Make Today Amazing

     The title for this post is perfect for this girl because she has an amazing personality. I did not have her in my class but know her mom. She brings the sunshine to all who are lucky enough to meet her. She loves to make cards and is thoughtful and kind. I chose this title for the blog because she is a reminder to all, that children with special needs bring so much joy to everyone’s world. I originally met this girl at a Night to Shine Event. This wonderful prom is a yearly event by the Tim Tebow Foundation,  and seeing her smile so big and be so happy to be celebrated was a feeling beyond compare. Her mom is a friend of mine and she has always done a great job of keeping her daughter involved in activities, like Special Olympics, swimming, and other family activities.


Q: What is one thing you wish teachers knew about your child that is not on the IEP?
A: I wish teachers could have seen my child in the comfort of her home. To watch the dynamics between her and her siblings. To learn how she managed day-to-day living in her “safe” place.

Q: Scores on tests do not define the child. What is something your child is really good at that is not
reflected on tests?
A: My daughter’s memory of birth dates and wedding dates is unbelievable but it has to be someone she cares deeply about.

Q: How important is homework for your child? Is it just a burden, or is it a helpful learning tool?
A: I am teetering with this question. Her siblings did homework every night and I feel reinforcement of newly learned skills is an important aspect of the learning process but I also know that my daughter with autism is exhausted after a stressful day at school and sometimes extracurricular activities are more beneficial to her well-being.

Q: How old was your child when you first knew he/she had special needs?
A: From 6 months I suspected, we were enrolled in Mom and Tot classes and even then she would not make eye contact and her gross motor skills were delayed. At 18 months an x-ray revealed that her corpus callosum was uneven resulting in cognitive irregularities.

Q: What is one piece of advice you have for someone who has a newly diagnosed child?
A: Hang in there, I know it is heartbreaking at first but as the years go by you will realize that you wouldn’t want your child any other way.

Q: What is one meal that everyone in your family likes to eat?
A: Pizza

Q: What advice do you have for interacting with children with special needs?
A: Special needs children have strengths, once you recognize the strengths, welcome the opportunity for them to practice them.

Q: What activities do you recommend to other parents to foster self-care?
A: Sleep, nutritional meals, and time alone to exercise.

Q: Are there any support groups that you recommend for parents or children?
A: We participate in Special Olympics and YouthAbility at the JFSA. Integrated Community has many social opportunities.

Q: What are your favorite family activities?
A: Anything in the water, boating, swimming parks, making homemade greeting cards, board game nights, walks in the park, and getting together with extended family.


     One of the great things this mom said was that children with special needs have strengths and once you recognize them, welcome the opportunity for them to practice them. If you find yourself in a conversation with a person with special needs, take the time to really hear what that person has to say. You will be surprised at the insights they may share, or the perspective that may be different than your own. Make today amazing by reaching out to make someone else’s day by giving a compliment, a smile, or a friendly listening ear.