Welcome to our Special Needs and Baby Issue 2024!

This issue always tugs at my heart. My babies are grown now, but I remember all that went into the births of each and those first few years — and there’s better information than ever before now about giving birth and raising happy, healthy children. We are happy to be a part of it.

The very first issue of Birmingham Parent in March 2004 was dedicated to special needs. We continue that 20 years later with this issue, as well as our event, the Special Needs Expo 2024 on Saturday, March 16, 2024, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Exceptional Foundation in Homewood. Admission is FREE. One of my favorite pieces in this issue that I was privileged to write is “What Not to Say to the Parents of a Special Needs Child.” I got to talk with a lot of you about this, and you offered amazing insight. We issued a call for comments on social media and were overwhelmed with responses. I wish we had space to include them all. I know a lot of people mean well when they say some of these things we highlighted, but parents of children with special needs want you to know that sometimes it just hurts or doesn’t sit well with them. And for those of us who may have said one or more of these things, sometimes when you know better, you do better. I know I will!

We’ve highlighted two “parenting people” in special needs — one that’s not a surprise, the new president of the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, Dr. Dennis Gilliam, and Chief Meteorologist Jason Simpson at WVTM/NBC 13 whose youngest child has faced many issues in his 8 years of life. Be sure to check these out.

Birmingham Parent is celebrating its 20th year of publishing in 2024, but this issue is the anniversary of the very first issue! This magazine has been my “baby” that I’ve watched grow up. We hope you will enjoy the article by Paige Townley about how we came to be, see some of our covers through the years, and know how much we appreciate you being a reader and advertiser throughout the years. The future looks bright!

Happy Easter, and happy spring

ABOUT THE EDITOR: Carol Muse Evans is the publisher/editor/owner of Birmingham Parent magazine, a publication she and her husband David began in 2004. The Birmingham, Alabama-based parenting publication attracts more than 60,000 readers monthly in a four-county area and receives 10,000 hits per month on its website. The magazine has a 20,000+ print circulation, plus several thousand in online readership of the digital edition. It is the only independently audited free publication in our area. Evans is an award-winning writer and editor who has also written for several other publications as a freelance writer since the late 80s. She is a graduate of Auburn University in journalism and is a graduate of Scottsboro High School. She is married with two grown children and lives in Clanton. She/Birmingham Parent are members of the Alabama Press Association.