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podcast show notes | episode 013 | adventures in parenting the differently abled child

This blog post serves as SHOW NOTES for our podcast — Cultivate a Good Life. This is not a comprehensive outline of everything discussed in this specific episode. The notes, links, and tips below are just some of what was mentioned. Everything we’re highlighting here will certainly make so much more sense when you’ve listened to this episode. If you haven’t already listened, you definitely should. And you should also just go ahead and subscribe to the podcast. It’s good stuff. Also, these notes show up in the order that they came up during the show.

episode description

“When your life seems like it is falling apart, often times the pieces are falling into place.” This episode is an encouraging conversation about raising children who are differently abled. Becky Proudfit and our friend and guest, Heidi Stanger, speak from personal experience as they each have a child with diagnoses and challenges that at times have felt very heavy. But through a healthy perspective of the big picture AND specific tools to help in even the smallest ways, we’re sharing insights that we hope will help, whether you have a differently abled child or not.

Link to this episode on iTunes: Episode 013


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show notes

For this episode, we invited guest Heidi Stanger to talk with us about adventures in parenting differently abled children. Heidi is a strong mama bear for her 4 beautiful children. She and her husband Ryan have lived in the Phoenix area since 2009 where Ryan has a successful dental practice. They have had the blessing of being able to grow during several gnarly challenges ranging from kidney transplants to figuring out how to raise a differently abled son, in addition to keeping a busy life with a family of 6 moving forward. She is a lover of learning and dives in head first to anything she can learn to help improve the life of her family. She naturally loves to serve and will be the person who shows up unasked to clean your house or bring a plate of cookies. Her happiness comes from her deep desire to serve and engage in the lives of all those around her.

These are the main points we covered in the show. Keep in mind that all of these are expanded upon in the episode. This is just a refresher to remind you of some things because there was so much covered.

Instead of comparing the behavior of your kids to those around you, ask yourself:

1) Is this something that is really happening or are you comparing it to your friend’s/neighbor’s kids?

2) Is this behavior just developmentally appropriate behavior?

Look at the behavior; check your expectations. If you have a question, go to the doctor.

  • Don’t base your experience off of other people.
  • As a child it’s hard for them to articulate their feelings.
  • You may ask yourself, “Did I do something? Did I cause this?”
  • This is not a parenting problem. This is not your fault.
  • This is not necessarily a negative thing.
  • These children are light and they are joy.
  • We all have something going on that we may not be able to see.
  • It can be hard to let go of preconceived notions of what your child should look like and what your family should look like.
  • It’s hard to let go of an ideal you may have created in your mind.
  • If you have a concrete diagnosis, then you have steps you can take to help your child.

The goal is to figure out how they learn best!

“I felt like we were floundering and wanting to know how he learned.”

Be sure they receive an education where they can feel successful.

Sometimes the schools can’t do proper evaluations.

See a developmental pediatrician to do a full evaluation. Your mom gut is usually correct.

Get past the fear components and collect data. You are your child’s greatest advocate.

A few tips if you find yourself parenting a differently abled child.  

  1. Give yourself a break and forgive yourself when you feel like you’re failing.
  2. Give your kids a break when they feel like they’re failing.
  3. Change the way you look at “failures.” They are not failures; they are pieces of a puzzle.
  4. Know your child and proactively talk to their teachers/other adults in their life, etc.
  5. Get a PhD in your child.
  6. Others can help give you perspective.

“When your life seems like it’s falling apart, often times the pieces are falling into place.”  –Lynn G. Robbins

Links discussed in the podcast:

Jody Moore: “Our worth is the same whether we lay on the couch and watch Netflix all day or whether we are super productive and run a corporation.”

David O. McKay: “No other success can compensate for failure in the home.”




Email us. We’d love your feedback! podcast@beckyhiggins.com.

Spread the word! We would be so grateful if you shared about our podcast with your friends. Post on social media, text a buddy, whatever floats your boat. And leaving a review on iTunes would just make you our favorite.


One Response

  1. Brittanie says:

    Just wanted to thank you wonderful women for the work you’re doing and the light you’re spreading! This episode especially spoke to me and delivered some much needed direction and peace. Thank you, thank you!