mental health services for children, youth, and their families. Please join them for a day of connecting, learning, and sharing with families and professionals from across Massachusetts.

Child holding road map

In November 2016, our oldest son became very ill. His symptoms were physical at first, starting with his gastrointestinal system. Within a month, he was experiencing neuropsychiatric episodes. Within two months, his condition was so severe he was no longer able to attend school.

Children sliding down purple slide

But, I just poured my coffee.  

You know that feeling when you pour that first cup of hot coffee in the morning? The mug warming your hands while you breathe in the rich aroma and gently ease into your day.

No, you don’t remember that? That’s probably because you’re a parent.

Child in hospital bed

As I mentioned in this recent post, giving time to your special needs child’s siblings each day is important. But what happens when emergency strikes? How do you balance time with each of your children when a hospitalization or medical emergency comes into play?

Older sister with younger sister with Down syndrom

The following is a message from the Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Newton, MA: Sibshops reflect a belief that our communities need to acknowledge the difficulties faced by siblings of children with special needs (medical, developmental, cognitive, mental, physical) and provide them with opportunities to connect with each other just as many parents of children with special needs have benefited from sharing their experiences with each other.

YMCA logo

Join the North Suburban YMCA and Exceptional Lives for a special Pilot Training Session. Parents and professionals will join YMCA staff to learn more about Exceptional Lives’ free, easy-to-use Guides and Resource Directory, as well as how to connect to resources in their local area.

Thursday, May 4 (7:00-8:30pm)