Recap-Abilities Expo

Well I made it….. To The Abilities Expo

by the skin of my teeth

It has been a hard three weeks around our homestead.  We have been battling two different bugs with each child taking a turn then swapping what they have with the next.

Thank God for my husband, he is a trooper! He told me he could handle the sick kiddos and that I should go ahead and go to the Expo.

What a great guy!

So how was the Expo you ask?  Here is a breakdown of the Pros and Cons


  • It was close and it only took hours away from family time, not days
  • Made some great connections with other special marathon parents
  • Got to check out some new products


  • For an Expo that was in a large metropolitan city it didn’t have many vendors 
  • No workshops were being held the day we attended, why not hold workshops everyday? repeat them if need be

Overall, I would go again.  Meeting the people was the best part for me.  There are so many of us out there trying to make things better for special needs children.

Did you go to an Expo?  What did you think?

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The Sparkle Effect on Feel Good Friday

This is the day of the week when the post is a “feel good” piece about our community.

It could be a personal story of inspiration.  

A kudos for a job well done by a community or organization.

Basically, it makes you feel good and who doesn’t like to start their weekend feeling good. right.

Today’s story is near and dear to my heart.  It’s about cheerleading.

In 2008 a couple of cheerleaders decided to form a squad which included children with special needs. This inclusive squad they named the Sparkles.


The Sparkles cheer right along side the varsity cheerleaders at highschool sporting events. 

Isn’t that what we want for our kiddos. 

To be included and have everyday kid experiences like playing T-Ball or being a cheerleader.

No one could have dreamed what happened next.  Other cheerleaders heard about the program and wanted to form Sparkle squads of their own.  So was born the Sparkle Effect, A non-profit organization to support Sparkle squads that have cropped up all over the country.

All this from just a couple of young ladies that wanted to include others that were different from themselves.

Click here for information on how to start a Sparkle Squad in your area.

Yes, I was a cheerleader in high school.  I really think I just found my calling as an encourager early in life.

If you would like to share a story for Feel Good Fridays click the contact link.  I would love to share your Feel Good Friday Story with everyone here at The Special Marathon.

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Abilities Expo 2011

Ever wonder what products are out there that can help your child with __________ fill in the blank

mobility, sensory challenges, communication

Well visit an Abilities Expo!

This will be the first year I am going and I’m very excited!

As you can see Expos are held across the country.  Los Angeles is first and the one that I am attending.  So I’ll let you know how it goes.  I’ll be blogging about it when I return.

I’m going to be car pooling with some other special needs parents.  The hours that it takes for us to get there I’m sure will turn into a support group meeting.

It’s time like this when you build relationships.

Gather the best information.  Most of the time it’s information you didn’t even know you needed.

I hope you will ask a another special marathon mom to the Expo nearest you and not only find out about great products and services for your child…

but most importantly build a friendship, build support.

Have you ever been to an Expo? Are you planning on going with a another mom?

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Ultimate Blog Party 2011

I’m a total  rookie… a greenhorn when it comes to blogging. But even though I’m a newbie

I am so enjoying it.

This forum of self-expression, exchange of ideas and passing of information is amazing
especially in the area of encouragement for special needs parents.

You may be the only parent in the state to a child with Williams Syndrome or some other rare condition.

Never crossing paths with anyone who can understand your struggles or rejoice with you in your victories but online you can connect daily with people who “get it”.

So how do you connect with others online? How do you find blogs with topics your interested in?

One of the best ways is the Ultimate Blog Party 2011. It’s an online party where thousands of bloggers link-up. The blogs are listed by category for you to browse freely and there are prizes!

The Ultimate Blog Party is hosted by  The party is from April 1st – 8th but the links will stay up after April 8th, so if you are running across this post after the party is over you can still go back and peruse the listings.

How do you connect online? What are some your favorite blogs?

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Sleep, Wonderful Sleep

Something unexpected has happened for my son… sleep, wonderful sleep!  I’m not sure if it is just exhaustion from physically moving his body during our Brain Highways reorganization sessions or if we are already seeing the benefits of the program.  Either way we’ll take it!

I have spoken with parents many times about sleep issues with special needs kiddos.  This is something very common for them.  I once spoke with a mom that took her son to Dolphin therapy and she said that when her son finished the two-week session he slept for up to  20 hours a day for almost a month.  Waking only to eat and use the restroom.  Another time when I asked at a gathering of parents what I could do to help my son sleep through the night (at the time he was only staying asleep for a few hours at a time with 45 minutes breaks in between)  a mother suggested a dog.  She explained that her daughter never slept through the night until she got her a service dog.  They allowed her to sleep with her dog and she stopped waking up at night.

Now am I saying that Dolphin therapy is great for help with sleep or get a service dog and your problems are sloved…no. I’m just commenting on what I was told.

Why is sleep so important?

Scientists believe that when we sleep our brains still remain active.  The brain uses this time to sort through memories and process the information.

So if the brain is not given this time to process (or it is not able to) it won’t be able to build the pathways needed develop.

Have you faced sleep challenges? How have you dealt with them?

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Starting Out

Whenever we as parents start out on something new with our children be it a biomedical treatment, behavioral program or just a social activity it can create many different emotions within us such as fear, excitement, anxiety, hope or doubt.   I find I have all of these emotions at the same time.

Fear, am I doing the right thing?

Excitement, let’s get started!

Anxiety, what if I took the wrong approach?

Hope, this could be really good.

Doubt, it will never work for my child.

It was no different starting this new program with BrainHighways.  I had all of those emotions and more.  I have already felt highs and shed some tears.  Welcome to week 1.

Is starting something new with your child hard for you?  How do you handle it?

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The Climb

The BrainHighways folks explained that in the beginning it might be a bit different for a subgroup.  The second I read that word subgroup I knew we would be a part of it… and we were.

This subgroup may experience a steeper initial climb on the road to brain organization.

Well I have two choices give up now or…

…strap on my climbing harness, look for good hand holds and begin what I know is going to be a vertical ascent to just get to the start of the road to brain organization.  Does anyone know how to use a carabiner?

What has been your vertical ascent?  How did you face the challenge?

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