Why I’m Lucky - Special Needs Parents and Professionals on St. Patrick’s Day

Why I’m Lucky-Special Needs Parents & Professionals on St. Patrick’s Day

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! We are so lucky to be a part of the special needs community and wanted to share some thoughts from our VitalGuides about what makes them lucky to know someone with special needs – through being a parent, a professional, or an advocate, we’re all here to support and learn from this community.


Catie Madison, Pediatric Occupational Therapist

“We are so lucky to work with you and have you help our child!” I have been blessed to hear this from many families that I work with at my pediatric clinic in Woodbury, MN. As an occupational therapist, I have a passion to serve and empower those around me in creative ways. When I hear this message from my clients and families, I am humbled. My response is almost always “I’m the lucky one! Working with your family is what makes my job so incredible every day.” Here are just a few reasons why I say this:

  • My kiddos teach me to be patient and kind
  • I learn the immense strength, love, and dedication it takes to be a parent to ANY child (and I hope someday I can model those qualities in my own journey of parenthood)
  • I am challenged to find joy in the small steps and accomplishments that my clients make, which teaches me to do the same for myself
  • I gain a broader perspective and respect for all abilities and unique skills
  • I get to do crafts and make slime regularly 🙂
  • I am welcomed into the homes and lives of incredible families that allow me to walk alongside them through the ups and downs of life


Heidi Hughes, Experienced Special Needs Parent Mentor

“I feel lucky to be raising a child in the special needs community because it has opened my eyes to wonder I never would have been exposed to otherwise.  Being part of the special needs community is like being part of a secret society where you need to know someone to truly be let in. It is such a lovely and welcoming community of individuals all trying our best for ourselves and our kids.”

Allyson Owen, Occupational Therapist & Holistic Nutritionist

“I am always blown away by the knowledge I gain from every interaction with someone in the special needs community. Kids, regardless of diagnoses, always teach me to look at the world from a different perspective – with wonder, curiosity, joy, and excitement. Parents teach me a new level of understanding, and since I trust that they are the expert on their kids, I get to step back into a student role when I listen to their triumphs and tribulations. They also teach me such a profound level of patience and passion for advocacy that I am so grateful to get to spread out to larger circles. Finally, other professionals in this community inspire me with how much fervency they carry into their work with the special needs population. I feel so lucky that my career has taken me in this direction and has introduced me to such a wide range of individuals!”


Dani Reichert, Occupational Therapist & Experienced Parent

“What makes me feel lucky to know someone in the special needs community? Knowing someone in the special needs community helps me view the world in a whole different way. It inspires me to think about the changes that need to be done across the globe, like improved healthcare, improved mental health resources, disability services and inclusive education, and take action. It makes me a more compassionate and kinder person, and to not take everyday things for granted.”


Jennifer Rainey, Experienced Special Needs Parent Mentor

“My son is just an all-around cool kid and I feel incredibly lucky to be his mom.  He has taught me so much about what is really important in life and reminds me to slow down and live in the moment.  I love getting to witness the way he touches people’s hearts just by being who he is!”


Jessica Glenbocki, Pediatric Occupational Therapist

“I love the excitement and rewarding experiences that comes along with working as a pediatric occupational therapist! It is so satisfying to help families and children become empowered with self-confidence as they acquire new abilities and build self-esteem. One of the philosophies of the occupational therapy profession is to be able to show clients techniques and modifications to bring meaningful change to the lives of all affected. When working with children with special needs, my role is to be an educator and facilitator to both the families and children. Over the years, I have worked with many children diagnosed with autism and sensory processing disorder. My goal is to teach the families about their child’s diagnosis as well as educate and provide motor and sensory techniques to improve daily life skills. It puts a smile on my face every time a child learns a new skill and shows pride in what they have accomplished!”


Marla Davis, Pediatric Occupational Therapist

“I feel lucky to worth with neurodivergent students because I see that there is beauty in neurodiversity. There’s not one “right” way to think, learn, or accomplish things. Some of my greatest therapy ideas have come from seeing students accomplish tasks in different and unique ways!”


Most of all, we at Vitalxchange are lucky to know YOU and to play a small role in your lives and on your team of advocating for the best for your children! Thank you for being here.

With love,

The Vitalxchange Team


Join the Conversation on Vitalxchange

Why do you consider yourself lucky?  To join the conversation and be a part of Vitalxchange, please visit our home page or visit us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.  We look forward to seeing you in our community soon.


Sign Up for More Articles Like This!

Like what you are reading? Keep up to the latest from our VitalGuides by signing up to our weekly newsletter.


Sign Up for More Articles Like This!

Like what you are reading? Keep up to the latest from our VitalGuides by signing up to our weekly newsletter.

More Recent Articles