Thanks and Giving

May 03, 2024

As the U.S holiday of Thanksgiving approaches, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to every reader and supporter of Another Normal. For more than three years now, I have used this newsletter to write from my heart, provide helpful resources and information, and share stories to encourage and inspire anyone committed to helping young people with disabilities learn to bloom.

To quote my wise friend and author Alicia Rodriguez, “We cannot be complete without being connected as individuals and a global community.  We cannot find happiness and possibility in a vacuum.   Like a tree without roots, our essence will wither and die without the nourishment of family, history, and community.”

Thank you for connecting through this newsletter, for sharing your thoughts and ideas with me about issues that matter to you, and for being a part of the community I am attempting to build here — in support of parents and young people everywhere.

Warmest wishes for a beautiful holiday. And thanks for being here.


Mindset matters.

I love this reminder that attitude is everything. Use language suggested below to help young adults with disabilities (all kids, really) reframe their challenges and see themselves as “works in progress.” Powerful at home and a good resource/reminder for school and transition teams, too.


A problem of epidemic proportions.

According to a recent report from the U.S. Surgeon General, roughly half of U.S. adults reported experiencing measurable levels of loneliness, and rates of such experience are significantly higher among those with disabilities. The report asserts that a lack of community and connection can increase the risk for developing mental health challenges and even for premature death (akin to daily smoking). This news is not only alarming, but very grim indeed.

Programs like this from The Friendship Project in Massachusetts help people with disabilities build and sustain friendships and combat isolation, matching volunteers with those seeking companionship, and forging meaningful relationships based on mutual interests.

What can you do where you live?


Seen and heard.

November is National Family Caregiver Month, a time to see, hear, recognize, appreciate, and support the relentless efforts of nearly 17 million Americans caring for a child with disabilities or complex medical needs. Their daily lives demand more than most people can imagine. And the chronic stress they experience can negatively impact their mental and physical wellbeing. It also can make them feel very much alone.

Although it’s a tough film to watch, the Unseen documentary is especially instructive and illuminating for readers who want to deepen their understanding of the state of family caregivers in the U.S. and what we can all do to help improve this situation. To quote one viewer, “It’s a powerful call to action for our country and society and a chilling reminder of the task we collectively have ahead of us.”

Rent it here for $10 (through November 30). You can also purchase a gift viewing for the same amount to help raise awareness in someone else.

Unsure of why this matters now? Check out the trailer below:

Another Normal is a newsletter dedicated to helping families with disabilities bloom and thrive. The archive of issues includes curated news and information on topics such as employment, independent living, government supports, disability rights, sexuality, travel, recreation and more.

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Interested in learning more about one-to-one coaching? Contact Kris for information on what this might look like for you, including outcomes, availability, fees and more.

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