The Best of the Rest of the Web: Awkward Dances, Heroes, & Reasons for Rejecting Medicine

A selection of thought-provoking, laugh-inducing, or just plain interesting thoughts from the web and the world of parenting and special parenting as published in Special Parent magazine, spring 2012.

“I’d be lying if I said we didn’t have long-term concerns about [our son’s] college prospects, or for that matter his likelihood of finding a partner in life given his horrendous table manners and his intense preoccupation with NFL football stats on any given Sunday, Monday, or any other day of the week.”—Marni Goltsman, NYC mom to Brooks, who has autism, in a blog post entitled “Tiny Moments that Change Your Life” on; Goltsman is also the founder of a retail website that automatically donates to a charity of your choice, (options include The Brooklyn Autism Center and American Red Cross)

the danceTHE DANCE
“Forming partnerships between professionals and parents with children of special needs is like learning a new dance. At first both ‘dancers’ are often awkward and do not glide together gracefully across the floor. Each partner seems to be listening to different music and moving to different steps. Each seems to have different hopes, expectations, needs, and constraints. Toes—and feelings—get stepped on. The real dance of partnership occurs when all partners listen to each other’s music, try out each other’s dance steps, and work toward a new dance that involves the contributions of all partners.”—Janice Fialka, MSW, ACSW, a national trainer, presenter, and advocate on issues related to disability, is a mother of two children who both also speak nationally and write about disability issues. Micah, who has a cognitive impairment, has been in inclusive education, and Janice draws on her experiences as both a parent and an experienced social worker on her site

most common reasons for rejecting medication:

17% side effects of drugs

17% school feels should wait to see if the child improves before medication

13% I don't beleive in medication

10% I didn't like what I read or heard about medication

10% I felt my child would be stigmatized

—findings from “2011 National Children’s Mental Health Report Card,” a national survey of 1,000 parents with children aged 2-24 that investigated parents’ awareness of and concerns about psychiatric and learning issues in their children, commissioned by The Child Mind Institute; find the complete report at

“ ‘I’m stronger than a crappy piece of bread,’ I shouted.”
—the fictional narrator, 16-year-old Lauren Stafford, who’s struggling to find her place in the world, dealing with rejection, self-esteem issues, and most debilitating, an eating disorder, in “Before I Disappear” by Barbara Herding (Bookstand Publishing)


(that's 1 percent of the population)


“Howie has had over 20 different surgeries.... Every time he has to go through another surgery my husband and I hold him and cry because of the pain he has to go through. When we are crying for him, he touches our faces and looks into our eyes as if to comfort us....He has taught us so much more than we can teach him.”—Cynthia Rubino, a Corma, Long Island-based speech language pathologist and mother of five, including Howard, now 12 years old, who Rubino adopted at 4, in her new book “Heroes Come in All Sizes” (

down syndrome diagnosis story
"THE EASE WITH which we settled into a therapy schedule was just a small testament to the greater settling that eventually happened in our minds...about the time Nella was five months old...I had to remind myself that she had Down syndrome...because I was beginning to forget.” —Kelle Hampton, mother of two girls, in her new memoir “Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected” (Harper Collins), in which she takes readers on a wondrous journey through her daughter Nella’s first year of life, from the moment the family’s pediatrician confirmed Nella has Down syndrome; Hampton is also the author of the blog Enjoying the Small Things (