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Articles in Exceptional Lives, April Blackburn, Mandy Cowley, Kirsten Raby, Turn the Page, Tommie Loftin, Pathways to Parenting, Ellen Mecholsky, Party and May Guides

Unspeakably Brave

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Meet this Exceptional Life. ... Read full article

The Motivation Struggle

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I think back on my own life and all of the things I thought I wanted to do…and you know what? The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. So, how in the world do I motivate my kid to stick to something when I’m not sure I can do that for myself?... Read full article

Rolling with the Good Times: Navigating Baton Rouge’s Mardi Gras with Kids

by Ellen Mecholsky on

When my husband and I moved to Baton Rouge, we had absolutely no idea about Mardi Gras. I mean, sure, we had heard of “Fat Tuesday” and had the vague sense that beads were involved, but the Louisiana Mardi Gras EXPERIENCE was a complete unknown. That... Read full article

Pandemic Parenting, Amirite?

by Ellen Mecholsky on

I’m sitting here in front of my computer trying to think of something to write to all of you–something to lift up and inspire during this time of uncharted territory and endless new decision-making.... Read full article

Different, Not Less: A Mother’s Advocacy for Her Son with Autism

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A diagnosis of autism can turn a family upside down, and that was the case for William Spiller IV when he was diagnosed at age two. Because he didn’t speak or respond, doctors first thought his hearing was the problem, but an auditory brainstem respo... Read full article



From Boys to Young Men

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The day will come when they really feel they’ve found their soul mate or more likely, their love of the week. Either way, you have to prepare for mending a broken heart or teaching them how not to break someone’s heart.... Read full article

A Playdate-Style Birthday Party

by Mari Walker on

Birthday parties for littles can add up fast. For a few Benjamins, you can take them and a few friends to a bounce place or rent a bounce house for your backyard. We didn’t start big parties like that for my older daughter until she was about five.... Read full article

Play! Create! Imagine! (and then Clean. It. Up.)

by Ellen Mecholsky on

I walk a very fine line between wanting my children to play and create and imagine...and wanting/NEEDING a tidy house to function at my best. I need order around me to feel relaxed and productive. If I wake up in the morning and I am greeted by a tra... Read full article

Going Viral: Teen Connects Through Poetry and TikTok Videos

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Although he didn’t speak until he was five, Cohen Swain is finding his voice. The 15-year-old is on the autism spectrum and has written a poem, Hold On, I’m Trying, that has gone viral. ... Read full article

The Remembering: Reflections on My Pregnancy Loss

by Ellen Mecholsky on

It starts the first week of December, the remembering. I had felt her move for the first time in the car driving home from a Thanksgiving trip to Florida, which is why I suspect my anniversary grief stress begins so early. I subsequently gave birth t... Read full article