About Us

We’re a team of parents and educators who know the joys and challenges of caring for children with disabilities.

A dad reads to his little girl, who is sitting on his lap.

If you are a parent or a teacher to children with disabilities, you know it can feel impossible to find, understand, and navigate the resources they need. And relationships between families and schools so often become tense and difficult. We’ve been there. And we’re here to make it easier for you. Read our Founder’s story.

Our Mission

We support families and educators of children with disabilities so our kids can thrive.

Our Vision

We envision a world where families and educators of children with disabilities work in true partnership, supported by systems that create pathways for all children to reach their full potential.

What We Do

We help families and schools work together to support children with disabilities.

Families are stressed and trying to navigate a confusing maze of services and school resources for their children.

Teachers and school systems are juggling a lot of demands and trying to meet compliance requirements.

Families and schools all have the children’s best interests at heart, but disagreements and mistrust can arise.

It doesn’t have to be this hard.

At Exceptional Lives, we know that building trust and strong relationships between families and schools is the key to helping our kids thrive. And these relationships make teachers’ jobs easier and families’ lives better.

We offer training, tools, and resources to help schools and families work together to get your children and students what they need.

We help you find community resources and services specific to your child’s needs.

We answer your questions, big and small. Call us, text, email, or reach out through Chat!

We use plain language so you don’t have to wade through technical jargon. 

We are mobile-friendly so you can access our resources when and where you want them.

We create our resources so you can access them the way you like best. Listen to a podcast, watch a video, or read on your phone.


At Exceptional Lives, we know our children thrive when they have what they need. We’re here to help you make it happen.

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Exceptional Lives Founder Anne Punzak Marcus with her son Robbie

Our Founder’s Story

The day my husband and I received our child’s diagnosis of cerebral palsy remains imprinted in my memory. As the neurologist’s words echoed in the room on that hot, steamy summer day, I held my seven-month-old son in my arms.

A surge of fear washed over me, not unlike the sensation of a rapidly descending elevator. Seeking guidance, we asked the doctor what to do next.

The doctor’s advice: “Buy a book and Google cerebral palsy; there are a lot of services out there.”

Well-intentioned as it was, this advice left us more puzzled than before. A Google search on “cerebral palsy” led to more bewilderment than clarity. My job afforded me little time for personal calls, and the online information I found was often outdated, filled with acronyms, and frequently confusing and condescending.

Despite the challenges, we were fortunate to have some wonderful educators and therapists who collaborated with us throughout my son’s early development. Their collaboration and open communication made a significant difference in his progress. This experience showed me the power of strong partnerships between families and school districts.

This intensely personal struggle, coupled with the positive impact of those relationships, motivated me to build Exceptional Lives. I wanted an organization that made it easier for families to get the resources and support their children needed while also fostering stronger connections between families and school districts.

Today, Exceptional Lives is a testament to the dedicated team behind it. Many of us are parents of children with disabilities, and some of us are disabled ourselves. We use our own experiences as fuel to make your experience easier and better because we know you love your children as much as we love ours.