Mothering Children with Disabilities

April 16, 2019

EP 85: Mothering Children with Disabilities: From Hopelessness to Living Expansively with Heather Magdelano

In this episode I talk with Heather Joy Magdelano about her journey as a mother to two children with a rare genetic syndrome called Wolf-Hirschhorn. We get real about the complexity of emotions parents with kids with disabilities experience, along with caregiver’s burnout, how to avoid it + finding joy in deep acceptance. We cover G-Tube feeding to the fear of outliving your own child, along with flower essences + alternative therapies for kids with disabilities.

LISTEN to this episode on:

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We talk about:
  • A rare genetic syndrome called Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome
  • Her journey of having two children with Wolf-Hirschhorn
  • How her experience evolved from utter hopelessness to expansive gratitude
  • The joys of Dinnertime Karaoke with G-Tube Feeding
  • Being aware of + creating energetic, sensorial and non-verbal experiences for hearing + visually-impaired kids
  • Complexities of emotion that a parent with a child with disabilities can experience: anger, grief, guilt, fear, exhaustion
  • Caregiver’s “Black Hole” burnout + how to avoid it
  • Creating a seed intention when endeavoring in any practice
  • How Yoga Nidra changed Heather's life
  • Every parents biggest fear: they will outlive their children
  • The concept of: Trusting the love that already exists
  • The power of deep acceptance
  • How what you focus on grows + how to ‘see what already exists vs. focus on negativity’
  • Flower essences, aromatherapy + alternative medicine practices for children with disabilities
  • Her program for parents with children of any disability called Journey to Joy + what she’s learned from it
  • Words of wisdom for parents with children with disabilities and for those of us who don’t, how to bring families with disability into the fold of our community with warmth
More about Heather:

Heather Joy Magdelano is a visionary, advocate, mother and healer. In 2016, she founded Journey into Joy, a unique self-care and relaxation program for mothers who have a child with a disability. Facilitating this transformational program has been an important catalyst for her own  healing and inspired her to pursue and complete Yoga Teacher Training in 2018.

Additionally, she is the Family Engagement Coordinator for the Arizona Deafblind Project. In October 2018, Heather Joy hosted a retreat for mothers, many from Journey into Joy, allowing the group to go deeper into their personal healing and helping them create a vital bond with one another.

Heather Joy became a mother in 2007; her son and daughter were both born with the same rare genetic syndrome. Heather also has a young adult stepson; her grandson was born in 2014 with the same genetic syndrome as her children. Parenting two children with multiple disabilities thrust her into a life of personal growth and self-healing: it was a choice to become bitter or better, to descend into despair or rise up. She chose to rise up. 

Heather's Favorite Botanical: Lichen

Her words to describe Lichen, which also perfectly describe how she brings her gifts into the world: 

Adaptable, wise + knowing.


Follower her on Instagram: @HeatherJoyMagdelano + @NidraJoy
Explore her Blog!


Follow her on Instagram: @iamkatiehess @lotuswei
LinkedIn: Katie Hess
Media Kit: Katie Hess, International

Happy listening,

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