Possible Support for Families with “Hidden Disabilities”

Hey, Sweet Things! I am about to do something that I don’t often do. I’m about to mention a website that has no official connection to Living Proof Ministries. I hardly ever do this because we would not know where to stop. By God’s grace, there are so many great resources out there that our entire blog would be given over to a steady stream of recommendations, swallowing up our purpose here. We also don’t have the ability to thoroughly police every site, founder or author we might want to mention. I’ve learned the hard way that, to many folks out there, a favorable mention or a recommendation about someone or something means that you line up with everything they’ve ever said or, scarier yet, will ever say. The risk can be enormous.

The reason why I’m taking the risk this time is because those of you who stand to be helped could need it in the worst way. There is no doubt in my mind that many of you Siestas have a family member with what can be called a “hidden disability.” Or, it might not be a family member at all. It might be the God-cherished and Christ-chosen person you see in the mirror. The new website is called Chosenfamilies.org and its founder and CEO is Shannon Royce, a brilliant woman of God I have known for the better part of 20 years. In order to avoid misquoting or misrepresenting her, I have taken the following excerpts straight off the website so she can explain for herself what Chosenfamilies.org is all about.

Shannon Royce explains,

As a mom of a child who has been diagnosed with a hidden disability, I know the challenges our families face. These hidden disabilities — Anxiety, Asperger, ADHD, Autism, Bipolar disorder, Depression, Learning disabilities, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Tourette syndrome, and others — are neurological disorders that affect every area of a child’s and a family’s life.

While the medical community is beginning to understand these disabilities, they are less understood in the church. As if the diagnosis and daily challenges were not enough, the burden is often made heavier by a lack of understanding and support from the body of Christ. At best, the church is silent, and at worst it is hurtful. Wrong-headed theology treats these disorders as sin or demonic possession rather than as neurological disorders affecting an organ of the body — the brain.

Families struggling with these issues are left to fend for themselves as they seek to raise their child or live with their family member who suffers from one of these disabilities.

Some of you know what she’s talking about. Here’s a brief bio on Shannon so you’ll know she didn’t just fall off the apple cart: (Again, I’m quoting off the site)

Prior to founding the organization, Shannon served in various pro-family organizations as a public policy advocate.  Among her experiences were the privilege to serve as the Director of Public Policy and Legislative Counsel for the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Prior to her work with the Southern Baptist Convention she served two Senators as a policy advisor.  She earned her Juris Doctorate from the George Washington University School of Law and is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Siestas, along the way so many of you have asked me questions concerning (what we can now call) hidden disabilities and often I didn’t feel qualified to answer them. It wasn’t because my life had been untouched by them. On the contrary, my life was effected by them in the past and is effected by them in the present. Still, those kinds of answers need to come from people with more focused education and professional experience. I am relieved to now have a place to suggest to you for information and potential support from those with a Christ-centered world view. (There may be more out there but this is the first one I’ve learned about firsthand.) I implore you to allow me to make this suggestion to you because I love you and care for you so much without holding me responsible for every conversation or article that could take place on the site.  This I can tell you: I have known Shannon Royce to be a steadfast, sound, and mighty woman of God and I don’t look for that to change overnight.

LPM exists to encourage women in their walks with Christ. I am painfully aware that many of you are walking under a burden that is far beyond our area of education. (I am reluctant to use the word expertise as I’m not sure I’m an expert at anything.) I love you so much and I want to see you get the help you need. My hope is that this connection might be extremely helpful to some of you and offer you the relief of knowing you are not alone. Allow me to strongly suggest that you seek professional counsel from qualified physicians to make sure you have or your loved one has been properly diagnosed. One last thing. Let’s be careful on our comments to this post. Remember how public this blog is. Please don’t share anything about a loved one with a hidden disability that he or she might feel dishonored by. If you want to share something under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, by all means, do, but leave off names or identities that could be (even unintentionally) damaged by it. Let’s also stay encouraging and retain our Blessed Hope!

Life can be hard, can’t it, Sisters? But our God is good and our God is so faithful. He tells us to “be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:24 HCSB)

And, how about a shout of praise for God enabling my very small but mighty staff to fill EVERY SINGLE ORDER for SSMT spirals! And over holidays! The resource department is completely up to date in your orders which well surpassed 6000 spirals. (Some have just gone in the mail so that doesn’t mean all your orders should have reached you by now. Only that they are filled and soon on their way.) As you can see from the January 1st post, 8000 of us are memorizing Scripture together. PRAISE YOU, LORD!!!! Listen carefully with ears of faith and you just might hear the sound of Swords slicing through the air to the glory of God the Father.

You are loved here and counted into every week of ministry that takes place within these doors.


379 Responses to “Possible Support for Families with “Hidden Disabilities””

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  1. 51
    Anne says:

    Good golly! Where on earth did you come from Beth Moore! I mean honestly, you are just such a gift. I can not begin to tell you how blessed I am today for having found this site. God gets all the Glory, I know, but what an inspiration and picture of hope you are to this siesta! Thank you for always keepin’ it real.

  2. 52
    Gay Beck says:

    Dear Beth,

    As an Elementary Education teacher of 22 years, I am so thankful that you are taking the “risk” to share so many resources with women. These tools are so valuable to us — as educators and especially as Moms. The 24/7 parenting responsibility is often overwhelming in what may be considered “simply or normal situations.” However, each child is as unique as every snowflake created by God.

    Trying to understand each child is only part of the amazing journey. Next, trying to guide them in healthy and positive ways for the best developmental growth and cognitive learning is much more challenging.

    The ultimate and most important task is providing a Christian foundation of faith, demonstrating Christ-like behavior and creating a loving home for each child. Relying on God’s grace, strength and wisdom is essential, daily.

    Praise Be To God! Today I lift up “very special prayers” for each child, for all parents and family members & for all educators working with the “hidden disability children.”

    Blessings to you, Beth, and your family. Special blessings to Shannon Royce and all of the people at the Chosenfamilies.org offices.

    In God’s Love,

    Gay Beck

  3. 53
    Sheila (Pampa, Texas) says:

    LOL, I liked it reading “how much you ARE for each and every person…”

    I know our momma siesta not only cares for us, she roots for us! =0)

  4. 54
    Elle says:

    Beth, thank you! What a great resource and support system! Although this organization doesn’t cover food allergies, I can attest that they are life-threatening and a challenge each and every day for families. They, too, are a hidden disability. I would guest write for Chosen Families anytime, if they decide in the future to branch out to other conditions beyond autism and mental health disorders.

    • 54.1
      Carrie says:

      Thanks for bring up the food allergies, my 7year old was recently found to have a gluten allergy, it makes daily eating a struggle, but through alot of internet research I have been able to find lots of things for her to eat!!! It takes alot of extra patience and planning on my part to make sure she gets all the nutrition she needs, but patience and procrastination are two things I have been praying for God to help me deal with. Prayers are appreciated!

  5. 55
    Pam says:

    As a mother and teacher it took almost 4 years to get an accurate diagnosis of dysphonetic dyslexia on my youngest child. After agonizing over reading and spelling assignments it was just too much some nights. Parents need as many excellent support resources as possible! I’m a teacher and even being in our local system it was still almost impossible to get an accurate diagnosis and help for him. A word to frustrated moms – when you know something is not right with your child in your heart – don’t give up – God will open doors for the help you need! Thank you Beth for this resource!

  6. 56
    Vonda says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this website. The timing is unbelievable – I know that this post was sent from God directly to me!!!

    I cannot thank you enough for loving God and loving others who are trying to become the person that we were meant to be!!!

  7. 57
    Kristi says:

    As a mother of a child with a hidden disability — high functioning autism — I thank you for bringing this to the attention of so many others!! I am so very fortunate to go to a church that has a small but present special needs ministry — though my child is the only one in it right now, we definitely aren’t the only family in need of it. Awareness and sensitivity (rather un-awareness and in-sensitivity) are two of the most difficult issues we deal with, churches and church families are in the early stages of recognizing the need for and ministering to these very difficult issues. Thank you for shedding some of your immense light on it, Beth!

  8. 58
    Cheryl says:

    Oh God Bless you for taking this leap of faith and sharing this on your blog. I’m a single mom of two (almost 21 yr old son and almost 15 yr old daughter)and have had many years by myself dealing with “hidden disabilities”, schools, ignorant, people, legalistic church beliefs as a child haunt my mind/heart while doing my “best” raising my children and at the same time dealing with my own “hidden disabilities”. God has blessed me with people and sources of help, but having known of this Godly website would have been a greater support. Thank you so much to give this info to those just starting out on this type of journey. This journey was alot of work, but I wouldnt trade my child, his big heart or what I’ve learned about him and myself along the way! :):) God bless the website and my prayers for everyone who click on their link seeking help. God Bless you!

  9. 59
    Tina says:

    WOW! THANKS BETH for posting this information. I had no idea this web site even existed. We have three sweet girlies and two of them have these “hidden” disablities…ADHD and various learning disabilities. I can’t tell you how many tears we have shed over watching them struggle and people not understanding the struggle they go through each and every day. It’s not really recognized as a true struggle in various places of our day to day lives. Not only that, that our sweeties would feel inferior because of the way things are handled with them. It hurts a mommy and daddy’s heart more than I can explain. So to have a resource like this to go to is GREAT! Thank you so much for caring about these issues. RARELY are there resources out there for parents or for those sufferring with these issues….esp. a Christian view. BLESS you and the entire LPM team!! :o)

    • 59.1
      Tanya Hoffman says:

      I pray that people would begin to see your little girls as they are, a precious gift from our Heavenly Father! Keep on running the race fellow siesta, it will be well worth it!

      • Tina says:

        Thank you Tanya! You don’t even know what a blessing your response has had on me at this very moment. Got report cards home today…always a stressful day in our house!

  10. 60
    Amy Daniel says:

    Oh Beth! How can one say thank you! I have struggled with depression for several months. I tried to cover it or hide it but the rawness of emotion is just too much. Getting out of the bed some days is too much! I see people all around me that have these great relationships and these connections that i long for. I do have friends, yes. But none that I talk to often or spend time with regularly. I long for this! I do have my bible study group that i finally opened up too. It was a tough thing to do but after several weeks of succidal thoughts I knew I had to tell them. That is what they are there for, right? My husband was very apprenhensive about it because of their possible reaction. No matter how much support i get, I still have days of emptyness and lonelyness. I love these girls so very much. These girls are amazing women! This silent diease of depression has put a wedge between me and others that I do not know how to fix. I pray and pray about it everyday, several times a day.

    I do not want to feel this way. I do not want to hide from people to keep from crying. I do not want to be the crybaby or sap or crazy one. I just want my life back. No depression, no anxiety, no doubt about who I am. I want people to want to talk to me. Right now, I am one that people avoid talking to.

    I am so elated that you posted this on your blog today. Today was a vety bad day, very bad. I needed to know that this is not “me”. I needed to know that there is hope.

    Thank you Beth for all you do for us Siestas. Your passion for us and God is simply devine.

    • 60.1
      Tanya Hoffman says:

      I will pray for you. I also struggle with depression, at present I am winning the battle. That can change at any given point, I have experienced that. I want you to know that you can have freedom from it. Continue to run to Jesus, and hold on to those Bible Study girls tight!!! I don’t think I could have gotten through some times without my “Monday Night Bible Study Girls”!

      When you feel the worst get out a piece of paper and a pen, start writing things to be thankful for. Trust me I know how hard this can be. Sometimes you start with, I am blessed that I have air to breath. I am blessed that I have a roof over my head and am not living in the streets. This is a process and after a while you are able to think of things more readily.

      I want to share my SSMT verse with you,

      Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the Heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 (I did not even have to look)

      Our God does not change like the shadows of depression Siesta!!!! His mercies are new every morning!

      • Sarah says:

        Amen! I have been hospitalized twice for anxiety and depression. Currently through counseling and medication, I am doing well but it has been a LONG hard fight. And very very few people in my family or my church even know of my struggles, because I have seen first hand how they treat other people and don’t want to experience their judgement and shunning and stereotypes.

        I so agree with Tanya’s post…you can do it, Amy! Hang in there…by hanging onto Jesus! Isaiah 43:4 NIV says in part, “You are precious and honored in my sight, and..I love you.” What sweet words from our Heavenly Father.

        Despite what you think of you, what you know others think of you, in the end it only matters what our Father thinks of you! He loves you UNCONDITIONALLY. Whether you can get out of bed today or work or go to therapy or not!!! 🙂

        Start with praising the Lord–and I’ve found, with a vivid imagination, a spin on that is imagining how things could be worse…because they always can be. You could be homeless, you could have no food or clean water, you could be a slave like so many women in other parts of the country. This is NOT in any way to minimize your pain, but rather to encourage you to see what God has given you. And also remember that faith is not a feeling. Many times I have forced myself to thank or praise God even when I didn’t feel like it. God knows your heart and loves you–He can handle your honesty! 🙂 Love you!

    • 60.2
      Karen Norman says:

      Yes, Amy there is hope! Please know that you have sisters praying for you and loving you right now. I live in the Nashville area and if you are anywhere close, I would love to meet you. If not, please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected].

      My prayer is that you feel loved today!

    • 60.3
      brit says:

      So much of what you said resonated with me. I’ve struggled with some of the same things over the past 7 years and God is all that brought me through.

      I will pray for you that God will give you peace and help you the way He’s helped me. I know He’s able because He’s doing a miracle on me that I never thought possible! 🙂

      What really kicked me into gear was reading Beth’s “So Long, Insecurity” .. it really hit home and helped tremendously.

      Praying for you!

    • 60.4

      Wow. These posts are really hitting home for me today…I have been there too, and I REALLY understand how you feel with people. I think a lot of the time when you struggle with depression or something similar that you feel “different” from the rest of the world. It really is about knowing how “God” sees you…I was thinking this morning how if I were to really think about it, that I know I don’t “fit-in” to how to world wants Christians to be like, because the world doesn’t view me like Christ does.
      Depression is not from God, He wants us to live a FULL life! “Showing up is the hardest part”…those are words a friend shared with me over email…and it is true for every life situation…if you can just get yourself to GET UP in the morning and face the day…girl, that is half the battle won!
      If you ever want to talk more feel free to contact me:)
      I promise I will be very sensitive to how you feel,
      because I know the pain runs deep.


    • 60.5
      April says:


      I also was diagnosed in 1997 with depression and admitted myself for care with New Life Clinics. I just want to encourage you to continue pressing into Jesus and your group of ladies at Bible Study. Those times you don’t want to go I encourage to go anyway. Isolation is exactly what the enemy wants. I have battled for years and years with this myself and Praise be to God even though the journey has been loong and hard God has done an amazing healing in my life. I will dear Siesta pray for you as God puts you on my heart. Please know you ARE NOT ALONE!!!!

    • 60.6
      April says:


      I would also like to give you my email if you would like to connect sometime. [email protected]
      I am praying for you Siesta 🙂

  11. 61

    I have a child with similar disabilities and our church formed a support group called “Mighty Moms.” We meet as a small group and can support and help one another with doctor referrals, nutrition resources and emotional support. Highly recommend that each church has a similar program- many of these moms struggle with a pain only another Mighty Mom would understand. The moms of older children and young adults are very helpful to the moms of younger children, silimar to MOPS.

  12. 62
    Cheryl says:

    I think Hebrews 10:24 might have to be my next verse I commit to memory and place on the blog. Just today our small “Stepping Up” bible study group got two answers to prayer. We have prayed for good test results for one member who had an MRI on her lungs and for another who had a breast biospy. PRAISE GOD both got negative test results today!!!! We do care and pray for each other weekly. When we go down on our knees (and faces when necessary) God is right there ready to answer.
    Much love, care and concern from KY.

  13. 63
    Terre Munk says:

    Beth: As the mother of a child with a hidden disability who was ignored and ridiculed and forced to make a very tough decision, thank you. Thank you for being a voice that may lead to light and truth.

  14. 64
    Anonymous says:

    Beth, The organization and website you mentioned are inspiring, and I am thankful that issues surrounding stigmatized disabilities may finally gain a voice in the church. My close family member suffered a brain tumor as a child that left him severely physically disabled. The surgical removal of the cancer resulted in a gradual scarring that eventually manifested in a variety of mental illnesses – including bipolar disorder, schizophrenic hallucinations, etc in this young man who died at a young age. Individuals within the church, perhaps with good intentions, reacted on a spectrum ranging from claims of demonic possession to a true compassion for this type of hidden suffering. The church is often fearful and skeptical of psychological disorders, despite research revealing their organic causes and need for treatment. Christ’s love for others was limited by nothing; as followers of Him, we as a church should seek to educate ourselves and reach out to those who suffer from these types of illnesses.

  15. 65
    Sherry says:

    Dear Beth, I have not read my e-mails from LPM in several weeks because of the holiday business and because I have been busy researching how I can help my child in some areas of difficulty (we had some big crises over the holidays with him). I have often felt that he is misunderstood by outsiders because he looks “normal” but he doesn’t act “normal”. I am sure that many think he is simply a bad kid and that we are bad parents. It has even been suggested that once he has committed himself to Christ, the Holy Spirit would take care of the behavior issues. I strongly believe he has some neurological disconnects (some testing supports this), but without a brain scan to pass around, I am sure that some folks feel I am simply making excuses for him. I am not sure why I opened this particular e-mail tonight. It is late and I didn’t feel I had the time to be on-line, yet I did. I take your e-mail as a sweet message from the Lord that there is hope, even if only in the knowledge that someone else understands my child. Thank you for being sensitive to those of us who needed that extra “hug” today. Just wanted you to know that your risk has touched the heart of one mom tonight and I look forward to visiting the Chosen Families website.

  16. 66
    Shanna Rainey says:

    Thank You Father, for speaking through Beth in this blog tonight. Oh how PERFECT is Your timing! And yes, the only army known to man that attacks their fellow man is the army of Christ. I have learned to be very careful to whom I share information about my and my precious childrens’ ‘hidden disabilities’.
    Beth, thank you for your radical obedience to Christ. I love you & I need my siestas!

  17. 67
    Casey says:

    I can attest that it is a very difficult place to be with a special needs child. You never quite fit.

  18. 68
    Karene says:

    Thank you, Beth. There’s so much I could write, but I will leave it at that.

  19. 69
    Pauline says:

    I was involved with a Bible & Missions School. The way they looked at the hidden things was plain – if it was not obviously from God it was sin. They said anytime you were in doubt or had fallen into depression you were sinning and “all you had to do was to STOP SINNING”. There were people within the family of God who commited grave judgements against some pretty innocent people. the damage done can only be fixed by God himself. That damage runs deep. Even today, I can hear their words as clear as the day they were spoken and can feel the emotions I felt that day – the shame, the loss, the frustration, the anger at them and t myself for not making things better for those involved.

    My current church is very caring. They support their people with nearly all their issues – medical or spiritual, or even behavioral. They work to find the cause and then help to resolve the issues. They really are trying to do their best in all areas God would have them reach out.

  20. 70
    Julie in MN says:

    I prayed for God to deliver me from this awful phobia and OCD. I’m shocked because God seems to have used this post to answer that very prayer!…guiding me in a certain direction. Thank you so very much Mama Beth for going out of your comfort zone to write this!!! I am excited to do my part and look into it!!

  21. 71

    Praise God! Sometimes we can keep things so well “hidden” that those who want to help can’t. I love that this site addresses that very problem.

    And can I just say that I also love my sweet mother-in-law, who surprised me with my SSMT spiral tonight! I had coveted (I confess) but hadn’t bought. Love how cute it is!

  22. 72
    Madelin says:

    I thank our Sovereign Lord for your leadership, wisdom, heart of compassion and willingness to share. You are an inspiration to us all. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You Siesta Mama for loving us.

    Kudos to the LProof team YOU ROCK!!!!

  23. 73
    Jenny hope williams says:

    Let me just say that at one point in my life when I was zealous but had no knowledge I was sort of judgmental on topics about medicine for depression or anxiety. Can I say I went thru a three yr period of time that was the worst period of my adult life. I started having panic attacks from my mitral valve. There were times I would lay in the bed and feel like I was dying for hours. There were times that my husband was hunting and I would wonder how I would take care of my child. I felt crazy. I have been madly in love with Jesus for 12 years and stayed in the word and tought bible study by faith. One thing that was so hard was my husband got so used to it that he was of no help because he felt helpless to do anything. I can’t tell u the times the fire dept came to my house from tachycardia. I say all of this to say that you can love Jesus so much and not be living in a stronghold and feel like u are going thru hades on earth and it be a medical reason. I have been really open about my struggle so maybe it can help others. My husbands very best friend took his life a year ago next month. I am so confident of his salvation because my husband and I were very close to him for a decade. He loved Jesus but gave in to his hidden disorder. It is still such a huge blow to us and I pray that the church will put off judgment regarding these battles and put on love even when we don’t understand. He was wrong to do what he did but he let a real disease win. Thank you for this post. Much love and affection.

  24. 74
    Texas in the Mountains says:

    My disability is not hidden, it is obvious every time I open my mouth, cuz my disability is that I talk too much! 😉

    BUT; I, like so many of my siesta’s, am a public school teacher. This site can bring nothing but positive. Knowledge is power.

    Thanks Beth for shining a spotlight on a VERY worthy website.

  25. 75
    Cindy E. says:

    I’m speechless, bawling, and just in awe & grateful! Thank you, Lord, for pressing on Beth’s heart with this. And thank you, Beth, for listening to Him. I will be looking into this resource. We have a family member with one of the hidden disabilities you mentioned in your post, and there is not much help to be had in any church we’ve attended. The “professionals” we’ve encountered aren’t even that helpful. Help with this disability is something I am in constant prayer for because the burden is great and the understanding is rare. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this.

  26. 76
    Beth C. says:

    WOW. God is so faithful and sweetly perfect.

    I just returned home from our Wednesday night church service. This past Sunday, our pastor felt led to encourage the body of our church to fast starting Tuesday evening until after our night of prayer service tonight. The response was overwhelming and in a room full of thousands of people we spent time praying together after a day of drawing closer to Him than I have experienced in a long time. One of my primary reasoning of fasting revolves deeply around what you are calling a ”hidden disability”. When my situation began nearly 2.5 years ago, I found out quickly the church was, sadly, extremely ill equipped to deal with our situation.

    I have been praying for years for guidance on how to fight the stigma not the illness with a biblical basis with the Spirit leading. Today I spent a lot of time on my knees during the church wide fast praying specifically for the type of information I came home to find on your post tonight.

    I am going to spend time reading it and know that I was lead there by a faithful servant of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. There are always exceptions to the rules when the Spirit is leading and Beth, I am thankful tonight that you are lead by the Spirit and clearly see the truth. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a true example of what a sister in Christ is and how she loves.

    Until all have heard,

    Beth C.

  27. 77
    Nicola says:

    I am so grateful that you reached out in this way to those with hidden disabilities. My two daughters have autism and we struggle with many issues. One of the most hurtful things is when people judge my children by their “behaviour” not realizing that they have a disability (not that we should be judging each other anyway!!). I am thankful to have a wonderful church family who has been incredibly supportive. I did get one surprising comment once from someone at my church which was quite hurtful, but I honestly believe people say insensitive things sometimes because they are uneducated about these hidden disabilities, such as autism. However, I am blessed to be surrounded by a loving church family who has always reached out to support us. I don’t know how deep our children’s understanding of the Lord is, but they just love going to church and it does my heart good to see them filled with the love of Jesus.

  28. 78
    Kerri says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this site…i’m passing it along to my friend; actually, she’s my former sis-in-law…she was married to my husband’s brother, daniel. Daniel died in a house fire 10 years ago. 3 years after his death Kelly remarried and has a beautiful daughter who is battling the hidden disability of bipolar. This precious girl is only 8 years old and is suffering terribly. i pray for them often and know Kelly will find some hope in this site.

  29. 79
    Rachele says:

    It is very heart breaking to me that the loves of Christ which covers a multitude of sins doesn’t seem to pour out of us corporately in these hidden areas. There are way too many perspectives entertained. With that said, I have seen both sides one where the ADHD was poor nutrition in the family yet still the child was treated poorly – labeled if you will. It is so sad to me when a parent asks me, “Are you sure you want my _________ to stay over?” Oh what things these parents must have heard over the years to make them ask such a thing. Now there is another child that plays with my son, well actually visits – hangs out (they are 12 now you know!), and he was very difficult to handle at church. He is extremely intelligent and as he has matured he is not acting out as often. And neither child has EVER been a hardship with us in our home. They have each been conversational, funny, but most of all I pray they felt welcomed and that their parents know this too! Whether it is attention, diet, or a serious diagnosis all these children need is the overwhelming love of Christ from us all!
    Thank you for sharing this site! I know many parents that have a deep need to be understood in this particular area!

    God Bless!!!

    • 79.1
      Rachele says:

      oops “loves” of Christ – Well His love is so deep and wide it should be plural!!! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!!

    • 79.2
      Sharoni says:

      Rachele, you are 100% right on….all we need is love, unconditional love. People really don’t offer it because it is an inconvenience to them (they think)…I look forward to the day when the Body of Christ awakens to what we are really supposed to be about here….in the meantime, I choose love, grace, mercy. Thank you for your post…it is lovely!
      In His Love ~

  30. 80
    Ohlookaduck says:

    I can’t believe the timing of this! I’ve been in discussions with my grown daughter about a younger sibling who is unbelievably precious and has some struggles. I’ve so dreaded having to go through a secular system or anything that would impart any kind of “victim status” on him. This is such an answer to prayer! And today I was just blessed by the week and day in Breaking Free that talked about how much God loves children. Amen to that! Thank you, BethDear, for stepping outside your normal chats and sharing this.

  31. 81
    courtney says:

    What a sweet thing to do. My daughter has Asbergers. It is a blessing every day. It is also at times a heartbreaking challenge, but she is amazing and perfect in every way. Every resource helps, though. In a world that is not our home, it is even less hospitable to God’s children who have those “hidden disabilities”. However, I have chosen to see it and speak about it to others as her being specially abled. She is! We all are. Thanks!

    • 81.1
      Patti says:

      “Specially abled” – I love that! Thanks, Courtney

    • 81.2
      Heather says:

      I have often said that my son’s aspergers has been a mixed blessing. How refreshing it has been to see the world thru his eyes… and although we have faced (and are still facing) many challenges, truly I consider him to have “differences” not “disabilities”. He is special… and we who have been entrusted with specially abled children ARE specially blessed!

  32. 82
    Rhonda says:

    God is good all the time! I had just sat down and written an email to my son’s teacher. I am concerned about him and my heart is aching for him. Then I went to your blog. Thank you so much for the information. I know there are many who will benefit by your knowlege and the Holy Spirit that guides you and your words. God bless your ministry.

  33. 83
    Traci says:

    Just a possible direction to take: I’ve read a lot about autism and taking vitamin D3 – Google it – there is a lot of information out there on it. Also, our church has tried to start up a special needs ministry but it is frustrating for everyone involved. So sad.

  34. 84
    Cindy Wincel says:

    Wow! Thanks so much. I am a single mom and my youngest son has Autism. As so many others have said, he looks normal, but he does suffer from Autism and Sensory Disorder, and I am sure there is a few more things that we are yet to diagnose. Now I understand why they call it “hidden” I can completely understand that. Oh, the number of times, I have walked behind him after a “meltdown” appologizing, and explaining that he is not a brat or out of control child but that he has Autism. Even yet, people can lack compassion.

    Praise God that our church has a HUGE ministry to serve families dealing with disabilities.

    Thank you for sharing this link. I am passing it on to several others that I know will be blessed.

    • 84.1
      Cindy Wincel says:

      I also have recently taken into my home a baby with several severe disabilities and deformities. A young woman in my family who is unable to care for this child. Sometimes it gets really hard with two special needs children to care for, but I lean on the power of the Father to get me through each minute. I know as these two little ones grow older, the challenges will be even greater. I am trusting in my Father to carry me through.

  35. 85
    karen says:

    Thank you so much for sharing the information. It’s so hard to accept that life isn’t quite going to be what you’ve dreamed of for your child. I’ve come to both treasure and hate the term “manage”. I’m so grateful that his “issue” can be “managed” but I want to scream and shout at the fact that he has to “manage” at all. When you add to that family, friends, and strangers who don’t understand the realities of life, it can make things very difficult. I so appreciate the work you do and your obedience to His leading. Bless you.

  36. 86
    Sarah says:

    Thank you SO MUCH, Siesta Mama, for this post. I have a “hidden disability” of sorts, Fibromyalgia. One of the books that has encouraged me is “You Don’t Look Sick!” and it’s true. Many people think I’m lazy and not participating in activities as I used to (hanging out with friends, being part of the choir at church). The reason is that I have a lack of energy from the Fibro. I’ve given up trying to explain to some people. Even my family doesn’t get it. It’s encouraging that there are resources out there like the National Fibromyalgia Association as a support group and there are literal support groups all over the country. I hope to be involved in one someday.

    I am so very thankful that I’m not in excruciating pain and I am able to work to support myself, which is not the case with many people with Fibro. I praise the Lord that I can work and even though that and church on Sunday are my only activities right now, I know He has a Plan.

    I long for a helpmate for a variety of reasons. My whole life I’ve wanted to be a wife and mother. It would help me sooooo much physically to have a husband to help me with the physical stuff like cleaning because I’m also very very allergic to dust but clearning is very hard for me and so my apartment is literally toxic. I am praying for my husband that he would adore dispite my “maladies”. Since I’m 37 this dream of a wife and mother seems rather unreachable, but as I have on my blog, nothing is out of God’s reach! (Eph 3:16-21). All praise to Him!

    Thank you again for caring enough to mention this issue. You’re right–the people that have been the least understanding and most cruel/rude to me have been the people at church. Thankfully there are a few that have had the opposite reaction and I’m so grateful.

    Even though my life gets lonely with not being able to hang out with friends much, God has given us technology like texting and e-mailing that I can do in my chair with my heating pads! I know I am never really alone because the Lord is my constant companion. I could never do this without Him! He is our strength and our song and has become our salvation (Ps 118 I think?)

    Bless you, Siesta Mama, and all those you minister with you at LPM. 🙂

  37. 87
    Debbie K. Summersville, Mo says:

    Beth, I am just so happy to see that this resource exsits and that you have given a link to it. My son was ADHD and just a sweet child. I struggled with schools, doctors, and found out there was no advocate for him but me. I always felt that he was misunderstood and my husband just decided that it did not exsit. It truly was a trying but wonderful 18 years, it was me and him against the world. I pray that people will recieve help through this sight, and that we as God’s people will understand we are not perfect. I have assurance now that my child is happy. He left this world in 2003 and is now in the arms of Jesus where He is finally not in any turmoil. God is Merciful!!!

  38. 88
    Amie says:

    Beth, I have so longed to have a Christian ministry, a woman’s ministry, such as yours speak up on this subject. It’s not just the “hidden disability” but also the one you can see! We have a daughter 32 with Down syndrome and a son with ADHD. Moving around the country for 30 years as a military family, time and again, the church may be wonderful, but could not in their hearts accept my daughter, her gentle spirit and love of God in their church. Especially now as a young adult. We live in No VA and have not gone to church in at least six years. It became to heart breaking to us to as church after church refused to let her serve God as a preschool aide or in any capacity that would allow us to attend a Sunday School class and her as well. While we go to praise God, we also need to be fed. There is a church here with a huge ministry for children with disabilities, unfortunately, they meet when there are no classes for the parents. Also, one church does not fit all. Moving around the country our church has always been our HOME, this is heartbreaking for us. We have and our friends have been praying for 11 years now regarding this situation.
    Also, there is mental illness in our family. The ONE place you would think you could turn to is the church! I and my family are not looking for ANYONE there to be an expert in anything, but to show the love that God first showed us. That is it, but it is to hard a fulfillment. One local church even asked a mom to take her daughter out of church when the music started as her daughter could not carry a tune!
    Peace, Peace and there is no peace.
    Forgive me for a post which should offer encouragement, but please let it be a wake up call to those of you who do not have these problems in your family that you would just treat us as fellow sisters and brothers in Christ.
    Thank you Beth for the website and for waiting to find a truly, authentic one you could recommend. Thank you for the opportunity to speak to my sisters in Christ on a subject that is so heartbreaking. Oh how we long for a church to worship in and for personal connections in our own town with other Christians.
    Beth, your teachings and this website have brought me into such a close relationship with God – He has loved me with an everlasting love and drawn me to him in loving kindness Jer. 31:3.

  39. 89
    Becky Dunlap says:

    Beth, I really appreciate you and your thoughtfullness. Last Feb. I was diagnosed with bipolar type 2 rapid-cycling. Praise God for friends who care and directed me to an incredible Godly psychiatrist. It rocked me spiritually for quite awhile. I had to really search my heart and the scripture to come to an acceptance of God’s love and presence in the midst of it. It’s hard to understand for me, let alone those who love me. I appreciate the sensitivity you have and love for others. Your heart is a beautiful God shinning heart. Much love.

  40. 90
    Ginny says:

    I sent a link to this post to a good friend, and it helped encourage her. Thank you for sharing this!

  41. 91
    Britany says:

    When this blog entry arrived in my email inbox last night, I made my husband pause the TV so I could read it to him. Then we both just stared at each other in awe.

    Our middle son, now 7 years old, just yesterday finally was designated by the school as “Special Education” despite the pending official diagnosis of Aspergers by the school Autism team. They made special dispensation for him due to him aggressive behavior in school and the inability of the teachers to control him. He gets angry easily, then hits, kicks or otherwise harms whoever is nearest. This has been going on his whole life, from the time he was about 3, and I cannot begin to tell you how many times we have been told how to correctly discipline our child. Of course, the fact that his older and younger brothers are well-behaved and model citizens never is noticed – just the one with the “bad” behavior. Lord knows, we have not spared the rod on him, but we are finally realizing he is just wired differently. Praise God we are about to get some help – we are also having him evaluated independently by a Christian Psychologist – but I am so grateful for you willingness to broach this topic. It is a lonely and painful place for a parent to be, and yet, I don’t take lightly that God reached out to me through you at the exact moment when I needed Him the most. Thank you.

    • 91.1
      Yanna says:

      God-bumps Britany. I know the feeling when God reaches out through, Beth, through this blog and touches when we need Him the most. I ask that you feel my prayers and the tenderness in my heart as I pray for you and the other Siestas. Beth, because of her willingness to broach this topic and from all the loving post of Siesta’s like you I have been touched by God as well. I ask forgivness for ever having a heart that did not understand, a look that may have hurt, or words that did not bring comfort. I thank my Father for opening my eyes, heart, and soul to others today.

    • 91.2
      Heather says:

      I just want to give you a virtual hug, my sister. I have been there. I have left my son’s school… and church… more times than I can tell you… having been “scolded” by other adults for my inability to control my child. Like you, mine is a third child and his brothers were extremely well behaved. I knew it wasn’t me but I still bore the guilt. Bear. Present tense. Loving you and lifting you up!

    • 91.3
      courtney says:

      For all of you mothers or relatives who are dealing with difficulties that are presented in the behaviors of your children, I highly recommend ABA Therapy. It has made all the difference in my daughter and many other children I know. Diets, supplements, medication, they have helped and hindered to one level or another…every child is SO different, and they respond so differently to those things. The one thing I have found to make a REMARKABLE difference in all children with all types of differences and special abilities… is ABA Therapy. Applied Behavior Analysis. If you find any place that provides this type of therapy or even if the specialists through the school districts (it might be a miracle if they do)but if they provide and are experienced in providing this type of therapy, you will notice a marked difference in your child. I have seen kids who are non-verbal, oppositional, displaying all sorts of distressing behaviors be freed and changed by ABA Therapy. But consistency and parental involvement and support are key. I’ve seen it work with small toddlers to children up to ages 13. Behavioral therapists are great for seeing what is causing the stressors, what reinforces the behaviors, and what can be done to change the behaviors. My daughter used to get up and run out of the classroom hitting herself and crying if her socks felt wrong in her shoes… she now gets through a day and gets schoolwork done. It can be done. Be your child’s biggest advocate and stop at nothing to get them the help they need. Additionally, keep in mind, kids with these ‘hidden disabilities’ or what I like to call ‘specially abled’ have so many gifts to offer the world. We are doing them a disservice if we just try to get them through the day. They have the full ability to function well in society, they just need the help to learn how. It is an interesting journey. You are all in my prayers.

  42. 92
    Heidi Morris says:

    Thank you for getting the word out! My son is almost 9, and has been misdiagnosed with autism, but is actually cognitively impaired. It is a joy and a challenge everyday, and exhausting! I could not do it without God. Our son is quite often loud, so I don’t have the luxury of considering his hidden 🙂

    There is a desperate need to reach out to these families in the churches, because it is so much harder as parents to attend church because of them. Last month as we wandered the lobby my son wiggled out of my grip, ran into the Santuary and did a “victory lap” across the congregation as I chased him all the way around quietly apologizing “I’m soooo sorry!” to our pastor! He kindly responded with a “well Good morning!”

    Afterwards we got many words of encouragement as to their enjoyment of the scene, yet it’s just one of many stories I know a lot of us parents could share…. The emotional, financial and marital strain is great, and I wish I knew how to do more! Beth, if you ever start something to help others in this area, I want to get on board and help!!!!

  43. 93
    dignity says:

    My daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia and OCD when she was 8. She was so smart but couldn’t learn to read and spelling tests were a nightmare. At the age of 13 we almost lost her due to her struggles with bulemia. It is so difficult to find any resources thank you for the information.

  44. 94
    elaine says:

    thank you so much for posting this…. my oldest (18) has been (i need to add, POSSIBLY) diagnosed with a very serious “hidden disability” and not having any experience or any guidance…. I’m not sure what my next steps should be. i feel slightly lost, out of control, and most certainly not properly equipped to handle this. stumbling through….. holding God’s hand…..

  45. 95
    Lee Ann says:

    Thank you for this post. I have already shared with two people I have known through our church family and will benefit from the information myself.

    Beth, I also want to apologize (very publically) to you! Several years ago, I was one who felt “compelled” to write and question an association you had with someone who said things I strongly disagreed with in an interview. I think back to that moment with great “what were you thinking????????” and “who do you think you are??????” thoughts. I have ‘grown up’ a tad since then and want to say I am sorry! That was back in the day when I thought it my job to fix everyone and everything….even when they weren’t broken but instead I was!!!!

    Your ministry has blessed me through the years in ways I simply cannot express and continues to do so to this day. Thank you for continuing to persevere and bring God’s truth to us, in spite of us!

  46. 96
    Joanne says:


    Thank you so much for this web-site. The timing is God inspired. He is so good. He always meets my needs when I’m hurting. I just hung up the phone after hearing about another “issue” I don’t feel equipped to handle. This is a tough journey. I don’t know why God chose me. But I just keep trusting.

  47. 97
    April says:

    Beth thank you for sharing the website. Our family has a member with a hidden disability. I do not say this with unforgiveness, it’s just a fact, but some of the greatest hurts we’ve experienced in dealing with our family member have come from the church. I’m so thankful to see those attitudes are changing.

    It’s funny, I just watched your session of Passion this morning online and was fascinated by your discussion on the mind. God does know what He’s doing. I’ve learned to trust Him through the heartache of dealing with our family member and I can see that He is working out all of this for good and His glory. I looked forward to checking out the website.

    A big thank you to your staff. I’m so excited to get my spiral!

  48. 98
    kimberly says:

    good morning siestas! just a plug for elaine this morning. i don’t know her personally and i don’t even know where she lives, but she mentioned in a post earlier this week that she was having an mri this morning (thur, jan 6) for her back and neck! please join me in lifting her up in prayer!!! love ya’ll!!!

    btw, wow! way to go ssmt spiral shippers! you are amazing! may you be blessed!!!!!

    love, kimberly 🙂

  49. 99
    Betty W says:


    Bless you for sharing this resource! I have bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety, and struggle so much. I hate that I have to take so much medicine.

    I’ve had people strongly imply that I must have done something horribly wrong and that God is punishing me for this. I actually believed this for a long time. I know now that there’s just something askew in my brain and that God isn’t punishing me, but it took me a long time to get to this point.

    Sometimes my medicines stop working right and I end up in the hospital. It’s at those times that I feel like a total failure, that I’ve let God down, and that I’ve committed some horrible sin to end up there. I need to work through my own stigmas about mental illness. I believe that having a Jesus-centered resource will be invaluable.

    Beth, thank you again for sharing this resource. I really needed to hear about it.

  50. 100
    Karen says:

    Thank you so much for taking the risk and publishing this site. I am a long time educator of “special” children and this is a wonderful resource. Bless you!

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