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Your Stories: Differing Abilities

When Parents featured Emily Keicher, 3, on the cover of our February 2013 issue with her gold-colored walker, we received an overwhelming number of responses from readers sharing their personal experiences raising children of differing abilities. These stories drew our attention to some of the many conditions affecting children nationwide. In the following pages, we highlight several of these children and provide links so we can all learn more about their diagnoses.
February 2013 Parents Cover

February cover model Emily Keicher, 3
Born with spina bifida

Everything about Emily sparkles, from her shiny gold walker to her bright smile to the mad dancing skills she brought to our photo session. But the glow really comes from within. Emily's mom, Elizabeth, told Parents at our shoot that one of the hardest things about being the parent of a child with a disability is when people stare from afar. Your child feels that stare. Elizabeth likes the approach little children take when they see Emily -- they're curious, not judgmental, and they start a conversation. The condition Emily has, spina bifida, affects one in 2,500 children. It damages the nerves and spine and often causes learning disabilities. There's lots more we can all learn about this and other disabilities if, like kids, we just ask.