How to Advocate for Children of All Abilities with Author of The Lucky Few!

How to Advocate for Children of All Abilities with Author of The Lucky Few!

*This post contains affiliate links. When you click on these links there is no extra cost for you.
 Advocate for Children of All Abilities

How to Advocate for Children with All Abilities with an Interview from Heather Avis

Life is such a precious gift and every day I like to be reminded of the positives that we can experience every day. We just need to take the time to reflect and seek out positives in each situation. These past weeks I was so thankful that I came across a book that I feel I was meant to read. I actually listen to my books through my Audible app and I love it! When listening to the book The Lucky Few: Finding God's Best in the Most Unlikely Places, I was moved by Heather's experiences and loved how open she was with sharing her life with all of us. She writes with such honesty and talks about how God influenced her journey. She talks about how she felt that she had the plan of becoming a mom with biological children, but how we can never know what the future with hold for us, but we can learn from these experiences and learn to love the process and end result. I love how Heather has been such a huge advocate for children of special needs.
Heather is an amazing advocator for children of all abilities. I love how she talks how every child has unique abilities and we need to cherish every child's unique and amazing abilities and personalties. Every child is a gift from God. Heather has an amazing website and you can follow her HERE.
After finishing Heather's book I decided I needed to reach out to her and let her know how much positive influence she had on me while listening to her story. I wanted to share this amazing story with others as well. I wanted to understand her perspective on the questions below to help our family, but our followers as well. Below are the questions I asked Heather and her direct response back to me.

4 Questions with an Exclusive Interview with Heather Avis

 

1. Why did you decide to share your personal story with the world through this book?

The honest answer, become someone asked if I'd like to! Beyond that I recognize I could have said no, but I knew there was a time in my life I needed to hear a story like the one God was playing out in my life and so it has been an honor to get to share my story with the world.

 2. What advice would you give to families with children with special needs?

Every family's situation is so different and there are so many details with each family it is difficult to give “blanket” advice. Because I am raising children with Down syndrome, I have a better understanding about Down syndrome than I do other different abilities. When I talk with families who have a child with Down syndrome my biggest piece of advice is to find the fine and blurry line between allowing your child with Down syndrome to be exactly who God created him/her to be, and pushing your child to be their best (via OT, PT, Oral Motor Therapy, ST, etc.). So often I meet families who are feeling immense amounts of pressure to make their baby/child more like typical babies/children. I believe that should never be the goal. Our kids with Down syndrome have so much to offer the world just as they are. So as we pursue all the therapy and tutoring etc, we need to make sure we are doing it so our child can be the best version of themselves, not “less Down syndrome.” 

3. What are some of your favorite activities to do as a family?

This past year we've had annual passes to Disneyland and we LOVE to go to Disneyland. We go at least a couple times a month, it's a blast. We also love to go to the beach or the park. Our weekly family movie nights are a favorite with the kids. We order take out food and get to eat dinner while watching a movie. None of us are homebodies so we love a good adventure.

 

4. What are some ways that we can be better advocators for our children (or if we don't have children with special needs how can we advocate for this population)?

We need to insist that the people around us see our kids as “perfect” just as they are. We need to be insisting that our schools and churches and communities etc. create the spaces our kids need to be the best versions of themselves. This can be hard work depending on what part of the country you live in. For us, we work closely with our IEP team helping them see the worth of our kids. I make sure to develop good relationships with the other kids and parents at the schools, setting up playdates, etc. We put our kids in local dance classes and gymnastics classes. We go into every situation assuming our child is competent and expect those around them to assume the same. If you do not have a loved one with different abilities I think it's important to be intentional in developing relationships with the people in your community who are different than you. If your child does not have anyone in their classroom who is differently abled go to your district and administration and let them know this is unacceptable. Recognize how much we have to learn from people with different abilities and how our world is better off is we are doing life side by side.

 

Heather, thank you so much for opening up and sharing your story of your life experiences! You are such an inspiration and I hope to have the ability to touch others lives in a way that you are able to reach out to others in your book. I would highly recommend this book if you are a family that is going through some struggles or some hard decisions, especially if you are dealing with infertility or thinking about adoption in your family. Heather is a wonderful person to look up to and I cannot say enough great things about her book and the person that she is!

Here is the link to purchase the book: The Lucky Few: Finding God's Best in the Most Unlikely Places

Please let me know if you have read this book or if you are going to read it in the comments below!

Are you someone needing to find support and encouragement with other special needs families? Read about the 24 Amazing Online Support Groups and Blogs for Special Needs Families where you can get FREE access to these groups and blogs!

 

24 Amazing Online Support Groups and Blogs for Special Needs Families

24 Amazing Online Support Groups and Blogs for Special Needs Families

24 Online Support Groups and Blogs Special Needs Families

Life Can Feel Lonely Sometimes…

There are times in our lives when we feel like we are alone or nobody else has to go through this, why do I? Sometimes we can go through life feeling sad, mad, happy, excited, stressed, or (fill in any emotion). I feel like when we have a child with special needs our highs can be really high and our lows can be really low. Living in rural Iowa it can be difficult to find families who are in similar situations as us who we can talk to and relate experiences with. Not only just for special needs situations, but since my mother has started to homeschool, that has been hard for her to find other families around us who are also home schooling. Just this last year is when we have discovered support through online groups whether it be through Facebook groups or following blogs.

Facebook Groups

Our family has found these various Facebook groups about general special needs, groups about Autism, groups about sensory needs, groups about homeschooling, and then miscellaneous groups. We were even able to find a local group around our rural town and a special needs group in Iowa! It has been wonderful to be able to reach out to other families going through similar situations as us who we can relate to and ask questions of!

Blogs

Since starting this blogging journey for my brother I have constantly searching for other bloggers, especially people who blog about their journey with special needs. It gives us the sense that we are not alone. By having all of these groups and experiences we are able to grow more as a family and be able to think outside of the box to figure out ways to help my brother as best as we can. We just want to feel accepted and want to do what is best for our family.

If you are someone that is struggling or feeling alone in this world we invite you to download these tables to be able to join an online group or follow a blog that hopefully you can relate to in the hopes of bringing you hope and happiness. Whether you are a fly on the wall or you want to reach out to others and form friendships these groups can be an amazing resource for you! Here is a preview of what you will get when you click the link down below!


Life doesn't have to be lonely…we can make the choice to reach out to others whether it be for help or just to listen. Our family is here to listen as well. If you would like to join our Facebook group, where you can be apart of an uplifting and positive group of people for support and encouragement for whatever stage of life you are, download the FREE resources below! This blog is meant to uplift and inspire and bring people together. We hope to continue to provide you with valuable resources!

Is there a group or blog you would like us to add?

We know there are so many more online support groups and blogs out there, we cannot find them all ourselves. If you would like to add a group to our compiled list please fill out this FORM HERE and we will gladly continue to update our groups to be able to reach as many people and populations as possible!

Let us know in the comments below if you like the groups!

Take care,

Sara

How I Started a Blog for my Brother with Autism

How I Started a Blog for my Brother with Autism

*This post contains affiliate links, when you click on these links there is no extra cost to you. I will make a small commission that will greatly help our family.

How I Started A Blog for Brother with Autism

As the oldest sibling of my family I feel that I have a responsibility to look out for my brother and sister who are younger than me. I always want to make sure they are taken care of especially if something were to ever happen to our parents. This past year has been full of lots of changes for me personally. I started a new job, moved to a new city, and have taken on this role of a new online adventure with starting this blog as a family. My brother is 14 years old right now and this year we have been thinking as a family about his transition into adulthood. No one ever knows what the future will hold for them, (I had no idea I would be changing jobs or moving this year), but we take it step by step and learn as we go through the process. So, as a family, we are going to take it step by step and learn as we go for my brother.

My brother is currently homeschooled by my mother who is a special education teacher. I feel so blessed to have been raised by a mother who has always been able to see the best in people and helped to bring out their unique abilities to help them grow to their highest potential. She has shown me that every person has amazing talents and abilities and we need to always show kindness and respect to every one. I am so grateful that my mother has been able to help my brother learn skills and abilities through a nurturing environment that works well for him in our home. Every child is unique and every situation is different for every family. I am just thankful we found a solution that works well for our family. Throughout this blogging experience we will share what works well for our family, but we realize and understand this may not be what is best for your family, but hopefully we will be able to share insight that can help your family in a positive light.

Well, now you are probably wondering why are you creating this blog with your brother with Autism in mind? The purpose for our family with this blog is to be able to create an online home business for our family with the option to allow my brother to help contribute when he is ready or wanting to be able to have an option to make an income as he transitions into adulthood. Once I started doing some research of my own and realizing how blogs can make money and thought to myself this would be an amazing option for my brother whether he would want to join me or I can learn the skills and teach him to where he can start and sustain his own blog when he is older. I am someone who loves to learn and I have loved getting to learn the online blogging world, (even though it can be frustrating teaching myself a new skill). We live in a small town in Iowa and we have no idea if my brother will be able to live totally independent or if he will need family for support. We just want to do what we feel is best for our family and create something where we know he will have the ability to thrive. We know that he loves working on the computer and does well in a one on one environment. These are reasons why we feel that blogging can be a great opportunity for him and our family.

How did I start to teach myself the blogging world?

Around October of 2016 I started to think hard about ways I could help my brother with his future and I started searching online for ideas. I am someone that loves Pinterest and Facebook. I started looking on Pinterest and I noticed there seemed to be a lot of pins that I was drawn to about making money online and I have always been a big dreamer with wanting to start something that was my own to be able leave a bigger impact on this world. I have known that I am someone that is wanting to figure out ways to help other people. I started clicking on those pins and finding blogs that I liked to follow and read about how they were making money. I would think to myself how are they doing it and why can't I figure out how to make money blogging? That was when the inner drive and start of my journey began. During this time was when I had just started my new job so I was on over drive with learning new things, and the blog was put on the back burner. I was constantly thinking about how I could start this though.

Around January 2017 was when came across an amazing resource!! This resource was so incredible because it was designed for first time bloggers where the author laid out a solid foundation to start a blog step by step. Her course was laid out in a simple, but professional way that I could understand with step by step videos of the exact steps you needed to take to start a blog. She was able to help me see my dream, but also create my dream.

What is this amazing step by step blog course? It is called Blog By Number Course by Suzi Whitford from Start A Mom Blog. I cannot say enough positive things about Suzi and her amazing course!! She is such an inspiration and has been so helpful along my own blogging journey. She responds to every email and question that I have for her and she is a super busy women. She has two kiddos and is pregnant with her third! She has grown her own blog from making $0 to $53,765 in ONE year!!! Wow that is amazing work and she knows what she is taking about! She is such a sweet person and truly cares about each and every one of her followers! She takes your hand and walks you step by step through each process. I would HIGHLY recommend anyone that is new to the blogging world who is just starting out or if you are someone that wants to learn how to make money with a blog take Suzi's Blog by Number Course!!


After making a connection with Suzi through her course, blog and email list I had Suzi's total trust and believed in every resource that she offered. Why this is such an amazing course you might ask? The course is so SIMPLE! She lays out everything step by step so you know exactly how to complete each step of the course! It is the perfect course for someone just starting out or even newer in the blogging world that just needs help and guidance on the next steps.

 

Just take a look at this preview picture of the course and all of the amazing resources you will get when you enroll!! She also takes amazing personal stock photos that she gives you to use in your first blog! She is so generous and has an amazing heart! She is someone that truly cares about each and every one of her followers!

 

 

 

She walks you through choosing your nice, getting your domain name and web hosting, figuring out the theme of you blog, creating a content schedule for your blog posts, how to promote your blog, how to monetize it, and also how to create amazing images that you can use on Pinterest to help promote your blog! She does it all and I cannot have asked for a more amazing resource for just starting out. I am so incredibly thankful that we crossed paths at this time in my life!  Here are just some of the things you will find in her ebook and online course!

One thing that I LOVE about Suzi is that she is transparent about the fact that it takes time and effort to make money blogging. It is NOT a get-rich-quick thing. She is very reasonable about the time frame it will take to make a good blog and she is always saying it is a marathon, but it is a marathon worth running.

Lastly, she gives you an idea of how long each step will take you to complete! How amazing is that! It allows you the ability to schedule your day and weeks to make this whole blogging process a piece of cake!

 In conclusion, if you are looking for a resource that will guide you step-by-step through the process of brainstorming, launching, and monetizing your blog, this one is worth the investment! If you’re wondering about the costs, it is very affordable. Suzi is practically giving it away at $17.99 for the ebook (and the accompanying workbook), but what I took was the entire Blog by Number course which is well worth the investment for only $47 dollars! She has the step by step videos which really helped keep me accountable and was easier to follow along then just reading. Truly this is an amazing deal!! Feel free to comment below letting me know that you got started on your blogging journey so I can help support and encourage you on your own journey!

The next steps in my blogging journey

I am someone that totally commits myself to a project if I am super passionate about something, and I am super passionate about this blogging world. After taking Suzi's Blog by Number course I decided I wanted to keep learning, but I also wanted to start now! I am so thankful that Suzi lead me to such an amazing resource with SiteGround for web hosting! This is truly an amazing company with how wonderful their support services are. I am a total newbie to this blogging world, and every time I cannot figure something out I go to the chat area and they instantly answer my questions and help me figure them out right away!

 

Why I LOVE SiteGround to host my blog?

  1. I love the customer service because they are super fast and I can instantly chat with them! They are eager to answer my questions and have always been able to help me through the chat feature in about 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. They were super helpful and installed WordPress on my site for me all within the chat feature when I couldn't figure it out myself! It was super simple!
  3. They have amazing uptime with having a very speedy site!
  4. I feel like I have an entire support team to help me out when ever I have questions or don't understand how to do something!

SiteGround has been an amazing resource and I am so thankful that Suzi led me to them in the beginning of this process! I feel like I won the lottery knowing that I have amazing support when I am still learning this entire blogging process. I hope that you can feel as confident as I do with these two amazing resources with starting a new blog as I have these past few months!

I would love to hear about your blogging journey and if you find these resources helpful for you! Do you know someone in your life whether it be someone in the special needs community or a sibling you would love to learn more about the online blogging world? Do you think they may be able to start their own business with the ability to work from home and is good with computers? Let me know about your experiences and people in your life that may benefit from learning this skill!

Are you someone looking for support in the special needs community? Click here for our list of 24 Amazing Online Support Groups and Blogs for Special Needs Families!