Courage under fire: Living with an intellectual disability

Parenting adult children can go beyond your own. Your children’s spouses, their friends, your nieces and nephews and young adults you meet at work or in social situations are all sources of delight and inspiration.

Take my 33-year-old niece Melanie. I recently spent a weekend with her and came to realize how wonderful she really is. She has special needs—she has an intellectual disability—but that’s not what makes her special. Apart from the fact that she sits on the board of People First, a national organization for people with intellectual disabilities, she understands and accepts herself better than most people I know.

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