Monday, October 26, 2015

Thriving in Adulthood

Since this blog is a clearinghouse for all things special and struggling, I wanted to share this article I ran across today about helping our atypical children thrive as they enter adulthood.  Here's the link!


If you find other helpful information on this topic, please forward it to me! (Thank you!)


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

NEWS - Success Story of a Boy with Autism

As an intro to this article, many loving friends send me articles and news items about autism, since we have an autistic son.  I would love for you to send me similar items that span the spectrum for special needs and struggling students!  Please email me at

Here is the first paragraph of the article, to pique your interest.  :)

(NaturalNews) When the experts told Kristine Barnett of Indiana that her two-year-old son would probably never be able to read or even tie his shoes due to his severe case of autism, the brave mother of three decided to take matters into her own hands. And as a result, she helped nurture the young boy into the genius he is today, defying all odds and proving that the government-run education system as we currently know it is a complete failure.

Read the full article here.

Monday, March 31, 2014

NEWS - Unique Talents of Autistic People Sought by Employer

This article was published last year, but bears hopeful news of bright futures for some special needs adults.

The German software company, SAP, says it hopes to recruit hundreds of people with autism, saying they have a unique talent for information technology.

Click here to read the entire article.

The article is mentioned here in another online article.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Homeopathy and Autism

A friend forwarded a post to me recently regarding using homeopathy to help those with autism.  I cannot vouch for the "Scriptur-ality" of this blog; however, its explanation and information regarding homeopathy may be one avenue to explore as you work with your autistic child.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Autism, Aspergers, and Sports

For many on the autism spectrum, rhythm and repetitive motion are key issues.  They tend to soothe the brain and offer comfort.  While some perseverative behaviors are not desired, certain rhythm and motion can be helpful, especially those that accompany various sports.

My son Jacob met Josh Davis in 2012 at Western Illinois University, where they both attend college.  They shared a homeschool connection, and something else.  Jacob's brother is autistic.  Josh has Asperger's.  Through conversation with Josh, Jacob learned that sports, namely swimming, played an integral part of Josh's positive social and academic development.

Josh was featured in an article in in 2008.  Here is the link:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Families Conference -- October 13, 2012


Empowerment for Families

A "Families Conference" presented by Special Olympics

October 13, 2012.  Held at DoubleTree Hotel & Conference Center in Downers Grove, 8:00am-5:00pm.

Special Olympics is excited to present this opportunity to reach families with members who have intellectual disabilities and give them an opportunity to network and learn about great programs available to them. Professional speakers from a variety of fields such as health and nutrition, financial planning, transitioning, government benefits, and employment will provide to families advice and programs to make everyday tasks easier.

Special Olympics is a non-profit organization designed to give children and adults with intellectual disabilities an opportunity to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.

If you are at all interested, please feel free to contact the following:

Karen Milligan:
Makenzie Meier

You may also reach us by phone if it is easier, (309) 888-2551.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Just Starting Out?

What is a Special Need?

A special need is anything from struggles in academics to a learning disability, ADHD, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Tourette Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and everything in between.

Things to Remember

Your child was created by God, and is precious to Him.  Your child is a gift to you from the Lord.  The Bible calls your child a reward!

Pray, pray, pray.  Pray about the little things as well as the big ones.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!  For example, if you encounter a doctor/therapist hostile to your desire to homeschool, find another doctor.  If one way of potty training doesn't work, try a different approach.  If your child throws fits with one curriculum, use a different one or put it aside, give it some time, and try again later.

Network.  I can't tell you how important it is to network with others who are homeschooling special needs children!  You may find someone who can recommend a therapist, or a great curriculum that works for your child, or someone with whom you can share struggles and be encouraged.  Most importantly, you will find friends!

Things that Have Worked for us

Love.  Love your child as much as he will let you!  Hug him, wrestle with him, sing to him, tickle him.  Tell him how much you love him, how much Jesus loves him--it's okay to smother him with love!  He is God's precious gift to you!

Research.  Find out everything you can about your child's special challenge(s).  Visit your local library, explore the Internet, ask questions of knowledgeable people (your doctor, therapist, veteran homeschool mom, etc.).  Become your child's expert, because no one else will!

Read.  Read, as much as you can, as often as you can, to your child.  I read to my son whenever my baby was nursing.  My son learned to sight read, just by knowing by heart the words on each page.  Reading will improve his listening skills and attention skills, and also provide snuggle time!

Involve.  Involve the rest of the family, when possible.  Teach your other children how to love your special child, and how to help him.  Teach them that not only are they previous, but their brother/sister is also precious to you and to the Lord.  Involve your other children with any therapy or other work; help them to understand that the family works as a team, and sometimes one team member needs more attention/help than the others.

Yourself.  Take time for yourself.  This is not selfish advice!  First, you need to have time with just you and the Lord, to receive His refreshment and strength for the job He has given you.  Second, you need time just to yourself, even if it's 15 minutes snatched her or there.  I like to retreat to my bedroom right after lunch and work a crossword puzzle or read a book for a little bit.  Then, I'm ready to hit the trail running, with energy for the rest of the day.

Others.  The first others is family members.  Take time with other members in your family--especially your spouse, and then other children.  If possible, find a babysitter and take a walk or go for coffee with your spouse.  Your marriage and family will be strengthened.  The second others is your support team--friends, extended family, families in your homeschool support group.  Help these people understand your situation; involve them when you can.

Help.  Please don't be afraid to ask for help!  This is so hard for Christians, but it shouldn't be.  It is okay to feel overwhelmed!!  The Lord tells us to minister to our brothers and sisters, but so many times we can't because we don't know when they have a need.  How will they know your need unless you share it?

Finally, rest in the Lord, and know that He has your path laid out.  He will not forsake you; He will guide you and carry you, and give you blessings beyond measure!