Kathy’s main passion in life is looking for and writing about God’s presence in the midst of everyday life, whether difficult or joyful. She loves helping others do the same through her Spiritual Direction practice at Cloudland, the contemplative retreat center she and her husband are establishing outside of Oxford, Ohio. She is the mother of three adult sons and three daughters-of-heart. Her youngest son, Joel, who has autism, has been the inspiration behind her award-winning books on disability and faith: The Spiritual Art of Raising Children with Disabilities, Autism & Alleluias, His Name is Joel: Searching for Joel in a Son’s Disability, A Place Called Acceptance: Ministry with Families of Children with Disabilities
You can read more about Kathy’s books and ministry at www.kathleenbolduc.com
Sarah Broady is a mother passionate about encouraging parents of special needs children. She is married to her college sweetheart who is in ministry at their church in southern Maryland as the associate pastor of worship and family ministries. They have three boys. Their second son was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2. It turned their world upside down, but God is using it for His glory in more ways they could have ever imagined.
Sarah advocates for children with autism within her state and has spoken for the Maryland Autism Technical Advisory Group making decisions regarding insurance benefits for children with autism. She has also spoken for both the MD State Senate and House of Representatives various committees in order to secure more available openings on the MD Autism Waiver. She has also lobbied on Capitol Hill for meaningful policies and laws that benefit families living with autism.
More than speaking in the political arena on behalf of families living with autism, her greatest desire is to reach the hearts of special needs parents and give them the hope that is found in Christ. Sarah also leads an encouragement group (and the group leaders) here at Not Alone.
Sarah blogs about her life raising a son with autism at Hope in Autism. She writes about every day happenings, grief and other emotions that come with the life of a special needs parent, while seeking to show the hope they find through Jesus in any circumstance. Read more about Sarah’s writing here. Sarah can be contacted through her blog, on Facebook or on Twitter.
Hi, I’m Faith, married 20+ years to my honey, Isaiah, homeschooling mommy to 3 amazing kids. My oldest, Jaedon, was diagnosed with autism at 2 years old, and the 14 year journey from that point has been both devastating and life transforming for our family. One of the fruits of this journey is Melody of Autism, which provides caregiver training, consultations and carers for families supporting loved ones with ASD. Whenever possible, I share with faith communities about the beautiful, sacred moments encapsulated in caring for our children with special needs. God meets us in these moments, and we are changed.
Emily Colson is an author and speaker. Emily speaks to churches and organizations nationwide, and has appeared on numerous media outlets including Focus on the Family and the Huckabee show. In her book Dancing with Max, Emily and her father, Chuck Colson, share the struggle and beauty of life with Max, Emily’s 25-year-old son with autism. The book has recently been awarded “Book of the Year” by the Autism Society. Through her message, Emily has inspired many to persevere through their own challenges and see the gifts. Emily has been a single mother for most of Max’s 25 years, with hard fought lessons in life, love and a whole lot of laughter. Emily and Max live on the coast of New England where they can often be found dancing.
Karen is the parent of two children with neurobiological conditions, Karen’s priorities have always centered on caring for her family, and she has first-hand insight into the challenges families face. She has been a home-schooling mom. Karen excels in inspiring hope, perspective, and skill development in parents and professionals who feel weary or overwhelmed.
Karen’s newest mission includes her work with a Christian focus. Dr. Crum is the author of Preserving Parent: Finding Strength to Raise Your Child with Social, Emotional, or Behavior Challenges. This book points to God’s truths and to practical and spiritual principles that enhance hope, joy and effective special-needs parenting.
Jeff and his wife Becky started Rising Above Ministries after realizing the incredible gift and blessing their own son with special needs (Jon Alex) was to their family. Jeff felt God’s calling to found Rising Above and become God’s missionary to the special needs community. In addition to leading and directing all aspects of Rising Above, Jeff is an author and speaker who enjoys speaking at churches, conferences, events and to groups, ministering to special needs families and individuals, and engaging churches. He blogs regularly at GoodNightSuperman.com. He is a contributing author at comfortinthemidstofchaos.com.
He is also the special needs team writer at 1corinthians13parenting.com. Jeff leads the No More Vacant Dads initiative to reach dads of children with special needs. He is the author of the new book, No More Peanut Butter Sandwiches: a father, a son with special needs, and their journey with God.
Jeff, his wife Becky, and son Jon Alex live in Cookeville, Tennessee.
The mother of three children, all of whom have a variety of chronic illnesses or special needs, Barbara Dittrich founded SNAPPIN’ MINISTRIES (Special Needs Parents Network) in 2002 and currently serves as its Executive Director. The organization she leads was one of three finalists for WORLD MAGAZINE’S HopeAward for Effective Compassion in October of 2009, in conjunction with the American Bible Society. With a unique vision for serving parents of children with chronic illness, disability, or special needs, she has led the SNAPPIN’ MINISTRIES team in developing an innovative parent mentor curriculum. She lives with her husband of 20+ years in Wisconsin, writes and speaks nationwide, and is the creator of the blog http://www.comfortinthemidstofchaos.com/.
Joe and Cindi Ferrini
Joe and Cindi are authors of Unexpected Journey – When Special Needs Change our Course who enjoy speaking on topics that will encourage men and women to make a difference in their sphere of influence by being all they can be for the Lord, their families, and themselves. They speaking nationally for FamilyLife Weekend To Remember Get-a-Ways and are on associate staff of CRU. Make sure to check out their blog and how to connect with them on other social media at Creative Management Fundamentals.
I am an author, speaker, and Inclusion evangelist but, most importantly, I am a parent of a young adult with multiple disabilities, and have invested a lifetime to helping him become the person he is meant to be.
As co-founder and Chief Motivator for SoaringFamilies.com (to be launched very soon), I am driven to help persons with disabilities and their families find their voice and place in the world. SoaringFamilies is about believing in a future that is bigger than the past, creating a world where all persons are accepted and included, and where every life is of equal value.
My first book, Third Time Lucky: How Ben shows us the way, tells a very personal story of our family’s determination to unleash the smart, social, loving son who was trapped deep inside a spastic body. My drive to restore normalcy and predictability to our shattered world led me to unearth a deep-seeded passion that made me whole … which was to make him whole. Learn more at www.thirdtimelucky.ca and at www.bmgdynamics.com.
Stephanie and her husband are parents of all boys, one of which is a young adult with both physical and intellectual disabilities. God is teaching her big things through their trials that she probably would have never learned without them. You can find more from her at www.mostlyeandme.com and on Facebook and Twitter.
Patty Corrigan Myers is the author of Autism Is A Blessing. Mrs. Myers has a degree in Psychology from King College. Currently she is the Director of First Hope at The First Academy, a ministry of First Baptist Church of Orlando and is a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst. Autism Is A Blessing is about the author’s struggle to understand Autism and the effect it has on the child and the family. Mrs. Myers has 2 children, Chelsea and Charlie. Charlie was diagnosed with autism in 2004. One of her passions is disability awareness and working with churches, schools, and other organizations to get the word out. Mrs. Myers’ perspective is to look at the positive side of all struggles that we face and how we can learn and love through them. Make sure you check out Patty’s blog at PattyMyers.com!
Sandra Peoples near Houston, Texas where her husband is planting a new church. They have two sons, one with autism.. Sandra has a degree in English from Hardin-Simmons University and a Master of Divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Sarah Parshall Perry is the co-author of When the Fairy Dust Settles (Faith Words, 2004), the author of Sand in My Sandwich (And Other Motherhood Messes I’m Learning to Love) (Revell, 2015), and is a contributing author to The Horse of My Heart (Revell, 2015). Her next book, Mommy Needs a Raise (Because Quitting’s Not an Option) (Revell) is slated for release in July. You can also find Sarah on Facebook or Twitter where she’s (sometimes inadvertently) making people laugh at her jacked-up life.”
Sarah has written for numerous publications on topics ranging from disability and family to education and the arts. She has a B.S. in Journalism from Liberty University, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. She is a former senior fellow at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.
Sarah has served in youth ministry for over 10 years, and also writes for ChosenFamilies.org, where she uses her boys’ autism diagnoses to encourage other families touched by disability. She lives in Maryland with her husband and three children.
Jolene Philo is the daughter of a disabled father and the mother of a child with special needs. After a 25 years as an elementary teacher, she left education in 2003 to pursue writing and speaking. She’s the author of several books about special needs parenting, caregiving, special needs ministry and her most recent book about PTSD in children. More information about them can be found at the book page of her website. Jolene speaks throughout the United States about parenting children and adults with special needs and post-traumatic stress in children. Her blog, www.DifferentDream.com, provides resources and encouragement for parents of kids with special needs. She also blogs about life on her dusty gravel road at www.jolenephilo.com. Jolene and her husband live in Boone, Iowa and are parents to two adult children. They are known as Grammy Jo and Papoo to their three adorable grandchildren.
Ellen Stumbo writes with gritty honesty and openness. She is passionate about sharing the real—sometimes beautiful and sometimes ugly—aspects of faith, parenting, special needs, and adoption. Ellen’s writing has appeared on Focus on the Family, LifeWay, The Mighty, MomSense., Not Alone Parents, Different Dream for My Child, the ParentLife blog, and The Huffington Post. Ellen blogs at ellenstumbo.com and you can also find her on twitter and Facebook.
Ellen’s husband is a pastor. But before you think of her as “the pastor’s wife” know that she is a broken person with much need of grace. She is a mom to three girls. Her second daughter was born with Down syndrome, leading them to adopt their third daughter with cerebral palsy.
Ellen is a speaker, often addressing women at different church settings where she invites them to find beauty in their brokenness as God’s love and compassion transform their lives.
One of Ellen’s greatest passions is to see the church embrace disability, not out of pity or out of service, but out of a genuine understanding, acceptance, and celebration of their life. This is why she founded Disability Matters, and organization that strives to encourage every church to embrace disability.