This is a list of resources across the board that include reading material, organizations, groups, other websites, advocacy and more. I plan on adding more and, please, feel free to contact me with any you would like listed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have my favorite authors, writers and fellow seekers who have helped serve as lampposts along the dark road. These are not all special needs-oriented writers, but rather writers, preachers or searchers who have provided me stories and insight that have given me fortitude, comfort and hope.
>>>Christopher Nolan the writer is one of the most powerful stories of any individual. He wrote three books – one of poetry – and did it by being partially paralyzed and only using a device strapped to his head to type. Inspiring? Yes. The icing on the proverbial cake is he just wasn’t capable, but as a writer, he was excellent. He also bristled about the white-washing that goes in the special needs world and wanted people not to feel sorry for him, but to understand his yearnings, pain and hopes. A poet who wanted no pity: Inspiring story of author Christopher Nolan
>>>The oft-saying among my friends and I – Christians and non-Christians alike – is that Frederick Buechner is probably the only Pultizer prize nominee who might be more quoted than many Pulitizer prize winners.
More on the esoteric and mystical side than most, Buechner possesses an extraordinary talent for capturing the quiet wonder and the subtle beauties and pain in everyday life. And I do not mean he does that as a Naturalist. His wonder and beauty and pain are related to the human condition. His works of fiction are phenomenal, but for pure non-fiction reading, I recommend his book of selected sermons, ‘The Hungering Dark.’ His words can be a tonic to the soul on rough day when he drops lines such as, ““We must be careful with our lives, for Christ’s sake, because it would seem that they are the only lives we are going to have in this puzzling and perilous world.” Want more? Writings of Frederick Buechner
>>>Henri Nouwen is one of my favorite ‘stories’ of a man who truly lived the creed he pledged himself to. A writer of great depth and honesty, Nouwen was, at one time, a noted theologian at Harvard. He eventually decided to walk the walk and left his esteemed posts in academia to become a chaplain at one of L’Arche USA campuses. During this sea change, he never stopped writing and his work with the special needs community coupled with his own struggles and faith is very authentic and touches the heart.
>>>Brennan Manning was a minister, monk, one-time alcoholic and seeker who wrote phrases such as, “When I go to church I can leave my white hat at home and admit I have failed. God not only loves me as I am, but also knows me as I am…” His popular book, “The Ragamuffin Gospel” is a very candid account about his search for grace and love and self-acceptance. He is also a very easy read i.e accessible without being preachy or overly intellectual.
The Mighty is a one stop shop per se for special needs parents. Very comprehensive across the board in the sn community.
Fighting Monsters with Rubber Swords is not only one of the best names of any special needs dad website, but well-written as well.
EDUCATION, ADVOCACY, SUPPORT AND ADULT LIVING
L’Arche USA is the American branch of this wonderful international organization that does its best to help incorporate special needs adults into the greater community. They are a very impressive organization.
Developmental Disabilities Ministries is based in Atlanta and helps house and provide care and opportunities to special needs adults.
Joseph Sams School is a school for special needs children south of Atlanta where my son, A, goes. I will write about it more in posts later, but, now will simply say it is a place where miracles happen.
Contact your senator or house rep The best bet for public change is probably on your state house and state senate platforms, but perhaps this can be a start for some.
Help hotline. Let’s keep it real. Depression? Suicide? Get help. Don’t give in. Here is one of many links.
Southside Support is an Atlanta-based support group for special needs families.
FOCUS is an Atlanta-based support group for special needs families.