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ParentMap, January 2012 Issue

  January 2012 ParentMap Issue  

This month, we take a deeper look at various kinds of special needs and disabilities that children are faced with today. What do these challenges mean for the families of children with special needs? How do typical children and families embrace their peers who may be different from them?

We're also featuring a new column this month -- "Someone you should know" -- and in keeping with this month's focus on special needs, we're hoping that you'll enjoy getting to know 21-year-old Jesse Gillman, an ambitious young adult who doesn't let his disabilities hold him back from having an ever-positive outlook on life.

As Gillman's mom Marcy puts it, "Life looks different" -- and we couldn't agree more.

Here's wishing your family a healthy and happy new year!

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Read the entire issue online, or scroll down for links and cool online-only content.


Ages & Stages:
0-3 Advancements in children's hearing loss
4-6 Learning disabilities in children
7-13 Childhood depression
14-18 Creative arts therapy for kids

Out & About: Therapeutic recreation for kids with disabilities

Someone you should know: Jesse Gillman

Feature: Parenting a child with special needs

This month's Postings
Giving Together
Green Bites
Mind + Body

About this issue

Alayne Sulkin and Jesse GillmanImportant Lessons

“That’s one of the most uncomfortable things: to know that you are extremely visible, but to be treated as if you are invisible.” —  Rachel Trindle, parent of a child with cerebral palsy

We are devoting our January issue to parenting a child with special needs. While we recognize that 85 percent of our readers may not have children with special needs, our great hope is to collectively affect and impact our community with the insights and information we’ve gathered.

We will be better role models to our kids by being overtly kind, outgoing and accepting when we observe, meet or interact with a child with special needs. We aspire to transform a potentially uncomfortable encounter to one that will be joyful and remembered by all involved. By reaching out to hear their voices, we will learn important lessons about them and about ourselves.

Yes, there are myriad resources available for families who have children with special needs — from getting kids with disabilities outdoors; to creative arts therapy that helps special-needs children explore and express their creative gifts; to world-class medical care at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

But the loud and clear message I take away from this issue is how significant your intentional act of kindness is to another parent dealing with the considerable stress and isolation of parenting a child with special needs.

This month, we say “so long” to our award-winning monthly column, “Getting School Ready,” which has delivered cutting-edge educational research and knowledge under managing editor Linda Morgan’s brilliant watch. We promise to continue offering essential education information at and, as always, throughout every issue.

A new monthly column, “Someone you should know” launches with someone I thought I knew, 21-year-old Jesse Gillman, a young adult with special needs.

Close family friends since 1996, Jesse and his siblings grew up with my kids. Our family has had the good fortune to be engaged by Jesse’s amazing vitality for life, knowledge of politics and sports and great conversation. He is an inquiring mind like few others.

But after interviewing Jesse and his mom, Marcy, I realized how little I really knew Jesse and the challenges and joys his family has experienced these last 21 years. Jesse’s mom expresses her feelings well when she discusses the kids who have been kind to Jesse: “I remember them all.”

Join me in making a New Year’s resolution to walk a better walk in another’s shoes.


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