Special Family: Secrets to School Success

Each afternoon when I pick up my daughter from school, I get a peek into a world that is all hers. Ellie, 2, was born with Down syndrome and just this summer she started walking, eating by mouth and wowing us with new words she speaks every day — all things she has worked toward…

Extraordinary: A Typical Day in a Special Life of Lila Morrow

Young artisan Lila used one of her favorite therapy projects to begin her first business before most kids even think about starting elementary school. Introduce us to Lila.Lila is a vibrant and active 7-year-old girl who has Down syndrome. The moment she was born, our lives changed forever. We knew Lila would have Down syndrome…

Colleges Work to Empower Special Students

All parents worry about the future — no matter if the child is typically developing or not. Knowing that attending school and learning alongside peers is an option means every child has the opportunity to follow any dream. When I learned my daughter would be born with special needs, I started my research with parents…

Special Assurance in Unusual Times

If you are like me, you have exhausted all of Pinterest looking for sensory-friendly, educational activities while at home social distancing. Whether or not your kids are back in school this fall, parenting during the pandemic is hard. This is new territory; every decision seems impossible and there is even more added for us to…

Better than Bad

I took Ellie to meet her new teacher and to visit her new classroom. Her new year of school starts on Monday. She has been at home with me since March. Other than teletherapy to keep up with OT, PT and ST, she really hasn’t had a lot of connection with school. She was excited…

Change is hard.

This week marked the end of an era of sorts for Ellie. It is the official end of her school year and on Monday, she starts in her new classroom with her new teacher and therapists. I already knew that each year she would move to a different classroom with a new teacher, but I…

Ensuring Special Needs are Met

When my daughter Ellie was born with Down syndrome and two heart defects, we were lost on where to start to get her insured. As any parent of a child with special needs knows all too well, dealing with insurance is frustrating. The rules are confusing and ever-changing making sorting through it all a full-time…

How to Have It All

I am rewatching one of my favorite television shows, Parenthood, for the third time. I don’t remember the last time I watched it, but I do know that didn’t have any kids and I wasn’t married then.   This time, it was a reality check to learn in the first episode that one of the…

On the Front Line of Special Needs

When our daughter was born we were expecting Down syndrome and heart defects, but as time went on, we learned more about her and global delays, hypothyroidism, ear and eye concerns and lung disease. After telling her nurse that I didn’t want anyone else to come in our room because I couldn’t handle another diagnosis,…

A Special Father’s Day

Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a daddy. This framed cross-stitch quote hung over the couch in my parents’ living room for years. My mom made it for my dad for his first Father’s Day. This cross-stitch wisdom got me thinking: if anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a daddy, then what does it take to be a daddy to a child with special needs?