Why This Site?
Certainly, there are plenty of websites out there that deal with special needs children. The purpose of this site is to have a place where Latter-day Saints can discuss — in unselfconsciously LDS terms — the blessings and the stressings of raising a child with special needs. Here we share more than our experience as parents. As brothers and sisters in the gospel, we begin our conversation speaking the same dialect, as it were. We start off already knowing some basic things about each others’ hearts. We share a world view … in fact, a beyond-this-world view.
I was overcome with this sense of relationship when we visited Wales in 2006, our oldest daughter having just married and taken up residence there. We attended Sacrament Meeting in the borrowed rooms of an old school. It was Primary Program day. As those shining little children said their practiced parts in their charming accents and sang of forever families, I felt an intense kinship to them and every one of the other 14 million people in the world who “love to see the temple.”
The Plan of Salvation offers perspective to all life’s challenges, including and perhaps especially, our shared one. Restored knowledge of the purpose of this life, and the role of individual choice both before and during this life, give context to that challenge. The example of our Savior Jesus Christ in choosing to accept and bearing without bitterness His earthly mission, inspires us. His infinite Atonement that extends mercy when we stumble under the weight of ours, comforts us.
And then we have each other — to mentor and to be mentored by, to lean on and to be the shoulder, to cry with and — this is important — to laugh with.
Lisa Riska, Site Director
Lisa is the mother of Matt, 40 years old, intellectually challenged due to a seizure disorder (epilepsy). Originally from Virginia (where she joined the Church as a teenager) and after many years in the Salt Lake Valley, her family moved to Texas in 2003. She, her husband Steve, and Matt lived until November 2011 in a small town 90 miles northeast of Dallas. They relished the experience of church in a small branch, but missed proximity to their other 6 grown children, scattered across the country and overseas. Grandchildren beckoned and they returned to the Salt Lake Valley to be near some of them … allowing Matt to practice his skills as “an awesome uncle.” When asked about the name of the site, she says …
“In no other area of our life has the relationship between faith and direction been so crucial . . . and evident.”