What does a peanut have to do with special needs parenting?

When tackling a herculean task, the people I work with will sometimes say “we just need to push the peanut forward.” I know, it’s a strange phrase, but I love the concept. What the saying means is that when a challenge is overwhelmingly large, and it feels like ultimate success may not ever be achieved, we should focus […]

6 Tips for Having a Sensory Friendly 4th of July

My daughter tends to be sensitive to loud noises, so I was looking for tips on how to help her handle some of the more ear-piercing 4th of July festivities. I came across this great article that outlines 6 tips for having a sensory friendly 4th of July. The author covers tips for preparing your child […]

How to “Hack” Shoes for AFOs #2: A Coat of Armor to Extend Shoe Life

As my girl has gotten stronger and more capable with her walker, she has also gotten more creative with her walking. The recommended “heel-toe” walking gait (which I’m pulling my hair out trying to get her back to) just seems to frustrate her because it’s not getting her where she wants to go fast enough. […]

3 Lessons I learned about bravely asking bold questions

One of the tasks I found the most difficult when I was pregnant with my daughter was calling a daycare center to inquire about her attending. I simply could NOT make myself pick up the phone and dial. I delayed… and delayed… and delayed. At that time, it felt like the many pieces of me were […]

Supercharged Hand Therapy… Constraint!

The absolute BEST thing we’ve ever done for Lily’s left hand is constraint therapy. When I first heard the details of the program, it scared me a bit, and made me feel like a meanie to consider doing it to my child. However, when I thought about it in the context of eye patching, which […]

5 ways to build hand strength and fine motor skills with everyday objects and activities

When my daughter passed the 6 month mark, I noticed that she kept her left hand in a fist most of the time. All the reading I did told me we should be concerned, so my insides kept knotting up as I obsessively watched her to determine whether her actions were typical or atypical. A few weeks later, […]

A simple fix for helping kids clear their place at the table

One of the things I feel very strongly about is that kids with limited mobility should be required to do as much as possible for themselves. This past week, I was trying to figure out how I could enable Lily to clear her own place at the table when I remembered a microwave cart we used to use for […]

Medical Supply Hack: Stand up antiseptic wipes with a simple package fold (keep them sterile)

Now that we are three and a half years into being parents of a child with extra needs, medical procedures are a normal part of our daily routine. At first, however, they seemed overwhelming. Many things contributed to moving these medical tasks from the “OMG how am I ever going to do this?” column to the “It’s […]

Spring opens the door to playing outside – find an accessible playground near you!

This past weekend I sat outside under the bright sun and spring flowers, and drew pictures on the sidewalk with my kids. There is something magical about playing outside in the bright warmth after a long, gray, cold winter. I can’t seem to soak up enough of the sun. When I think about fun outdoor spring […]

How to “Hack” Cute Shoes for AFOs #1: Remove the Tongue

One of the most frustrating things about having a child who wears AFOs is how hard it is to find shoes to fit. My daughter started wearing AFOs at 3 months old. For the first year, she simply did not wear shoes. However, when she started pulling to stand I knew I needed to tackle the […]

Carrying an Easter Basket for Kids Who Use Walkers

Last week I posted about 8 Fun Easter Hacks for Kids with Varying Abilities. Since then, I found another one! During an Easter egg hunt, children using walkers can carry their own Easter basket by using a Think King Hook. We use the Think King hooks on our strollers for holding all sorts of things, including hanging […]

Eight Fun Easter “Hacks” for Kids with a Variety of Abilities

Easter egg hunts and traditional egg coloring can be a challenge for kids with differing abilities. However, with a few tweaks, there are many ways to include kids with a variety of ability levels in the fun. Challenges:  Wheelchairs & walkers: Difficult to navigate grassy terrain, and often can’t easily bend down and pick up eggs. Blind or low vision: Can’t locate eggs […]

When has a story changed you?

Disability is a subject on which it is difficult to get people to engage. No one dreams of or hopes for disability to affect their life, so it’s logical that when the subject comes up people have the tendency to shy away or change the subject. It’s simply an uncomfortable topic when you aren’t neck deep in […]

ReelAbilities Cincy: “If you shovel the ramp, we can ALL get in!”

On Tuesday, I attended the LivABLE Luncheon as part of the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival. This session featured a short film called The Commute  about a man’s attempt to travel across New York City in his wheelchair. The film was followed by a group discussion about solving the everyday challenges facing people with disabilities as […]

ReelAbilities Cincy: FIXED lit my brain & heart on fire

This afternoon I helped host the film FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement at the Cincinnati Museum Center as part of the ReelAbilities Film Festival. The film questions commonly held beliefs about disability and normalcy by exploring technologies that promise to change our bodies and minds forever. The story is told primarily through the perspectives of […]

Tripped up by good intentions and imperfect visions

Being a parent to a child with a disability can be a very humbling experience. Last year about this time, one of my biggest worries was getting Lily set up in a “big girl” bedroom before our new baby arrived in April. We hit road block after road block getting this seemingly simple task accomplished. My […]

3 Reasons Why You Should Never Underestimate My Child

My daughter recently aged out of our state’s early intervention program. As a result, she now attends preschool at our local elementary school, getting physical and occupational therapy as part of her school day. The initial process of qualifying for therapy and establishing her IEP was overwhelming and confusing. However, once we got past that […]

Building your “Medical Gut”

A few years ago, soon after starting a new job, I was asked to answer an important business question by a senior leader in the organization. The problem: I didn’t have the right data on hand to answer the question because the report had not yet arrived from the supplier. My manager nonchalantly told me, “Just go with your gut. What does it tell you?” […]