Staci Grosser: Parenting a Child with Autism // A mom shares her story of learning her son has autism and all of the hurdles their family has had to jump in the process. // #autism #parenting #kids #specialneeds #story #inspirational

 

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An Autism Mom Shares Her Story // #autism #specialneeds #parenting #kids

When Staci Grosser gave birth to her first child 10 years ago, she was expecting a four-pound baby due to growth retardation in the womb. However, Renner’s birth weight was a full five pounds. Staci and her husband, Ainslie, were extremely relieved that their baby boy would not need a stay in the NICU and could immediately go home to their house in Franklin, Tennessee.

Renner was a gentle baby, and his parents’ only initial concern was that his mouth muscles weren’t developed enough to suck well. However, the issue was soon resolved, and Staci and her husband, Ainslie, thought everything was fine.

By the time Renner was a year old, Staci and Ainslie noticed that he wasn’t very interactive. He had no interest in playing with them. He also wasn’t doing some basic physical movements that most one-year-old children are able to do, such as pointing and clapping. Staci would take his hands and manipulate them to do the actions but, as she says,

“It’s like his brain just didn’t understand it at all.”

Continue reading “Staci Grosser: Parenting a Child with Autism”

Photo of Andrew and Kaylee Paredes: Smiling Through Life with a Cleft Lip and Palate

“There’s something we need to tell you.”

When Laura Lee Rose heard these words shortly after giving birth to her first child, she didn’t know what to expect. By her own admission, she was “out of it” after the birth, but she clearly remembers that before she saw her daughter for the first time, the nurses wanted to prepare her for something. Kaylee had been born with a cleft lip and cleft palate.

Fortunately for Kaylee’s parents, one of the nurses had a daughter with the same condition. She quickly showed Laura Lee pictures of her five-year-old’s winning smile, which allayed some of Laura Lee’s fears. So she knew it was a correctable birth defect, but she was also well aware that it would be a long road ahead for Kaylee.

So what is a cleft lip and palate? According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, “A cleft palate is an opening or split in the roof of the mouth that occurs when the tissue doesn’t fuse together during development in the womb. A cleft palate often includes a split (cleft) in the upper lip (cleft lip) but can occur without affecting the lip.”

In Kaylee’s words, “There’s basically a hole from the back of my throat up through my nose. It wasn’t closed, so there was just a big opening.”

The birth defect is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors that cannot be predicted or prevented, based on current research. Currently, most parents are aware of this condition before their child is born. However, when Kaylee was born in the 1980s, ultrasounds weren’t as sophisticated or as widespread as they are today, so her parents and doctor weren’t aware she had a cleft lip and palate until she was born.

  Continue reading “Kaylee Paredes: Smiling Through Life with a Cleft Lip and Palate”

Amy Simpson: Advocating for Mental Health

 

When Amy Simpson was four years old, her mom would often lock herself into her bedroom for hours at a time. While that’s not an ideal situation at any time, the bigger issue is that this would happen while Amy’s dad was at work and her older siblings were at school. So that left Amy and her two-year-old sister on their own.

How a Parents Mental Illness Can Affect Children // Read Amy Simpsons story to discover how kids are affected by mental illness in their home. Find tips for how to help them. // #mentalillness #mentalhealth #kids #family #parenting #kindness

More than a decade would pass before Amy’s mom was diagnosed with schizophrenia, though she’d been showing symptoms—some quite concerning—since she was in her late teens. This was the 70s, after all, and mental illness carried much more of a stigma than it does today. And it was never discussed in the church, which was a major problem because Amy’s dad was a pastor.

Amy recalls that her mom didn’t have any friends. She knew plenty of people an interacted with them on a regular basis at church, but she socially struggled, and she was very withdrawn and disengaged. She often couldn’t explain her thoughts or emotions.

In many families that have a family member with a mental illness, it’s very similar to households where someone has an addiction. Everything centers around that person. Everyone does what they can to make adaptations to protect, avoid, or keep from upsetting that person. This is what happened with Amy’s family, without anyone acknowledging it. She also can’t remember a time when things felt “right” with her mom.

“From as far back as I can remember, I lived with the conviction that I was stronger than my mom.”

“She needed my help and protection. … That awareness was always with me, but it wasn’t something that I processed. The whole family functioned that way without talking about it.”

Continue reading “Amy Simpson: Advocating for Mental Health”

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Books That Teach Kids About ForgivenessAs adults, we know forgiveness is a virtue we all need to cultivate, but we also realize it’s not easily learned. Kids often have a hard time with it (as do adults!), and they need to have forgiveness modeled to them by the people around them in order to begin to understand the need for and importance of it.

As with many things in life, kids (and adults) can also learn about forgiveness from stories—both non-fiction and fiction. Through stories, kids can observe situations where other children need to forgive, and they can learn from the ways the characters deal with those situations.

The following fiction books will help kids understand the importance of forgiveness. This isn’t an exhaustive list of books that teach forgiveness by any means, as many books deal with the theme of forgiveness in minor ways. However, these books place a primary focus on the value of forgiveness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books That Teach Kids About Forgiveness // #kids #parenting #teaching #reading #forgiveness #books #childrensbooks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books That Teach Kids About Forgiveness // #kids #parenting #teaching #reading #forgiveness #books #childrensbooks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading “Books That Teach Kids Forgiveness”

Jeanette Hanscome's story brings hope and encouragement to single parents and offers insights for the people in their lives. She also provides tips for how to be an excellent friend to single parents and how best to help their children. #singlemom #singleparent

Note: This is part two of a two-part post about Jeanette Hanscome. Click here to read part one about her early life, writing career, and how she lives a full life with a visual impairment.

Jeanette Hanscome was in a hotel room on vacation when she received the email from her husband. Subject line: “Moving.”

After 22 years of marriage, the two had been separated for a few months. Jeanette had been hoping they would be able to work through their issues, reconcile, and life would go back to normal. But it was not to be. Her husband was moving to a town four hours away from their home in Reno, and he wanted a divorce. She sat in that hotel room and thought, “Life is never going to be the same.”

She said to herself, “I’m going to be a single mom. I’m going to be divorced. And I can’t drive. How am I going to do this?” She saw the possibility of losing absolutely everything, including her writing career.

Jeanette had the perfect job for someone who is unable to drive due to vision limitations: freelance writing and editing from home. But now she might need to find a regular job in order to make enough money as a single mom. She had no idea what would be in store for her and her sons. How would she manage it? It didn’t take long to find out.

Continue reading “Jeanette Hanscome: A Suddenly Single Mom”

Note: This is part one of a two-part post about Jeanette Hanscome. Click here to read part two about Jeanette’s journey through divorce and single parenthood.

Jeanette HanscomeJeanette Hanscome was born with a vision impairment called achromatopsia, which causes complete color blindness, low vision, and extreme sensitivity to light. In her words, “We have what is called day blindness. If I go outside during the sunlight hours without my sunglasses on, everything is like a white sheet.”

You would think such symptoms would lead to an early diagnosis, right? Wrong. Jeanette wasn’t diagnosed until she was eight years old.

Up until then, her parents, teachers, and doctors were stumped. They knew she couldn’t see well, her eyes shook, and she wasn’t learning her colors. But it’s such a rare disorder (1 in 33,000 people) that it took a long time for anyone to connect the dots.

Jeanette was the first person in her school with a visual impairment, and they weren’t equipped to deal with it.

Continue reading “Jeanette Hanscome: Unlimited by Low Vision”

Life Lessons from Doctor Who

A few months ago, I noticed that an Amazon Prime app had suddenly appeared on my Apple TV. I tried to ignore it for awhile, because I didn’t need any more binge-watching in my life, but it didn’t work. I had to see what shows were on Prime that I hadn’t watched on one of the other platforms. And I ran across Doctor Who.

Science fiction has never really been my thing, but for some reason I decided to give Doctor Who a try. I’m on season 6 (of the 2005 series), and at this point I have no intention of stopping.

There are several things about the show that fascinate me. The main thing that I find interesting is the directors’/producers’ abilities to keep an audience engaged throughout a revolving cast of Doctors and other main characters.

Continue reading “Life Lesson from Doctor Who: A Revolving Cast of Characters”