Better Than OK; Finding Joy As A Special Needs Parent

“Every day is joyful. Every day is a gift. Every day I can thank God from the bottom of my heart.” Kelly Mantoan wasn’t always able to say these words. As a mother of five children, two with profound disabilities, all her energy and attention was focused on her children’s diagnoses and round-the-clock care. Drained and struggling, Kelly wondered if she had what it took to be the kind of parent they needed. She craved support as a Catholic mother with special-needs children but felt lost and alone when she tried to rely on secular support groups or well-meaning but inexperienced friends and family. If you can relate to Kelly’s story, Better Than OK is the hope-filled book you need. In her down-to-earth way, Kelly shares the steps parents need to take to shift their focus away from the negatives of a diagnosis and toward acceptance, renewed faith, and joy. – from the back cover

Learn more during my Live Q&A Session

Buy your own copy at:

Articles and Interviews

Reviews and Endorsements

(Don’t forget to leave your own review on Amazon or Goodreads.)

“If Kelly Mantoan wrote a book about watching paint dry, I would buy it, because she’d somehow manage to make it smart and funny and eminently relatable. Luckily, she’s turned her talents to a much more important subject. This book is a must-read for special needs parents, but I would recommend it to any parent who needs a dose of wisdom and encouragement.” – Jennifer Fulwiler, bestselling author and standup comic

“In Better Than Ok, author Kelly Mantoan brings home the innumerable daily challenges of taking care of two physically disabled children with wit and wisdom. Describing her family’s spiritual and emotional journey through the stages of accepting their children’s diagnosis and future, she pulls no punches in the unique struggles and joys that come with this journey. Her raw honesty and practical advice to caregivers of special needs children is refreshing and hopeful. Her witness to seeing the face of Christ in her children is sorely needed in today’s society. I could not recommend this book enough. May we all come to know what a  gift our disabled brothers and sisters are to building the kingdom of God this side of Heaven.”  – Mary Lenaburg, award winning author of Be Brave in the Scared, Ave Maria Press

“Sometimes special needs parents need practical tips. Sometimes we need prayers. And sometimes we just need to know that we’re not alone. Kelly Mantoan’s Better Than Ok provides all three. This engaging new book is a true gift to the parents of kids with special needs and the loved ones who support them.” – Bonnie L. Engstrom, mom of eight and author of 61 Minutes to a Miracle

“Kelly Mantoan gives us a real and honest look at the practical, spiritual, and emotional challenges that come with receiving a serious medical diagnosis for a child. Equally importantly, she shows us that each of us is—with God’s help—capable of corresponding to the graces we need to find joy in a family life that might be different than we expected. A truly important book for Catholic parents of special needs children, and for family members, friends, and members of parish communities who want to better understand and more effectively support them.” – Kendra Tierney, author of The Catholic All Year Compendium

“This vulnerable book shares the reality and beauty of special needs parenting. Kelly Mantoan is the real deal and she doesn’t sugar coat challenges or offer trite inspiration platitudes. In Better Than Ok, Kelly uses her experience raising sons with SMA to guide other special needs parents through their journey as they learn to embrace a life they never expected and yet, find authentic joy as a family. A truly life-changing book.” – Haley Stewart, Author of The Grace of Enough, Podcaster, and Fellow of the Word on Fire Institute

“This book is a gem for all special-needs parents, by turns funny, poignant, and always honest. It’s the book I wish my parents could’ve had when I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis in the ’90s.” – Emily M. DeArdo, author of Living Memento Mori: My Journey through the Stations of the Cross