Their Words, My Thoughts {Recommended Reads}

I frequently come across, or have friends share with me, articles or books that others have written that speak to my heart. I often read them and think, "Yes, that's how I feel too!" or "I really needed that!"  While I may not always agree with everything the author says (or the words that they use) and/or some of it may not necessarily apply to our family, I want to share these articles and books because of the insight they provide into what is going on in the hearts, minds, and lives of many parents who have children with special needs. There is no stereotypical "special needs family," we are all unique, but there is something about being on "the road less traveled" in this parenting journey that connects us in spite of our many differences.  



Articles (arranged by topic)

Grief & Suffering
Toward a Fellowship with Suffering
The Unique Grief of Special Needs Parents by Sheri Dacon
When God Feels Abusive by Barb Dittrich
When Grieving the Loss of a Child, "Feeling is Healing" by Caresa Alexander
When Healing Takes Time by John Starke
Where to Find God When God is Silent by Kelly Langston
Will God Ever Give Us More Than We Can Handle? by John Piper

Say/Do This, Not That 
5 "Helpful" Responses to My Child's Complex Issues that Don't Help by Danielle Myers
5 Things to Not Say to Grieving Parents by Stacey Skrysak
8 Dos and Don'ts for Friends and Family of Children with Special Needs by Marybeth Mitcham
10 Hurtful Comments from Relatives about Your Child with Special Needs by Karen Wang
10 Things Not to Say to a Mom of a Chronically Ill Child by Lexi Behrndt
34 Things to Say to Someone Who's Just Received Devastating News by Melissa McGlensey
The Foolproof Guide to Loving Our Special Needs Family by Beth Craver
How Not to Minister to the Hurting by Joe McKeever
How to Encourage a Special Needs Mom When You Aren't One
To My Loved Ones Who Want to Help Me Feel a Little Less Lonely by Nicole Feeney
What Goes through My Head when You Say, "All Kids Do That" by Elizabeth W. Barnes

Siblings of Children with Special Needs 
{We hope and pray someday we will be able to add to our family via adoption.}
3 Things We Need from Parents as Siblings of Kids with Special Needs by Elaina Marchenko
10 Ways to Give Attention to a Sibling of a Child with Special Needs by Karen Wang
What's Needed by Siblings of Special-Needs Children by Linda Carlson

School/Special Education
A Prayer for Special Needs Moms at the Start of the School Year by Joanna Blanchard
To the Teachers of the Little Ones with Special Needs by Mandy Farmer

Special Needs (or Disability) Ministry
How to Do Special Needs Ministry in a Small Church by Sheri Dacon
Simply the Right Thing to Do by Shannon Dingle

This is My Life {Thoughts, Feelings, Reflections and Rants from Special Needs Parents}
10 Things You Should Know about Having a Child with Complex Medical Needs by Marty Barnes
10 Must-Dos for Moms of Kids with Special Needs by Penny Williams
20 Things every Parent of Kids with Special Needs Should Hear by Dr. Darla Clayton, PsyD
23 Unique Lessons Parents of Children with Special Needs Have Learned by Melissa McGlensey
Are We Too Sensitive as Special Needs Parents? by Cassie McLelland
Everything Does Not Happen for a Reason by Jaime Flamand
"I'm Ashamed to be Jealous:" A Special-Needs Dad by Mike Cook
I'm Jealous of You by Lexi Sweatpants
The Importance of Self-Care for Special Needs Parents by Sandra Peoples
It's Hard to Tell when Special-Needs Parents are "Drowning" by Tina Szymczak
The Note Many Special Needs Parents Have in Their Back Pocket by Lori Burke
To My Fellow Parents, From a Sometimes Sensitive Special Needs Parent by Kelsey Rindels
To the Parent Hosting Your Child's Party, From a Special Needs Mom by Sharon Randall
What I Never Imagined about Raising a Child with Special Needs by Jeff Davidson
When I Make Casual Conversations Awkward as a Special Needs Mom by Lisa Treleaven
When You Feel Like an Outsider at a Baby Shower by Tessa Prebble
When Your Medically Complex Child is Never Really "Out of the Woods" by Brandis Goodman
When You Parent Differently Because Your Child is Medically Fragile by Katie Paulson
When You're in Between Being a Special Needs Mom and a 'Typical' Mom by Ali Cummins

Miscellaneous 
Every Star is Different: To Grandparents of Special Needs Children
An Open Letter to Those Who Bully People with Special Needs by Kerry Magro