Connecting with other parents is a great way to feel less alone and more connected. And if you’re the parent of a child with special needs, the internet can be an amazing tool for finding other parents sharing your special journey. Here's a roundup of some of the best blogs for special needs parents.
Recently, I spoke to the mother of an adult child with Down syndrome. Even though this woman is old enough to be my own mother, we bonded over our shared experience of raising a child with special needs. I mentioned that I blog about my son, and she said, "I wish that had been around when my daughter was young. It would have helped me a lot."
Blogging is probably the best thing I do for myself. Through my blog, I've made connections with other parents, found answers to tough questions, and gained the support I can't always find in real life. The second best thing I do for myself is reading blogs written by other parents of kids with special needs. And because I'm a giver -- it's just my nature -- I'm sharing some of my favorites with you.
Top 10 blogs for parents of kids with special needs
1. Hopeful Parents
At Hopeful Parents, you'll find "grassroots support for parents of kids with special needs." And incredible group of parents share their stories, which will have you laughing and crying and nodding along in recognition. You'll also find a great community, and an open invitation to join in the conversation.
2. 5 Minutes for Special Needs
Part of the 5 Minutes for Mom family, 5 Minutes for Special Needs offers "support, insight, and inspiration." It's another collaborative blog, with distinct voices and stories that will remind you of your own, and at the same time drive home how unique each family is.
3. Support for Special Needs
That theme -- playing on our shared stories, rather than our differences -- is at the heart of Support for Special Needs. "We have more in common than separates us," say the site's founders.
4. Parenting Isn't Pretty
Parenting Isn't Pretty is the personal blog of Terri Mauro, About.com Guide for Special Needs and author of the fantastic 50 Ways to Support Your Child's Special Education. Terry and her husband are the proud parents of two teenagers adopted from Russia as young children. As she says, "Life is… interesting." Is it ever!
5. MOM - Not Otherwise Specified
When a woman titles her blog MOM - Not Otherwise Specified, you know you've found a keeper. If you're going to raise a child with special needs, you're going to need a sense of humor, and you're going to need to be an advocate. MOM-NOS is an advocate extraordinare -- and she does it with grace and style.
6. Love That Max
Speaking of grace and style, few bloggers have as much as Ellen Seidman over at Love That Max. She is also all about commitment -- when the woman says she blogs daily, she isn't kidding. Every morning, I look forward to reading her post with my first cup of coffee.
7. Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid
Months ago, I heard about a book called Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid. Um, YES! And they have a BLOG, too? Sign. Me. Up. Sure, it's sporadic, but that's all part of the imperfect philosophy. It's intentional. And funny.
8. Fighting Monsters With Rubber Swords
If you want to read posts while pumping your fist in the air and cheering and then posting your own entry that just links over and says, Yeah, ditto -- then go read Robert Rummel-Hudson's Fighting Monsters With Rubber Swords. Also, be sure to get yourself a copy of Rob's book, Schuyler's Monster. And a box of tissues, while you're at it.
9. Winter Ramblings
Another amazing author, Judy Winter -- who wrote Breakthrough Parenting for Children With Special Needs -- shares her thoughts at Winter Ramblings. Judy is a woman of incredible courage: she finds the strength to get up every morning even though her son passed away seven years ago, at age 12.
Wrightslaw is an amazing resource for parents of kids with special needs. If you want your child to get what he or she deserves from your city, state, and school district, this site is the place to go. And the blog is full of informative -- and interesting -- posts.
Obviously, in a list of 10 blogs, we've overlooked a few. So what are your favorites? Share in the comments!
Hear from parents of special needs children
Shut up about your perfect kid
It seems that today more than ever our society is obsessed with perfection; especially when it comes to our children. Two mothers and sisters introduce The Movement of Imperfection which highlights the humor of raising imperfect children in a perfection crazed society.