Special Needs

October 01, 2020 03:38 PM MDT
Many notices were released for those in leadership callings over the course of September 2020.
3 Min Read
January 29, 2020 04:00 PM MST
For Southern Louisiana native, Esther, a day of flooding after heavy rain was nothing out of the ordinary—until it became her worst nightmare.
1 Min Read
January 22, 2020 10:58 PM MST
This article is written by Dr. David T. Morgan, who writes for LDS Living under the title of “Latter-day Saint Psychologist.” He has a special connection with the person featured in this post.
8 Min Read
October 25, 2019 10:22 PM MDT
In honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month this October, we wanted to highlight some remarkable Latter-day Saint missionaries who have helped move the work of the Lord forward around the world.
3 Min Read
September 26, 2019 02:29 PM MDT
In New York City's Times Square, 2-year-old Nora Hendricks' photo flashed across the jumbotron on September 14, 2019. Her bright blue eyes mirror her cerulean dress dotted with hearts. Nora's lips are caught between a laugh and an open-mouthed smile as she claps her hands together, the embodiment of childhood joy.
3 Min Read
By  LDS Living
August 29, 2019 02:10 PM MDT
"Hours before President Russell M. Nelson addressed 12,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints here in Tecnopolis Arena on Wednesday evening, he personally greeted individual children receiving new wheelchairs at a local Latter-day Saint meetinghouse," a recent Church News article states. "To both groups, he offered the same message: The Lord will pour down blessings on those with a willing heart."
1 Min Read
August 19, 2019 03:28 PM MDT
"Reaching out to those in need doesn’t require the extraordinary, just a regular outpouring of the ordinary. To be invited, noticed, and loved are not special needs; they are everybody’s needs," a Facebook post by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints states. And the Church has put together resources that will help communities include those with disabilities that can be found at disability.ChurchofJesusChrist.org. No matter your faith, no matter your struggles, we can all do better to reach out to and love those with disabilities in our wards.
1 Min Read
August 14, 2019 09:07 AM MDT
I have a sweet 20-year-old son who has low-functioning autism. Two years ago, when many of the boys from our ward near his age were opening their mission calls, I remember attending one "letter opening" with mixed emotions.
4 Min Read
By  LDS Living
August 07, 2019 12:00 PM MDT
Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham has never seen a wheelchair as a limitation. Born with spina bifida, Fotheringham was using a wheelchair by the time he was 8 years old to perform wheelchair tricks at a local skate park.
1 Min Read
July 22, 2019 09:03 AM MDT
Author's note: This article was originally published by the Deseret News in January 2015. It has been updated and republished here with permission.
4 Min Read
Fun
By  LDS Living
July 17, 2019 05:18 PM MDT
Brigham Young University advertising student Sam Carlson had an assignment: find an existing brand and connect it with a new community.
1 Min Read
July 02, 2019 04:00 PM MDT
For eight years, Chris believed his son would never speak a word.
1 Min Read
June 29, 2019 02:54 PM MDT
In December 2018, Alan Alderman could see nothing ahead except expansive, endless water. More than 2,000 miles from his destination, a seasick Alderman steered a 28-foot-long boat crammed with five men. While Alderman had initially compared his epic journey across an ocean to those of scriptural giants like Nephi, Noah, and the Jaredites, at that moment Alderman felt more like Laman or Lemuel.
15 Min Read
June 07, 2019 05:29 PM MDT
Surrounded by screaming fans at Madison Square Garden, Justin Osmond watched his dad and uncles onstage perform some of the hits that made the Osmonds mega-stars of the 1970s.
1 Min Read
April 27, 2019 01:10 PM MDT
Our son is 20 years old and hasn't been baptized—there is a "not accountable" on his church records. Nathan has autism and is minimally verbal. We have another son who is high-functioning on the autism spectrum, and he is now a priest and helps bless the sacrament.
10 Min Read
April 15, 2019 04:27 PM MDT
Note: For many families with special needs, we understand weekly church attendance may not be an option. Follow the Spirit and counsel with Church leaders to find the best fit for your family. For more information about how to incorporate the gospel into your unique family situation, click here.
8 Min Read
April 05, 2019 12:30 PM MDT
“Every single human being is a gamble, and we love them anyway.” That's Latter-day Saint mother, writer, and artist Amy Webb's life philosophy—a philosophy formed over many years of unexpected twists and turns.
2 Min Read
April 04, 2019 11:00 AM MDT
I never expected I would be the mother of a child with disabilities, let alone two children with disabilities. But sometimes life detours have a way of teaching us things Heavenly Father knows we need to learn.
10 Min Read
February 23, 2019 01:01 PM MST
Early on in their marriage, Scott and Lori Featherstone describe themselves as being "dirt poor" — it took years before they fully furnished their home. The reason for this, Scott Featherstone explained, was because every spare dime they had went toward buying new hearing aids.
1 Min Read
By  LDS Living
January 10, 2019 01:45 PM MST
"A family's worst nightmare," is how Dr. Travis Stork from the TV show The Doctors describes what happened toLatter-day Saint author Carol Decker.
2 Min Read
December 17, 2018 06:58 PM MST
While other parents dream of their sons growing up to become astronauts, brain surgeons, or president, I dream of my son having a normal life. My son, Spencer, was diagnosed with autism at age 3. My wife, Katie, and I immediately had a thousand questions. Will he ever be able to get a job? Will he ever be able to live on his own? Will any girl see past his challenges to consider marrying him? We still have those questions, but we've learned to focus on more immediate questions.
1 Min Read
December 06, 2018 08:32 PM MST
Nineteen-year-old Rhett Carbine has a rare genetic disorder that makes it hard for him to breathe. A personalized wheelchair carries his oxygen tanks, which give him some freedom.
1 Min Read
November 08, 2018 06:00 PM MST
The Washington Post recently featured a touching story of how ward members help one of their neighbors into bed every single night. In 2015, the Mormon Channel created a video about Kathy Felt and all those who are helping to lift her:
1 Min Read
November 03, 2018 03:00 PM MDT
This article is the second in a series about Alan Alderman. To read more about how Alderman found hope after his diagnosis and his plans to row across the Atlantic to raise money for ALS research, check out this article.
7 Min Read
October 31, 2018 02:45 PM MDT
Tim Ryan stepped out into a dark, snow-strewn night in February 2017, an exciting and crazy idea forming in his mind. He was going to row across the Atlantic Ocean.
13 Min Read
Fun
By  LDS Living
October 02, 2018 01:34 PM MDT
For Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Latter-day Saint pianist and arranger Monica Scott wanted to use her talents to create something memorable and special. Combining the Primary songs "I Am Like a Star" and "Every Star Is Different," Scott arranged the music to this beautiful medley. "The kids in this video radiate so much light," Scott wrote on Facebook. "Their smile and unconditional love is contagious. I don't have enough words to express how much I adore them."
1 Min Read
July 20, 2018 05:29 PM MDT
Sporting a white shirt, tie, and name tag, Orin Vooheis sat in his electronic wheelchair smiling at people as they entered the American Fork Deseret Industries on July 11. As always, his wife Chartina was by his side.
1 Min Read
July 07, 2018 02:00 PM MDT
I have been listening to the words of modern prophets all my life. I read the scriptures, attend my meetings, and try to live the gospel to the best of my ability. I have a testimony of the Savior and His plan for us. I have had trials and understand the purpose of mortality in the plan of salvation. I know the Lord answers prayers and loves me. When we sacrifice and obey the commandments, blessings come.
6 Min Read
By  Yvonne Liu
June 15, 2018 10:00 PM MDT
At a fast and testimony meeting, a father leads the way to the pulpit with a cane in his hand. His three sons follow, their hands on each other’s shoulders and canes in hand, too. They each stand and bear a heartfelt testimony of the divinity of the Savior and the promise of eternal families. But, just eight years ago, these four men were not members of the same family.
13 Min Read
May 29, 2018 01:47 PM MDT
The Ogden family of Meridian, Idaho, knows what it means to roll forward with faith. From following a prompting to bike over a thousand miles to pushing themselves beyond their comfort zones to share their story, they have raised over $100,000 for wheelchairs around the world in just over a year.
6 Min Read
May 18, 2018 05:16 PM MDT
“I think the young man sitting here has changed history,” Senator Jim Dabakis said. “That giant institution, the Boy Scouts of America, yielded to Logan Blythe and now there is a separate track for all Boy Scouts of America who are mentally challenged because of what this young man did.”
1 Min Read
May 04, 2018 09:00 AM MDT
One Sunday, when our 14-year-old son, Brian, attempted to sit through sacrament meeting, he lost control and began making squawking noises. He turned to us in anguish and said, “Do you think people know how hard it is for me to be here? Do they know how hard I try?”
9 Min Read
April 23, 2018 02:49 PM MDT
Video produced by Julie Walker, videography by Brian Wilcox A group of BYU students are literally opening doors for wheelchair users.
2 Min Read
April 20, 2018 02:08 PM MDT
Sam is a typical 17-year-old boy. He’s interested in things that go fast and loves the outdoors. He’s growing in knowledge of the world and his faith in his Heavenly Father. Sam also has a hearing impairment that affects his ability to understand what is taught and shared each Sunday.
1 Min Read
March 12, 2018 09:49 AM MDT
Photo from library.byui.edu. In 1936, the American Printing House for the Blind printed a seven-volume Braille edition of the Book of Mormon. When it was printed, President Heber J. Grant said, “I am very thankful that the Book of Mormon has been printed in Braille. . . . I am convinced that wonderful book, full of inspiration from Almighty God . . . will cause many a person to rejoice who has never been able to read the Book of Mormon heretofore.”
1 Min Read
February 27, 2018 03:59 PM MST
In a very real story of shock, faith, and changed hearts, LDS mom Cydney Barno tells about her experience giving birth to a daughter with Down syndrome.
1 Min Read
January 30, 2018 05:00 AM MST
Children with disabilities can be found in every Primary. How can we meet the needs of all the children in our ranks? Here are a few resources, with insight from those with experience, for members looking to help.
6 Min Read
Fun
December 23, 2017 03:00 PM MST
I cried the hardest my first Christmas in a wheelchair. I’m not saying that because this is a Christmas story or because I am trying to milk some emotions. It really was the hardest time for me that year. I had been paralyzed in a hiking accident that March and released from the hospital in June—released was the word they used, but I was, from that time on, wheelchair-bound. My legs wouldn’t move. My stomach and back muscles didn’t work. And my hands were lifeless and floppy.
7 Min Read
December 19, 2017 03:23 PM MST
The Church's #LightTheWorld video for December 19 shares the powerful story of Aaron Jepson. Recently, the Deseret News interviewed the Jepson family to discover more of Aaron's story, including the powerful moment he first felt God's love for him.
1 Min Read
By  ARL Now
November 17, 2017 02:17 PM MST
Last year, we shared People'sstory of a blind, LDS Attorney who adopted three blind triplets and gave them new hope and purpose in life. Now, these three young men have earned their Eagle Scout awards through the Boy Scouts of America. Such an accomplishment is no small task, but these boys were determined to prove that "blindness . . . is no big deal."
1 Min Read
November 06, 2017 08:00 PM MST
Two weeks after returning from his mission, Cliff Devries received life-changing news—a 6-inch tumor was growing near his brain.
1 Min Read
By  LDS Living
October 13, 2017 03:08 PM MDT
Mindy Guymon recently released an original song titled, “You Can Do Anything” for Down Syndrome Awareness month.
1 Min Read
Fun
By  LDS Living
October 11, 2017 04:57 PM MDT
Cambria, Joby, and Kiley, three LDS teens with Down syndrome, have surely gone far with this beautiful piano rendition of "How Far I'll Go" from Disney's Moana. LDS pianist and entertainer Jason Lyle Black arranged the song and produced the video.
1 Min Read
September 14, 2017 03:25 PM MDT
After learning the benefits of people with special needs interacting with animals, Shawna and David Hodges started a farm for their son with Down syndrome. The 54-acre farm and includes a petting zoo, a train, playgrounds, and farm animals that children and adults with special needs can interact with.
1 Min Read
June 23, 2017 04:23 PM MDT
Earlier this year, 17-year-old Abigail Manery was crowned the 2017 Idaho Miss Amazing Teen Queen. She is currently preparing to compete at the National Miss Amazing Pageant, which will take place this August in Chicago, Illinois. Abby will be featured in an upcoming documentary highlighting her preparations for the pageant, as well as her life and the disabilities she lives with daily.
1 Min Read
May 09, 2017 04:35 PM MDT
"If we go to a ward reunion, we are happy to see old friends. But they have an elevated relationship. They are even tighter and closer with each other. We see that family feeling among the members," Stake President Mark Furniss said. "They function so well and it's impressive to watch."
1 Min Read
April 25, 2017 02:17 PM MDT
“The students found the most cost-effective, most durable, and best-fitting outcome,” said Lynette Gay, chairman of the board and president of Engage Now Africa in a news release. “There is no reason why this couldn’t be extremely successful.”
1 Min Read
April 19, 2017 01:12 PM MDT
“Mark never thought he had Down syndrome. He never thought he had any disability,” Stacey Anderson said. “He just thought he could do anything. He didn’t think he was limited, and I think it was by the way people treated him in the community. … Everyone treated him so good that he thought he could do it all.”
1 Min Read
February 23, 2017 10:00 PM MST
After an hour, we finally arrived at our family reunion in a canyon near Salt Lake City, and I had one thing on my mind. I had to find the restroom.
7 Min Read
February 17, 2017 03:21 PM MST
Her fingers were crossed and she was nervously swaying back and forth on the stage when she heard the words: "Our Senior Miss Queen is . . . Tara Goodson!"
3 Min Read
December 14, 2016 04:56 PM MST
Being a mother is never easy, but it's always worth it. That's something Kristen, an LDS mom of a young autistic boy, knows from experience. In this short and inspiring video from stiry.com, Kristen shares what makes life with her son Nash so meaningful and gives a little advice for all mothers: "One of the best things I can say is just to take things day by day and to work at each day [to see] what positive things happened that day and ways that you helped your child."
1 Min Read
December 13, 2016 02:52 PM MST
Two LDS brothers, Evan and James Fitzgerald, share a love of exercise and physical fitness. But rather than keeping that passion among themselves, they motivate others by teaching a free fitness class for people with disabilities.
1 Min Read
October 22, 2016 02:39 PM MDT
For Down Syndrome Awareness Month, ABC News featured a video about an LDS family and their Down syndrome son, Welles. The video initially received over 1 million views before ABC News helped share this family's touching story.
1 Min Read
October 08, 2016 12:35 PM MDT
What a beautiful testimony and reminder from this post: "The most important lesson I have learned is that our suffering is utterly unoriginal. Everyone has a story and that story is peppered with heartache. But, if we can remember that we’re all in this together then we don’t have to suffer alone. Let the hearts of others become one with yours as you journey through this life."
1 Min Read
September 15, 2016 03:58 PM MDT
Unable to speak, it was only recently that Josiah Cullen found a way to communicate with the world. Nothing surprised his mother as much as when Josiah wrote his first independent sentence.
1 Min Read
By  LDS Living
September 09, 2016 03:22 PM MDT
SPRINGVILLE — As teens across the nation struggle to think of creative ways to ask that special someone to the school dance, one Springville teen has gone above and beyond to ask a girl that holds a special place in his heart.
1 Min Read
August 03, 2016 03:30 PM MDT
With many of their children working as service missionaries, there's no doubt the Jamesons are doing what they can to keep a strong family and help others come unto Christ.
1 Min Read
By  LDS Living
July 20, 2016 01:36 PM MDT
Christie Jameson and her husband had two biological children of their own. However, they eventually came to feel like they were missing a part of their family. This led them to adopt not one, not two, but an astonishing 35 children, all of whom have special needs.
1 Min Read
July 19, 2016 04:55 PM MDT
Five years of training and countless hours of grueling practice had led Ethan Fineshriber to this moment—the July 2016 American Taekwondo Association World Championship Tournament.
4 Min Read