Two writers I admire -- Robert Rummel-Hudson on Support for Special Needs and Jen Logan on Down Wit Dat, both of whom are multiple Readers' Choice Award honorees -- have written over the past week about things that have been on my mind too, namely the impossibility of writing anything as a parent of a child with special needs these days without saying something you're not supposed to say or worrying about being part of the problem. I've been writing or blogging about special needs for almost 20 years now, and when I started out topics like grief and cures and praying for your child to be normal and seeing disability as inspirational were pretty much where it was at. While I welcome the more positive view of special needs and the opinions of self-advocates, it does also seem that parents should be able to own their personal experiences and share them honestly, even when they are hard and sad and ugly. There has to be a balance, and I don't think we've found it yet, and the pendulum has some swinging to do. But it all makes me feel like blogging the news for a while and laying off the personal experiences and opinions.
Also in the special-needs news today:
+ Lisa Jo Rudy, About.com's guide to Autism, addresses current stories about violence by parents of kids with autism with a post titled "Don't Become an 'Autism Martyr'" and articles on how to keep from being overwhelmed by your child's special needs. If you need ideas for how to walk away from stressful situations with your child, an excerpt from the book Happy Families: A Parents' Guide to the Non-Violent Resistance Approach entitled "The Principle of 'Pause and Postpone'" might be a good place to start. Other articles in my behavior index may also help you stop behaviors from escalating to a dangerous point.
+ The blog Special Happens has a post on seven ways for parents to stay involved in school, in ways that don't involve mostly doing your kids' homework for them, and that reminds me that it's time once again to nag you to go to Back to School night, if it hasn't already passed you by. And if it has, and you didn't go? You can make up for it this way. It's also the right time of the school year to think about how you can volunteer, whether on campus during the day or at a more convenient time. There's no better way to find out what's really going on, and make sure your child is included.
+ While we're on the subject of volunteering, a post on Different Dream for My Child looks at service activities for kids with special needs. If that sounds like it would take more time than your family can scrape together, consider my ideas for helping kids contribute financially to their favorite causes, in ways that can tie into rewards or behavior incentives.
+ It's Global Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week, and today's Site of the Day has information to help you learn more about it and find a way to spread the word. For more special-needs advocacy events, check my calendar listing.