Thank you for visiting Good Marching! I’m glad you’re here. I’m Kristen Scott.
Nine years ago I a began a support group for parents, like me, who have children with special needs, aiming to address not just the practical issues — like finding a good therapist or learning about IEPs — but the enormous emotional impact raising an exceptional child has on us as individuals.
I learned that sharing our grief, fear, disappointment, and hope is enormously healing. Having a child with a disability irrevocably changes us. We must suddenly become more than we were, mostly against our will, and often I didn’t think I could do it. Knowing I wasn’t alone, and sharing my journey with other parents who truly understood, was tremendously comforting, and remarkably rewarding.
After my son Daniel’s diagnosis with autism, I struggled to accept the limitations this disorder placed on his future, and grieved for all his life should been. In those dark, early days I did not see how our lives could ever be joyful again. I learned, though, that love makes us resilient, powerful, stronger than we thought we could be. I have not done it perfectly, but I raised my son with all I had, and know in the deepest part of me that he understands this love, and feels it, too.
This blog shares my experiences with Daniel, how his autism changed the person I thought I was, and is shaping the person I am turning out to be. I hope you’ll join me, and share your own journey.
Wondering about my blog’s name? click here.
I live in Deerfield, IL, a Chicago suburb, with my husband Andy. I’m the Town Clerk for my local Township, and job I enjoy just two blocks from home. Reading is my primary pleasure and escape; typically I go through a novel or two a week. In recent months I’ve been reading less and writing more.
My daughter, Natalie, is 24 and a second-year graduate student at Northwestern University, studying to be a marriage and family therapist. She’s channeling her own experiences to help others who who are struggling, and she’s going to absolutely rock as a therapist. She’s beautiful, smart and compassionate, and I can’t wait to see what comes next for her.
Daniel just turned 22 and recently moved to a new adult family group home in Wisconsin, 1 1/2 hours from my home. He’s lived at a residential school in Wisconsin for over six years, and I still feel his absence every day. We’ve been fortunate in his educational experiences, both in Illinois and since he moved north, and I’m optimistic for continued progress in his abilities, independence, and the quality of his life experience.
My husband Andy is an exceptional step-father, enjoying unique and loving bonds with both Daniel and Natalie since we were married in 2000. I am also blessed to maintain a wonderful relationship with my children’s father, my ex-husband, Jeff, and his amazing wife, Mary. They have beautiful ten-year-old twins, a boy and a girl.
I don’t know if it takes a village to raise a child, but it has taken all of us to raise Daniel. And we all love him beyond measure.