086: How to parent a child with special needs – with Sinead Quinn

By October 8, 2019October 14th, 2019The Simplifiers Podcast

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If you have a child with special needs, can we take a moment to acknowledge you? Right here, right now… I want to shower you with love, strength and patience. And all things nourishing to replenish your spirit. Parenting is a LOT… and then you add in any of the four major types of special needs children, which includes physical, developmental, behavioral/emotional, and/or sensory impaired into the mix… well, it’s likely your household is on high alert and in high stress mode, 24/7.

But what about the parent? How do you take better care of yourself, so that you can be the best for your kids?

My special guest today is a wellness coach for special needs moms. She’s also a mom of three young kids, one of which has Down Syndrome with Severe Speech Apraxia). She shares her real-world insight and we focus on simple, practical ways to nourish yourself through genuine self-care. I promise it won’t require a whole lot of effort, time or money. Keeping it simple.


Sinead Quinn simplifies how to parent a child with special needs

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Why Sinead thinks the wellness industry makes things so (darn) complicated, especially for special needs parents
  • The shocking statistics for parents of special needs children who don’t look after themselves (why this is a BIG deal)
  • Three simple ways parents can begin to take better care of themselves in their everyday lives:
  • Breathwork
  • hydration
  • ask for help
  • How to give yourself a ‘wellness makeover’ in small (yet profound) practical ways
  • How friends and family can provide additional support to the family who has a special needs child (without pity or feeling like you’re being pushy)

Did you know that 18.5% of American children under the age of 18 are special needs children? Most people think this is a small subset of the population, but really… it isn’t. And Sinead is here to shine a light on the issue, giving a voice to the parents who give, give, give of themselves, and in return are becoming utterly rundown.

It’s time to shift things. It’s time to get back to center and simplify.


My challenge for you this week:

Note down the simple ideas that you can put into practice today. How can you get back to thriving, at the same time as parenting a child with special needs? Share it with me, privately or publicly, by snapping a photo of you doing the thing and tag @thesimplifiers on Instagram for added accountability and support!

Links, books and apps mentioned:

Book: Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts – Brené Brown

Book: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead – Brené Brown

Video: How To Perform the 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise – Andrew Weil, M.D. The video is 05:37 minutes long

Trailer: Brené Brown: the Call to Courage | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Sinead’s latest: grateful-wellness.com is launching a 7-day online Wellness course starting October 2019, plus a weekend retreat for special needs moms (March 2020)

Link: Tips on how to observe Down Syndrome Awareness month – October 2019

Favorite quotes from this episode:

[16:26] “There’s so many things that fall under the umbrella of special needs.” – Sinead

[26:17] “We just need to retrain our bodies to remember what it’s like to not feel stress.” – Sinead

[36:30] “The first two things are hydration and Breathwork. Create small changes in your life, or in your daily routine that are manageable, and implement them.” – Sinead

[38:43] “Maybe it’s time to take a step back and reassess. Where could I use a little bit of a wellness make-over?” – Mary

[46:37] “Learn to ask for help. Reach out within your community. You know, because we don’t have to do it all. We don’t have to do it all ourselves.” – Sinead

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About Sinead

Sinead is a Wife and Mom of 3 kids and 2 dogs. Her eldest son has Down Syndrome and speech apraxia.

After years of intensive stress, which included the diagnosis of her son, her daughter born a 28 week preemie, losing her father and finally PND – Sinead experienced ‘burn out’.

This led to her going back to school to become a certified and passionate Health & Wellness Coach. She specialises in mothers of children with disabilities.

Sinead started Grateful Wellness to support her community of special needs moms who juggle elevated levels of stress and poor health. She helps those moms feel stronger in their bodies, live a healthier and whole life, and rediscover joy.

Where Sinead hangs out online:

Website: grateful-wellness.com

Instagram: @sineadquinnofficial

Facebook: @GratefulWellnessco

Sinead’s vote for the perfect guest on The Simplifiers Podcast:

Misty Castañeda, Founder of For purpose kids. This brand sets out to consciously raise kids to be kind, and aware of the environment around them. Misty is available for speaking events, to share her story and experience.

Sinead Quinn - child with special needs

Watch the video version of the episode

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