In this special episode of Parenting Impossible, Host Annette Hines welcomes back some of her early podcast guests, Hillary Dunn Stanisz, Cheryl Ryan Chan, and Dave Greenwood, to celebrate the podcast’s first anniversary and open the door to the future of conversations about special needs. This episode is also significant because Annette lights a candle for her daughter, Elizabeth, in honor of Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week. 

Annette launched Parenting Impossible – The Special Needs Survival Podcast out of the desire to connect with the special needs community and create a one-stop-shop for conversations, information, and resources that she could not find when her children were small and she needed it most. To further her goal of helping the special needs community, Annette also founded Special Needs Companies. Not everyone has access to an attorney, some people gather information in different ways, and others are not sure what they are looking for. Regardless, this podcast provides an opportunity to hear advice and stories from experts while you relax and enjoy your coffee. 

Cheryl, featured as a guest on Episode 2 and 29 of Parenting Impossible, is a professional facilitator, focused on person-centered planning for people with special needs and their families and caregivers. She is also a mom to her 27-year-old son, Nicky, who is severely impacted by autism. For Cheryl, this podcast encourages resiliency and sustainability, and people are drawn to it because Annette brings her expertise and heart to every episode. 

Hillary, a lawyer at the Disability Law Center in Boston, joined the podcast previously in Episodes 3 and 4. Her brother, Chris, is now 42 years old and has Angelman Syndrome. He may be nonverbal, but his killer smile and big heart influenced Hillary’s career path and every part of her life. She is grateful for this podcast because it is the only place that addresses the roles of siblings in the special needs community. 

Dave produced many episodes of Parenting Impossible, taught Annette how to use a microphone, and was previously featured in Episode 14. He helps busy professionals create content, including podcasts. He is the author of the book, Overcoming Distractions: Thriving with Adult Attention Deficit Disorder, and speaks about the positive aspects of ADHD in his book and his podcast. Dave says that people in the special needs community are tired and confused, but Parenting Impossible is a place for them to get relevant information that will help them in their everyday lives. 

For future podcasts, Cheryl and Hillary suggest discussing community and federal laws concerning the special needs community, abuse and neglect from caregivers, stories from families, and sharing resources that are hidden gems. 

Dream podcast guests for the future include actor John C. McGinley, who is an advocate for people with down syndrome; Tim Shriver, a film producer and disability rights activist; national media correspondents; and other guests with disabilities. 

Annette and Parenting Impossible have come a long way from her early episodes, when, for example, she had a case of nerves and mispronounced her own name! Over the past year, the podcast has featured experts from a wide variety of fields, shared invaluable resources, and featured families in the special needs community. In every episode, you’ll find genuine conversations designed to help you face any challenge you’ll encounter in the world of special needs. Stay tuned for an exciting new chapter of Parenting Impossible!

Annette Hines has been practicing in the areas of Special Needs, Elder Law, and Estate Planning for more than 20 years. Ms. Hines brings personal experience with special needs to her practice and podcasts as the mother of two daughters, one of whom passed away from Mitochondrial disease in November 2013. This deep, personal understanding of special needs fuels her passion for quality special needs planning and drives her dedication to help others within the special needs community.