Melanie Dimmitt \ The unexpected gifts that come with raising a child with a disability

These are the kinds of questions Melanie Dimmitt asked herself when her 6 month old son Arlo was diagnosed with cerebral palsy:

Why has this happened to me?

Will I ever stop comparing my child to typical children?

How will my relationship survive?

Will I be able to work again?

Should I have another baby?

And the big one: What will my future look like?

It’s also the internal dialogue that prompted her to reach out to other parents with children with disabilities.

She wanted to hear from those with lived experience about how to navigate this new life, and ultimately seek the reassurance she was craving that one day, it will all be okay.

But what Melanie learnt through these conversations, combined with her own experience parenting her beautiful baby boy, was that life was going to be better than okay. Her little family was about to embark on a life, and a love, better than she could ever have imagined.

These interviews culminated in a book, Special, a beautifully uplifting, relatable and honest roadmap for other parents in the early stages of learning the ropes of raising a child with a disability. 

It’s an incredible read - and one that’s changed the course for so many parents of children with all abilities. There is so much I learnt in this chat, I hope you feel as enriched by it as I did.


  • You can follow Melanie here
  • Get your hands on a copy of Special
  • Connect with me: @elizabethanile
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