Everything No One Tells You About Parenting a Disabled Child

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Having grown up with a sibling (my twin brother, to be exact) who has autism was one of the biggest things that ever happened to my family. In the 80’s and 90’s, there weren’t that many resources available for parents who had kids with disabilities. My parents did the best that they could in raising us, but there were a lot of struggles. Now that I’m a mother myself, I can only imagine all of the days and nights they worried about my brother and his future as they looked for therapies and support.

My brother has been a major blessing in our lives, and I believe he has taught us more than we have taught him. Thankfully, our world has progressed and is doing a lot more for disabled people and their families. Today’s guest even wrote a book about parenting a disabled child and what parents need to know. I’m excited for you to listen to this episode. In my opinion, it’s not just for parents who have disabled children. This episode is something everyone should listen to.

Who is Kelley Coleman?

Kelley Coleman is a feature film development executive turned author who is active in the disability advocacy community. She serves on committees for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Unified School District, and Canine Companions. Her book Everything No One Tells You About Parenting a Disabled Child: Your Guide to the Essential Systems, Services, and Supports stems from her own parenting experience, giving parents the tools to spend less time navigating the stuff and more time loving their kids exactly as they are.

Kelley is a mom to two amazing boys, one of whom has multiple disabilities (including a yet-undiagnosed genetic syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, CVI, epilepsy, and more). She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two boys, and her son’s service dog.

What Did We Discuss?

In this episode, we’re chatting with Kelley Coleman about everything you need to know about parenting a disabled child. As I mentioned, having a twin brother with autism, this topic is very near and dear to my heart, and it was a great conversation. Here are several of the questions that we covered:

  • What have you learned from your journey as a parent of a child with disabilities? What has surprised you the most?
  • What advice would you give to parents starting their journey of parenting a disabled child?
  • What’s it like parenting one child who has disabilities and one child who does not?
  • Am I even supposed to use the word “disabled”? I know that there are so many terms to consider, and I want to ensure we’re speaking appropriately.
  • What has made the biggest difference in your parenting journey? What can others learn from it?
  • What would you say to parents who are afraid of pursuing a diagnosis for their child or who are afraid of the possibility that their child might be disabled?
  • Do all parents have the same access to the same systems, supports, and services for their children? How can parents begin the process of navigating these systems to get their children the support that they need?
  • What do parents of disabled children wish that other parents knew?
Everything NoOne Tells You About Parenting A Disabled Child book cover

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Kelley’s Resources

Thank you for listening to this episode! Follow us on our podcast Instagram page @thebabychickchat, and let us know what you think and if there are any other topics you’d like us to cover. Cheers to navigating your unique parenting journey!

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