The Journey Of Parenting The Exceptional {Part 2}

Acceptance and Advocacy

The Journey Of Parenting The Exceptional Part 2

In a world where we constantly put ourselves in boxes and everyone has a label attached to them, parenting the exceptional is a journey filled with obstacles. And what does that look like? For most parents it starts with an 8-month to 1 year wait, just to see the appropriate doctor to get a diagnosis. That wait time is stressful, because you always have that inkling in the back of your mind, that maybe it’s not that. However, reality hits everyone differently and we must first come to grips with our children’s diagnosis (read about mine here in Part 1) and then the work begins.

Early intervention is the best intervention.

That’s the saying you hear all the time as a parent in these different therapy sessions. We know our little ones absorb so much when they are young. They are learning so much from the world around them and it’s amazing to see the growth potential of your child when the journey you are navigating is so new and you really don’t know what to expect. My goal for posts like these is to reach parents navigating that journey now or who may be about to start their journey.

The Journey Of Parenting The Exceptional Part 2When we first received our daughter’s diagnosis, we were looking for our village.

We went looking for community, family, and like-minded people to connect with. Truth be told I didn’t find much of anything out there. Whether it was due to still being in the midst of COVID or possibly the resources I was looking for weren’t available at the time, we didn’t find what we needed at the time. So being the advocate that I am, I created the community!

I had one goal in mind at first and it was awareness. After all, I needed my community to be aware of what’s going in the lives of families everywhere. However, after doing research I realized that awareness wasn’t what I should be striving for, but my goal should be acceptance. According to a study released this year, the CDC states that 1 in 36 kids are now identified with ASD. ASD prevalence among Asian, Black, and Hispanic children was at least 30% higher. These shifts may reflect improved screening, awareness, and access to services among historically underserved groups. I saw an amazing quote on Pinterest that says, “An Autistic Child will grow up to be an Autistic Adult”, because of how true this is we should be promoting acceptance and not necessarily awareness.

These individuals are a part of our existence just as we are a part of theirs.

This is why advocating for your child is so important. As a parent of an exceptional child advocacy is a requirement. If you won’t fight for the resources your child needs, who will? When starting this journey, it can be overwhelming. I often wonder why it is so difficult for us as parents to find and receive the much-needed resources for our children. But then I remember that the system we live in isn’t built for people who are exceptional. So, we must create safe spaces of inclusion, promote acceptance, and advocate consistently.

That’s one of the reasons why I started: The Magnolia Rose Foundation for Autism Acceptance.

The Journey Of Parenting The Exceptional Part 2Like I said I was looking for community. I was looking for my village. I know I can proudly say that I have found that family through the families we serve. The Magnolia Rose Foundation (MRF) was started on whim in March of 2022 just 3 months after my daughter’s diagnosis. Our 1st event on April 30, 2022, was our 3k/5k Rose Run, and we had over 200 people in attendance. I was so humbled by the support at this event that I wanted to take it a step further. Our foundation now has monthly parent and family support group meetings in-person and via zoom. We also meet at different recreational venues, so that children with exceptionalities can play free of judgement. Our “Play Dates” as we call them are open and FREE to ALL children to help them understand each other’s differences as they play together.

Stay tuned to read more about how I have found resources through networking opportunities and how starting the MRF created a village of 60 plus families. Plus, how we are still growing!

Miranda Georgetown Riley
Founder of The Magnolia Rose Foundation for Autism Acceptance She is an avid advocate for autism acceptance. Miranda is also responsible for creating inclusive Play Dates that create safe and fun spaces for autistic and neurotypical children to play, learn and understand the unique variations in one another. Prior to starting the foundation, she was a Domestic Engineer, providing exceptional care for her daughter Magnolia Rose and son DavidJames. Miranda is a cosmetologist and cosmetology instructor by trade. She is the proud owner of Full Spectrum Beauty Studio, specializing in locs, color, natural hairstyling, makeup and more. She is honored to be able to dedicate 50% of all earnings to The Magnolia Rose Foundation. Miranda earned a B.A. in Communication Studies from Louisiana State University and a Mastery of Cosmetology from the Aveda Institute of BR.


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