My name is Elise and I am a wife, mother, aunt, friend, daughter, advocate, driver, speech therapist, tutor and generally, all around busy, like most women I know. I am fortunate that my primary job is wife and mother. I am fortunate because like so many other people, I have two beautiful, healthy daughters. S is 12. She is smart, kind, outgoing, personable, responsible and very special in more ways than I can write. K is 10. She is smart, kind, loving, personable, working on being responsible, and she is also special - extra special. K is diagnosed with learning disabilities and a speech/language disorder. I could and have called her "special needs." It is accurate, but I prefer to call her extra-special. All of her challenges make her the person that she is and to me that just makes her extra-special. K is the reason I have things to share on a blog. Our journey together has been up, down, sideways, backwards, forwards, and filled with learning opportunities.
I do want to make something clear - I am not an expert on learning disabilities, speech issues, IEPs, or anything else that may come up as a topic in this blog. Nor do I think that I am of such great importance that I should be able to sit on my mountaintop and dispense words of wisdom as though everyone should listen. I am a mom who has learned something along the way. While there are tons of resources available for parents on a similar journey (and I plan to share those, too), sometimes it is hard to find them or figure out which direction to go. Sometimes, those resources focus exclusively on the extra-special child without addressing what happens to the rest of the family. Things I have learned along the way become easier to share now that some time has passed and I have the perspective of hindsight. My hope is that this blog becomes something of a community of sharing for people who just want to chat about life with their extra-special kids.