Accelerated: “Jennifer”
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Our daughter, Jennifer, was born on December 6, 1980, in San Diego, California at 12:45 a.m., with complications. She had swallowed her meconium while she was inside the birth canal, cutting off her oxygen. She, therefore, had an Apgar score of 1 (10 is perfect), and had to be placed in an “isolette” and taken to Children’s Hospital where she … Read More

Autism Spectrum: “Gregge” A Whole New Life
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Gregge Sandusky I would like to introduce myself to you. My name is Gregge and I’m 13 years old (1999) with Autism. When I was around 2 years old I became weird acting. Something began to change in me according to my parents. I became a stranger to my family and had a lot of symptoms such as I quit … Read More

Elliot Payne
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by Sunette Payne, as told to Iliana Clift Elliot was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), which means that the left side of his heart, the side that receives oxygen-rich blood from the lungs and pumps it out to the body, was severely underdeveloped. In addition to this very severe heart defect, he also had a restricted atrial septum, … Read More

Autism Spectrum Marcus: Ten Years Later
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as told to Iliana Clift Years ago I hung a quote by the Roman orator Cicero on Marcus’s bulletin board that said, “The greater the difficulty…the greater the glory.” This quote describes our journey with Marcus quite well. When we first started the NACD program, he hardly had any speech at all. He was extremely sensitive to sounds and textures, … Read More

No Limits: Luke
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by Janine Little, as told to Iliana Clift It breaks my heart to say it, but before we started the NACD program Luke was like a wild animal. He dashed here and there, climbed on tables and cabinets, jumped off and started all over again. He rocked precariously on the seat and back of a recliner while watching television, lined … Read More

Kaitlyn: Just Getting Started
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Kaitlyn was eleven years old when she stumbled upon a book I was reading. She brought it to me and, as if she had just discovered a brand new planet, she exclaimed with a sparkle in her voice, “Mom, these kids are like me!” My heart skipped a beat— she was obviously ready to learn that the children in the … Read More

Attention Deficit Disorder: “Joshua”
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As told to Iliana Clift by Joshua’s Mom When Joshua was five and the time that he should start kindergarten was fast approaching, I agonized over placing him in a formal school setting. He was very active and did not like to sit still. He would not sit down to eat, but preferred to stand at the table, practically running … Read More

Sonya
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by Sue McFerren, as told to Iliana Clift I knew the risks of having a child in my 40s, and I intended to love and care for every child God blessed us with, no matter what. Still, when Sonya was born with Down syndrome I was stunned. Recognizing that having a special needs child in our family would dramatically change … Read More

Trevor Jones
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by Natani Jones, as told to Iliana Clift Now what? After a month in ICU and three months in a rehab facility, my son was finally home. Not having another option, my husband, riddled with guilt, went to work; I stayed home to care for Trevor—all alone, young, and inexperienced. I longed for my own mother, who lived a world … Read More

There’s No Place Like a Home-Based Business
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by Mary Beth Franzen Here we go again. One would think I would be used to this by now, but I guess I’m not. The current “career consultant” for my daughter, Rebecca, isn’t going to work out. Time to go back up the chain of command and re-think this process…again. More red tape, more time wasted, more waiting for other … Read More

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