Julie Hettel's two favorite parenting magazines used to be Parents and Growing Child.
But when the Illinois mother's second child Melinda was born with Down syndrome in 1984, those magazines became very difficult to read.
"Every article reminded me of another milestone Melinda had not yet accomplished," she recalls.
Like tens of thousands of other parents, Mrs. Hettel has found solace and courage in Exceptional Parent, a monthly magazine designed for parents and professionals who care for disabled children and young adults.
"I devoured each issue as soon as it arrived and slowly the magazine worked its therapy on my soul," Mrs. Hettel wrote in the magazine's 25th anniversary issue this June.
The magazine became even more valuable when the Hettels' second daughter, Mary, was unexpectedly diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
All the "horrible emotions" returned, said Mrs. Hettel, who also has two sons. "I thought for a while that maybe I was the only woman in the world who had two children with [two …