Mathematics of an Exceptional Parent


What makes an exceptional parent to a child with special needs. Guest blogger created a mathematical equation to answer the question.

A new school year is just around the corner, and maybe that’s why guest blogger Scott Newport is in a math mood today. Take a look at the new math he learned during his years as dad to Evan, their son who had special needs.

Mathematics of an Exceptional Parent

I never did really well in school but since the birth of my special needs son, Evan, I was left no option but to continue my education. Like you, I was taught mathematics is all about numbers. Ha!

Since my new schooling commenced, I figured out numbers do not always add up when trying to calculate a problem. I may not be the smartest guy on the block but the mathematics I have recently learned has paid off.

Below are two lists. The first part is composed of four equations I figured out as a home work assignment. The second part is a list of definitions that help shape our lives.

Part 1: Equations of an Exceptional Parent

  1. Circumstance – Hope =   disappointment
  2. Relationships X forgiveness = longevity
  3. Friends / zero= loneliness
  4. Resiliency + humor = survival

Part 2: Geometry of an Exceptional Parent

  1. A triangle can be described as the relationship with three sides, you, your child and those who are there to help. At times it kinda functions like a three legged dog.
  2. A circle is a symbol of what you do when you try to explain your situation with those who don’t care. (Note: a circle has no beginning or end)
  3.  A square has four equal sides, (Okay, Ill give you a pass on that one. I forgot, “equal sides” is not in our dictionary)
  4.  A line is one of those marks on my face, not from age but from all the miles I have traveled in this journey with my exceptional child. But in reality a line moves in a clear direction you can either go forward or backwards on it. It is up to you which way you travel.


The three R’s; reading, writing and arithmetic were foundations for basic skills for education.
I say the three L’s; listening, learning, and lots of fun are the basic skills needed for an exceptional parent.

Your New Math?

What math lessons have you learned as the parent of a child with special needs? Please leave your favorite equations below!

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  1. August 16, 2011    

    PT + OT + ST = maximum results
    Time x fun = energy

    thanks for your blog from a math Mom!!

  2. Suzanne Suzanne
    August 16, 2011    

    One small comment. I loved the wording “my exceptional child”…
    Because they ‘are’ exceptional. I have, by all accounts, a fully functioning body, and I get pretty cranky most days; take it for granted. My sweet sweet daughter, what she’s had to endure and…just has an ‘exceptional’ attitude. Why doesn’t society see this…rather than the more obvious things that are lacking, interesting.

    That’s a phrase that will stay with me, and I might re use it…

  3. August 17, 2011    

    Love it, Lisa!


  4. August 17, 2011    

    I’m glad you like “exceptional,” Suzanne. It sounds like your daughter is truly exceptional.


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Meet Jolene

Jolene Philo is a published author, speaker, wife, and mother of a son with special needs.



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