Special Needs Parenting: Finding Hope and Possibility With The Mindset of Maybe

Yesterday, Carolyn Greene Dalgliesh, author of the groundbreaking book, The Sensory Child Gets Organized, reviewed my book, The Gift of Maybe. Carolyn beautifully captures one of the most powerful aspects of incorporating Maybe into all of our lives. I just had to share it with all of you!

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The journey of special needs parenting can be filled with uncertainty and stress. You can find yourself constantly trapped in a place of regret about decisions / experiences from the past or constant worry about your child’s future. This can leave many of us experiencing daily life with depression or anxiety – lacking any hope about what might come. Of course, there are many external tools to support our child’s journey – specialized therapy, social tools, visual supports – all things that can be an amazing support on our special needs parenting journey.

But what about a tool that changes us from the inside out? What about a tool that changes our internal perspective about our external experience? What about a tool that changes our mindset, gives us a new way to meet the uncertainly of special needs parenting? What about a tool that gives us space to examine the here and now with hope and possibility? Herein lies the power of “THE GIFT OF MAYBE: Finding Hope and Possibility in Uncertain Times” by Allison Carmen.

As one who has always believed that small changes reap big impacts, “THE GIFT OF MAYBE” is the little gift that keeps on giving. This book is a perspective game changer. Allison Carmen, a life coach and business consultant, has created a tool can help you shift your mindset about everything. As someone who is a multi-modality learner, “THE GIFT OF MAYBE” is filled with Taoist stories, real-life client examples, visualization exercises, mini-meditations, and Maybe-mantras. It allows you to experience and then absorb this new reality from many different angles. MAYBE starts from a small place but quickly ripples out to all of life’s experiences. It can work anywhere or anytime an experience or feeling has you trapped in stress or anxiety. “THE GIFT OF MAYBE” teaches us how to be open to life’s possibilities from a place of hope instead of a place of fear.

The Power of MAYBE in my life right now:

MAYBE my child’s current struggle holds a hidden gift – for him and for me.

MAYBE when my child can says “I can’t do it this way anymore”, I can be open to a whole new way that is even better than I imagined.

MAYBE when I ask for parenting help, I’ll get to feel the love and support I have in my life and the love and support for my child.

MAYBE through my child’s challenges, I can begin to accept and understand my own challenges with love and understanding. MAYBE this is his greatest gift to me.

MAYBE I can learn to meet all uncertainty with hope.

MAYBE today is all I need to live fully and joyfully.

Sometimes, our rigid predictions of how life will be for our special needs child (and for us as parents) is the biggest hindrance there is. “THE GIFT OF MAYBE” gives us a new internal mindset for meeting the uncertainty of daily life. It gives us ways to create mental space for new possibilities and leaves us open to new outcomes. “THE GIFT OF MAYBE” is that parenting tool that can change everything because it changes us ~


Look What Happens When You and Your Child Believe in Dreams and Possibilities


What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.  Henry David Thoreau

The other night I had the distinct pleasure of attending an event to support the Wheelchair Sports Federation Sled Rangers.  The mission of the organization is to provide opportunities to physically disabled youth to increase their independence, self-esteem and self-confidence through the sport of sled hockey in competitive team play.  The organization was started by a father named Bill Greenberg, whose son Sam was born with a rare birth defect of his spinal cord, rendering him paralyzed below his waist, and Victor Calise, a 1998 sled hockey paralympian and Commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities.  So far, the Wheelchair Sports Federation Sled Rangers is one of the few organizations in New York City that provides a chance for physically disabled kids to play a competitive team sport.

When the league started, there were eight children and most of their parents did not even know that their children could play competitive sports. Over the years, the league has grown to serve 24 physically disabled kids and their families. The children range in age from 5 to 23 and are from all 5 boroughs, as well as nearby suburbs. The children together have 8 different disabilities.  Some are strong enough to push themselves; some aren’t strong enough or able enough and need pushers to help them. At the event, Bill said that he will never forget on the first night of the first practice, one of the ten-year-old players turning to his mother and saying, “Mom, I’m finally on a team!”

Bill also commented that when his son Sam rolls into his classroom at school, he tells all of his friends he is a hockey player. Bill believes it changes the way his friends look at Sam and interact with him, and that, in turn, changes the way that his son looks at his own capabilities. Bill believes that Sam’s involvement with sled hockey has shown Sam that he has no limitations but those he puts on himself.

It is evident that this league has shown all of these children and their parents that they need not be limited by their disabilities and this change in perception will help them achieve so much in their lives as they see all that is possible. I realized first-hand that it’s a good lesson for us all not to focus on what we think our children can’t do but instead support and celebrate all they are capable of achieving. This can be the springboard for our children to believe in themselves and realize their biggest dreams.

Bill and Victor hope to expand the league to one hundred players and provide 100 percent of the costs for every disabled child that wants to play.  If you would like to learn more about the organization or support them please go to http://www.wsfsledrangers.org/