It’s an all encompassing label, yet we let a diagnosis divide us among this powerful group of advocates and caregivers into categories of rare and not-so-rare diseases, genetic conditions, developmental delays and the unexplained afflictions. We have more in common than separates us and Support for Special Needs is the community that offers a chance to exchange wisdom and ideas among one of the most powerful group of people we know. Join us as learn how to advocate as one group and learn from each other about how to help our kids and ourselves.
About the Founders
Julia Roberts, Co-Founder and Executive Director
Visit Julia’s professional site, The Other Julia Roberts for information about her speaking and writing.
Julia is a mom, wife, marketing account executive, advocate and volunteer raising two kids – Gage and Quinn – who’ve needed (and still do) a lot of services from the medical and public school communities. Their histories include a vision disorder, developmental delays, kidney failure, dialysis, kidney transplants, each at the age of 8, and therapy for the side effects of medical trauma. She’s a volunteer with the non-profit group, The PKD Foundation and fields calls from parents with children diagnosed with PKD. Never wanting another parent to feel alone in what can be the isolating world of special needs parenting and knowing there’s a bigger world out there than failing kidneys from which she can support and be supported, she co-founded SupportforSpecialNeeds.com. She blogs her family’s story at Kidneys and Eyes and has a social media portal to all of her sites and businesses, including a store at Slice of Crazy Pie.
Dawn Friedman, Co-Founder and Editor-At-Large
A long-time, long-distance friend to Julia, Dawn has been creating, hosting and managing online communities since 1997. She is a strong advocate for families, mom to two homeschooling kids as well as an award-winning former blogger. Her essays and articles have appeared in Salon.com (where her essay about her daughter’s adoption was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for 2006); Brain Child (her essay “You’re Not the Boss of Me” about non-coercive parenting was reprinted in both Utne and Ode); Huffington Post, Parenting, Yoga Journal, Wondertime, Adoptive Families, Bitch: A Feminist Response to Pop Culture and Greater Good.. Her work also appears in in Rebecca Walker’s anthology One Big Happy Family (Riverhead Press, 2009) and Mothering and Blogging: Theory and Practice (Demeter Press, 2009). An early adopter, Dawn has been blogging since 2001 and her blog has been featured in Time Magazine, the Washington Times, About.com’s Parenting section, About.com’s Adoption section, and was voted “best adoption blog” on TheBump.com. She was one of a dozen bloggers honored with a Parenting Magazine/BlogHer’s 2010 Must Read Moms award at the BlogHer Annual Conference in NYC and was called “ridiculously smart” as one of the top 50 Parenting bloggers for 2010 by Babble.com.