Welcome to Positive Special Needs Parenting


Hi there! I’m Kirsty Russell – author, speaker and mother to three wonderful kids. I’m a special needs parent, and a taxi driver, and a personal assistant, and hostage negotiator, and private chef and… well, all those jobs that go part-and-parcel with being a Mum!

Kirsty Russell - positivespecialneedsparenting.comI’ve been sharing my experiences about caring for my kids, advocating for their needs and looking after myself as a carer for a while now. I’ve been lucky enough to work with service providers to help them better understand the needs of not just children with special needs, but their parents and, indeed, entire families. I have also been very privileged to share the stories and experiences of many other special needs parents, having a laugh about the good times and supporting each other through the rough parts.

Being a parent to a child with special needs is a unique and challenging experience, but not an unrewarding one. I make it my mission to find the joys in this whole ugly mess we call life, and to share the positives. It is my belief that building strong connections with others, learning to be a powerful advocate for our children, and choosing to find the positives in our experiences makes us better parents, happier families and stronger individuals.


Finding the joy every day isn’t always easy, but it is essential for a physically and mentally healthy family. Discover strategies, resources and tools to help you.


Building positive relationships with parents can be a challenge. Discover tools, resources and training to help you engage parents and improve outcomes.

Service Providers

Your mission is to support parents in making the best choices for their children. An experienced parent advocate can help you engage authentically with clients.

Recent Articles 

2018 PSNP Parent Carer Survey

Calling all parents and carers to children with disability or special needs.   I need your input into the 2018 PSNP Parent Carer Survey. This survey is easy to complete (there's only 6 questions in...

How Parents Can Become Disability Allies

Today, December 3, is International Day for People with Disability (IDPwD). It's a day to celebrate disability, support the disability community, recognise the continuing challenges they face and...

Featuring in the New Introduction to Autism Module for Positive Partnerships

We were excited to be asked to share our story with Positive Partnerships for their new online learning module, An Introduction to Autism. They recently updated their online learning portal with...

5 Life Hacks for Special Needs Parents

Life can be a whirlwind as a special needs parent. Not only do you have all the normal responsibilities of a parent but you also have so much more on top of that: scheduling appointments planning...

5 Ways to Prepare a Child When a Parent is Admitted to Hospital

There's so much advice out there for when kids are admitted to hospital for the first time. There are social stories, guides and tips available to address the unknowns and reassure your child that...

Effective Advocacy Begins With Relationship Management

Some of you may not know that I was a relationship manager in my previous life, before the stress of my caring roles took its toll and led me to make the hard decision to leave my position. I loved...

Why Inclusion Matters

Post in collaboration with K-12 Inclusion   As parents to three kids, two of whom have a range of diagnoses between them, accessing inclusive education has always been a priority for us. We’ve...

5 Ways to Prepare For Your NDIS Plan Review

We've just survived another NDIS Plan Review. These meetings are held annually to re-visit the needs of the participant, review their goals and put together a plan for the coming year. We've been...

Special Needs Parents: How to Make Your Relationship Last

There's a part of me that has always shied away from this sort of post. The superstitious side of me doesn't want to tempt fate by giving relationship advice. However, the practical side of me knows...

Getting the Right Fit Conference

This time last week, I presented a keynote and two workshops at the Getting tht Right Fit Conference in Adelaide. I was invited by Disability Policy & Programs (SA Department of Education), to...

Autism Family Travel book cover

Dreaming of Travel?

Discover how you can travel as an autism family (and actually enjoy the experience too!) in the new guide, Autism Family Travel.

Based on real life experience, this e-book is full of practical tips, tools & resources, as well as strategies that really work!

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