I wrote something for Yahoo! Voices titled “5 Things to Know About Parents of Children with Special Needs” two years ago. I ended the article with suggesting friends and family help these exhausted and overwhelmed parents out by bringing them coffee and a muffin. Versions of the piece were published in regional parenting magazines across the U.S.
Then I was brought to tears (the good kind!) when a sweet note and Starbucks gift card arrived in the mail with instructions for me to go pick out my muffin.
You see, I wrote the article from personal experience. I’m the exhausted, overwhelmed parent of a child with special mental health needs.
I got an email last week from someone asking if they could read my article in Washington DC.
“Today I am in Washington DC as part of a panel to discuss topics about technology and how legislators can embrace innovative ideas and tools to help people with special needs and their families. A key construct of my talking points calls out the time it takes to process applications and other reporting and the toll that it takes on families in the form of delays and additional workload for parents and caregivers. I plan on reading your post “5 Things to know about parents with special needs kids” to emphasize this point. If you agree I would also like to give you credit for the letter you wrote. If you do not feel comfortable with me naming names I won’t, but I want to assure you I will read your letter verbatim and will not attempt to distort or manipulate your message. I am here in DC to get people to listen and work toward a better tomorrow.
(I am the CIO of an organization called Tri-Counties Regional Center based on Santa Barbara, Calif. We are a private non-profit, part of the CA Department of Developmental Services and provide services and supports for people with developmental disabilities. We serve 13,000 people on the central coast of CA with Cerebral Palsy, Developmental delays, epilepsy, and Autism and associated conditions.)
Please let me know if it is ok to give credit to your letter publicly.”