One of the first things you learn as a “special needs parent” is that other families who have traveled this path ahead of you are your best sources of wisdom and support. Once you stop reeling from shock, get your bearings and figure out a thing or two, then you get to pay it forward.
Wonder Moms is a project by three moms to share real talk, helpful information, and practical advice with parents of kids who have intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, autism, language and speech delays, deafness, chronic illness, and traumatic brain injury.
Our children have different diagnoses and different challenges, but like a recent book and movie noted, they are wonders. They amaze us every day. We don’t pretend to have all the answers, but among our three families, there aren’t many issues we haven’t faced!
Meet the Moms
Miranda W. is a single mom and English teacher. Her 5-year-old son is on the autism spectrum and is more than a little obsessed with boats. Having grown up in a family that emphasized achievement and traditional education, Miranda’s parenting journey has given her a whole new perspective on how schools can and should work. She is passionate about inclusion and special education.
Christy C. is a stay-at-home mom who gives music lessons part-time. She and her husband have two kids – a 12-year-old daughter who is academically gifted and a 6-year-old son who has Down Syndrome and autism. Christy volunteers with her local Down Syndrome organization and leads a music therapy playgroup once a month.
Jackie N. is a former pediatric nurse and now a full-time homeschool educator. She and her husband have three children. Their middle child suffered a traumatic brain injury when she was 4. Now 11 years old, she is hearing impaired and uses a wheelchair. Despite her challenges, she loves teasing her 14-year-old brother and watching “My Little Pony” cartoons with her 5-year-old sister.
Our Kids’ Privacy
Before publishing this site we spent a lot of time talking about what effect it might have on our kids. None of them are old enough at this point to consent to having their names and photos published. And although we sincerely hope no one would exploit them, we live in an age where identity theft is a concern. To balance our desire to protect our children with our goal to share helpful information, we decided to just use our last initials and not show their faces. Besides that, we hope to be completely transparent about the ups and downs of special needs parenting. The truth is, there are more ups than downs. We’ve lost plenty of sleep over the years, but life is pretty good. If you’re new to the world of special needs parenting, welcome to the club! You’re in good company.