One of the most challenging things about raising a child with special needs is feeling as though you’re completely alone. Even if friends and family are supportive and well-meaning, they don’t know what it’s like to walk that proverbial mile in your shoes. Chances are, they won’t be able to offer you the advice and guidance you’re looking for, or cannot relate to the obstacles you must face along your parenthood path. Fortunately, there are a variety of blogs created by parents just like you and by parents just like you, who can offer insight, tips, and support for parents of children with any and all abilities.
1. Day by Day with Developmental Delays
This blog is authored by the mother of a young boy with Autism who also has developmental delays, hypotonia, microcephaly, and a brain disorder. Through her posts, she shares her story of raising her son, the challenges they’ve faced, and the victories they’ve enjoyed throughout their struggle. One of the main aims of the blog is to help other parents “not feel alone”, and to help “them to get answers on how to help their child.“
A collaborative blog that features the stories, advice, and opinions of many different parents raising kids with special needs. The contributors are coping with issues ranging from physical, psychological, and emotional issues to neurological and genetic disorders. The blog also features posts from medical professionals in the hopes that it can offer parents the support and information they need to thrive and “provide some relief.”
An online community of bloggers who offer wisdom, advice, and stories, and laughs about raising kids with special needs. The primary goal of the site is to give parents a place where they can share information and insight about coping with the ups and downs of special needs parenting.
This blog is run by the mother of a 23 year old with autism and offers a unique glimpse into their life. Since it centers around her adult child, it’s a great resource for parents of older children, or those who are looking for the guidance and wisdom that only years worth of experience can usually provide.
This blog began back in 2008 and has since been featured on CNN.com, Today.com, The New York Times’ blog, AOL online, and The Daily Mail. It’s also been featured in a variety of magazines, including Redbook, Real Simple, and Parents. According to the site, the blog is about “kids with special needs who kick butt”, and Max’s mom shares her experiences, trials, tribulations, and joys of raising an awesome boy with different abilities.
This blog features a wealth of resources, literature recommendations, and posts that discuss current topics and offer advice for special needs parents. It’s intended for parents of intellectually or physically disabled children, as well as those who are dealing with terminal illnesses. The site’s main goal is to give parents with a place where they can receive support and guidance, so that they need not feel alone and can connect with those who “get it”.
A blog moderated by a mother living in India, who serves at an organization that cares for abandoned children with disabilities. She is also a foster mother to 11 children, all with special needs, and the blog shares experiences and stories to inform, uplift, and give hope to other special needs parents.
This site is run by Charlie’s mom. Charlie was a preemie who spent three months in the NICU. It shares their life adventures, developmental delays, challenges, and milestones that they face in words, pictures, and videos.
9. Have Wheelchair will Travel
This is an amazing blog for parents who have travel plans. It talks about the planning behind a trip with kids with disabilities, spots that are wheelchair friendly, and tips for how to get the most out of your adventures as a family. It’s written by a mom whose son has Cerebral Palsy, and the information you’ll find there has been gathered from years worth of travelling experience and research.
This blog was created by the mother of a little girl who suffers from a rare genetic syndrome known as Cornelia de Lange syndrome. The posts are a collection of stories, observations, experiences, and advice for living with a child who has special needs. The main aim of the blog, according to the site, is to: “Help other parents and carers just starting out on their own journey to see that there can actually be life after ‘diagnosis’”.
These blogs, written by parents who “get it”, are great resources that can not only provide you with the insight and support that you are looking for, but help you to feel connected to other parents who are walking along a similar path.
Do you read (or write!) any great blogs you’d like to add to the list?
Dani Gillman is Cofounder and Head of Marketing at Birdhouse– a Detroit-based startup empowering parents raising children with special needs to learn more about their children through a behavior journaling app for iPhone, Android and the web. She’s also mom to a 10 year old daughter (who happens to have Autism) and a 1 year old son (who has yet to appreciate the value of naps).