Special Needs

my second existential crisis this summer

Not really. Just a bad joke, I’m not terribly funny.

Earlier this summer, I was invited to contribute to Skeptability. I did a whole two posts on there…until the Skepchick team realized that this is probably a better fit for me. Anyway, my first post on there was “Who Am I?” so that I could introduce myself to the Skeptability readers. Now I am doing my second “Who Am I?” post….so hence, another existential crisis. But it’s not a very deep question. But I will tell you a little bit about who I am and how I got here.

My husband and I are skeptics. Not sure when we arrived at that conclusion or started calling ourselves that, but we are. He majored in physics and math in college, so he’s always been a science guy. He was raised non-denominational Christian but eventually just faded away from it after he left home. I was raised Catholic for the first decade or so of my life but it didn’t take. Earlier this century, I dabbled a bit in Quakerism, attending meetings and things, but faded away from that too. I still am raising my children by most Quaker principles (integrity, equality, community, simplicity, and peace) and while those principles resonate with me, the religion did not. I may try again, as I have been thinking about it lately. I do like the sense of community and fellowship that a church brings to a child and family.

I live in southeastern PA, down in the corner where PA, DE and MD all meet. We’ve been here over 15 years. We have 2 boys, ages 5 and the other will be 8 next week. The older one has special needs–he has a condition called Dup15Q. Because of him, several years ago I became a certified Special Education Advocate. Completing my volunteer hours for the certification turned into a job. I also started a blog because of it…and have become a citizen lobbyist for the cause as well. If you have IEP questions, I’m your go-to gal!

white house egg roll
Me and my boys at the 2013 White House Easter Egg Roll.

I also write a weekly newspaper column about families enjoying the outdoors. I’m also a vaccine advocate (I just met Dr. Offit the other day!) and a few other things that I just can’t remember right now. But I’m always on the go and sharing my experiences.

As far as what I plan to bring to GP…well, lots! Of course I’ll write about raising a special needs child, but our family does a lot more than that. If you are looking for the sad, sappy memoir type posts about my kid, you’re going to have to look elsewhere. Same goes for the “angry special needs mom” posts ranting about how someone in society has wronged my child or my family. While I am prone to rant at times, that’s generally not my schtick. Usually it’s “here’s a problem in society that sucks, here are some things that some people are trying to do to fix it, now GO JOIN THEM!” I will often be encouraging you to call your legislators, mostly about educational stuff. I believe that we need to make children and education a priority in our society.

And well, I don’t know what else I have to say, except “see you around!”





Lisa Lightner

Lisa Lightner lives in southeastern Pennsylvania with her husband, two boys and two dogs. When not screaming at her kids in public, she can be found on her special needs parenting blog, ADayInOurShoes.com where she offers advice, support and fun tips for special needs parents.

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