I call myself an ability hacker because I strive to create solutions that encourage my daughter to grow stronger and build new skills. I am always on the lookout for interesting solutions developed by others as well.
A few years ago, I found myself unexpectedly thrown off kilter when we received news that my daughter would be born with Myelomeningocele (more commonly known at Spina Bifida). I was 20 weeks pregnant, and the next 18 and a half weeks were a roller coaster of emotions, filled with loads of research, prenatal testing, and planning.
Once my daughter arrived, well… I was in love! Her being here also let me move from worry mode into action mode, and being active… even proactive… made me feel a ton more positive. However, I often find that what I want for her either doesn’t exist, or is REALLY costly. As a result, I get creative. I use inexpensive, everyday materials and throw in a helping of can-do spirit to give her the tools she needs to thrive. Sometimes things work. Sometimes they don’t. This is my space to share ideas and creations (that have worked) with you.
I’ve also found that it can be quite challenging to figure out the every day life side of things. What I mean by this is navigating topics like how to communicate with doctors & caregivers about my child’s needs, how to advocate for my child, how to explain my child’s differences to others (and to her), and how to navigate systems like education (IEPs, 504s) and government programs. Sometimes the “hacks” I write about fall more into this space by sharing solutions that have worked well for me.
I hope you stick around, read a bit, and let me know what you think! I would love to see you subscribe via email (you can subscribe in the right menu bar; on mobile, it’ below the text… keep scrolling). It’s nice to meet you!
Note: Every solution won’t work or be safe for every child, so please always partner closely with your child’s doctors and therapists if you decide to try out some of these ideas!