Author: Diane Dokko Kim

Raising Kids Who Embrace Those Who are Different

“Mommy, what’s wrong with that kid?” Your child just blurted out an earnest question. . . in front of someone who appears to have a disability or simply looks different, somehow. Yikes. As a mother to a child with autism, my son has often prompted such innocent expressions of childhood curiosity. And it’s always a toss-up, which parent feels more mortified. How could we do this better? With 1 out of 5 Americans living with a disability, it’s a statistical certainty your child or family will encounter one of ours at school, the playground, or at the mall. Much...

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This Is My America (This Is Yours, Too)

My family is Korean-American, children of immigrants. We’re what the media would call “devout, evangelical Christians.” We have a son who is disabled, non-verbal with autism and ADHD. Especially living in the middle of hyper-excellent Silicon Valley, we’re well-acquainted with feeling like “an outsider.” This is my America, some of our friends, neighbors, and classmates of my children: Chase comes from a white, American Mormon family, originally from Utah. Last month at a play date at Chase’s house, the kids watched a movie that ended up having a bad word in it. Chase’s mom shut down the movie immediately, and texted...

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Special Needs Parent Stealth Bomber

There are helicopter parents, then there are Special Needs parent stealth bombers. How this Asian Special Needs Tiger Mama Bear (I know. That’s a lot of mixed metaphors) nearly became a weapon of mass destruction and ravaged a playground when her cub got threatened. Why I didn’t intervene. It was a classic “Special Needs Mama Bear” moment. Jeremy had perched himself at the top of the playground slide. He was oblivious that he was blocking a queue of children from taking their turn. I hovered nearby, ready to intervene should the situation escalate. Sure enough, a gang of irate older...

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