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It Takes A Village | Advocate For Families With Special Needs Parenting Journeys

In 2011, Carinne Mossa, founder of It Takes A Village, took an unexpected turn when her healthy four-month-old son experienced a 45-minute seizure, leading to a hospitalization involving various medical tests and a diagnosis of RSV. This marked the beginning of a new life for their family as seizures continued, and their son’s normal development slowed down by the age of 24 months. After genetic testing, the family received the official diagnosis of Dravet Syndrome, a challenging form of epilepsy unresponsive to existing medications. In 2021, they also received a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

Drawing upon her background in Psychology and Elementary Education, she has been able to navigate the complexities of raising a child with special needs, and as a result, she founded It Takes a Village Special Needs Parent Coaching LLC to provide support and guidance to other parents facing similar challenges. With her unique perspective as both an educator and a special needs parent, she is well-prepared to assist and advocate for families on their own special needs parenting journeys.

You've Found Your Village

It’s no accident we’ve found each other and I’m so happy you’re here. If you are struggling with navigating life as a parent of a child with special needs, I see you. If you feel lost, depleted, overwhelmed or like a shadow of your former self, I’ve been you.

Life with a child who has special needs is HARD (can I get an amen?!) and all too often, we go it alone and with too few resources to guide the way. We struggle, our marriages struggle, our other children struggle and our lives start to feel like they’re not our own.

There’s a reason they say “it takes a village to raise a child” and the truth of that is felt especially deeply by special needs parents. That’s where I come in. As a parent of a child with multiple diagnoses and special needs, I have lived it. As a former professional educator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, I understand it. I’m here to hold your hand and walk you through it— with tools, strategies, and a customized action plan, we’ll take you from barely surviving to happily thriving.

Why Special Needs Parent Coaching?

Is your marriage suffering due to the stress of parenting a child with special needs?

Studies have shown that the stress of caring for a child with special needs, combined with financial strain, lack of social support, and other challenges, can take a toll on the parents’ relationship. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Family Psychology in 2016 found that parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities were more likely to report marital distress and lower levels of marital satisfaction than parents of children without disabilities.

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Many parents of children with special needs daydream about cloning themselves. Between increased demands, emotional stress, financial strain, and lack of support, it’s easy to see how day to day living can take a toll. Children with special needs often require more attention, care, and support than typically developing children. Extra medical appointments, therapies, or educational interventions require time and resources that can leave parents feeling stretched thin and overwhelmed. Not to mention the guilt. Guilt that they’re not getting it all done, not present enough for their typically developing children or for their spouse.

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Depending on where you live, programs and resources for children with special needs can vary greatly. Parents of children with special needs can face several challenges when seeking appropriate resources including lack of relevant knowledge, limited access due to location or lack of transportation, financial barriers, long wait lists or limited availability of professional help, especially if the child has a rare or complex condition.

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Parents of children with special needs often have to dedicate a significant amount of time to their child’s care, which can limit their ability to socialize and connect with others. This isolation can make them feel lonely and disconnected from the outside world. In addition, stigma and lack of understanding surrounding special needs can lead to social isolation as others may not understand or know how to interact with children with special needs. This can affect both long-standing relationships as well as the parent’s ability to foster new relationships. The emotional toll of caring for a child with special needs can run the gamut from stress and anxiety to grief and depression and is often difficult to share with others. ​​​

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