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Lindsey Garner with son outside

Lindsey Garner’s Tips & Tools for Special Needs Parenting

from quiet time to a night out with the girls

The Fort Worth nonprofit CEO shares the places and resources that help her thrive as she raises a child with autism. 


Recommended Reads 

On raising a child with autism: Uniquely Human by Barry M. Prizant, Ph.D. 

“This book offers a helpful lens through which to view autism, how to think about goals for your child and what is really important: to give your child every opportunity to experience self-actualization, joy, advance their minds and energize their spirits.” 

For pleasure: “I’ve always been interested in World War II and enjoy reading fiction novels based on this time period, especially when they’re inspired by true acts of heroism. Some of my favorites are The Nightingale, The Alice Network and Lilac Girls.” 

Self-Care Spot 

“I love walking through the Japanese Garden at Fort Worth Botanic Garden. It’s so serene and a great place for reflection and meditation.” 

Fort Worth Botanic Garden // 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth

For Girlfriend Gatherings 

“Anywhere that makes a good margarita and tacos! Some of my favorites are Rusty Taco and Blue Mesa.” 

Rusty Taco // Multiple locations
Blue Mesa // Multiple locations 

Must-Have App 

Using an AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) device has been a helpful tool for our family as we encourage our son to develop expressive language. There are several popular language software programs, but we are finding LAMP Words for Life very user-friendly and easy for our son to learn. 

LAMP Words for Life app // aacapps.com 

Words of Wisdom 

“I think grief is a natural part of raising a child with special needs, and it’s not a one-time experience. While you try to focus on the ways your child is progressing and to celebrate the victories, you are constantly reminded of ways they differ from their neurotypical peers. For me, this is where having others who can truly relate to our experience is so important, to provide encouragement and support, and where my faith helps to strengthen me on the journey.” 

Getting Through Social Distancing 

“Our children need routine, so when COVID struck, we quickly created a new routine that provided some consistency for how we structured activities, learning time and fun time. We also stuck with consistent bedtimes. Structure can help minimize anxiety when so many things seem uncertain. 

Photo courtesy of Nick Prendergast.