Love, Disability and the Single Parent

Guest Blog Post by Katie Grange


February is the month of love.  Can a single special needs mom find love? Katie and I have shared many cups of coffee talking about this important aspect of life.  Her story is riveting.  I know her story will capture your heart and inspire you to believe in your own dreams.

This blog post is the first in a series of three.



“Baby I’m-a want you… Baby I’m-a need you…”

 Remember the 70’s pop band Bread? believe

This song changed mine. Imagine watching the Hallmark Channel’s Valentine’s Day TV special about Aspen, Colorado and hearing this song as a young girl and falling in love. In love with the idyllic dream of romantic relationships with hip-looking couples walking together in the snow, holding hands with their honey, skiing on fresh powder, climbing mountains and living happily ever after in a heavenly place called Aspen. The show left an asteroid sized dent in my psyche, changing the course of my life. Years later, I moved to Aspen in search of that exact dream–and found it.

I skied, fell in love and married my tennis instructor. Life was good. I was living my vision of paradise until the day my world changed and so did the music.

Life can change in a minute, spinning out of control. Small things have the power to change everything.  For me, it was a small kernel of popcorn that changed everything.

On a beautiful day in a mountain valley, my tiny 17 month old son, choked on a kernel of popcorn. Up until then, he walked, talked, swam and could actually hit a backhand with a tennis racket. Within minutes he had no speech, ambulation, ability to eat or do anything for himself. 

max, katie and snowman As any special needs mother knows—it wasn’t long before 110% of my time became devoted to helping my child. Then, poof! There went my marriage.

I sought support from my friends.  But, the response I received surprised me. One recently divorced friend, also with a young son, and I confided in each other.  I wondered what the future would hold for our love lives.

 She replied back.  “A single mother of a significantly challenged child…  Who would want a relationship with her?”

If she couldn’t find a relationship, how could I? Certain she would never find someone who wanted to share life with her and her son, she made sure to let me know I would fair much worse—just because I had a special needs son.

I wondered, “Is she right?”

You can read Part Two on February 19th.

Katie Grange is the parent of Max Grange, a young adult with significant disabilities who lives life to the fullest in his community of Snowmass Village, Colorado. Katie can be contacted at or visit her website at and