October 16, 2017

Faces of ABLE: Linda Bennett

Faces of ABLE: Linda Bennett

Linda Bennett wrote the book for special needs parents that she wishes had been around when her son was diagnosed.

 

The diapers. The sleepless nights. Bragging about each milestone met. Through it all, the love.

Linda Bennett was looking forward to each and every thing that comes with being a new mother when her son, Ryan, was born. But while she always felt the love, those anticipated milestones were delayed, sometimes significantly. When Ryan was 9, specialists finally confirmed he had an intellectual disability that meant he would never catch up to his peers.

“My bragging gene was replaced with a sword, because now I am a warrior for my child whose future was uncertain and so was mine,” Bennett writes on her website, exceptionalparentsplace.com.

Now, Ryan is 39, and Bennett is still advocating for him while also coaching other special needs parents. She recently published “Becoming a Seriously Happy Special Needs Mom,” a book she wishes had been available to her when Ryan was first diagnosed.

“ABLE United allows us to sleep better at night knowing our child’s financial future is safe.”

Another new tool that’s available to Florida’s special needs parents is the ABLE United program. The Bennetts have an ABLE United account for their son and love to watch it grow.

“For Ryan, having an ABLE United account provides him the flexibility to be able to have and make his own money without there being a lot of strings attached,” Bennett said.

“Special needs parents are overwhelmed as they try to put their arms around their child’s diagnosis,” she said. “Everybody has a different journey, but ABLE United allows us to sleep better at night know-ing our child’s financial future is safe.”