Special Kids Chosen Moms

A Mother’s Guide to Raising Her Special Needs Child

By Sandra Nieto

PHOENIX — June 12, 2024 —“Every 4 1/2 minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect in the United States. Birth defects affect 1 in every 33 babies born in the United States each year. That translates into about 120,000 babies,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.*

When one mother’s son contracted group B strep on the third day of his life, he became a part of that statistic. Sandra Nieto, author of Special Kids—Chosen Moms: A Mother’s Guide to Raising Her Special Needs Child (Redemption Press), says, “My beautiful child, Clay, was blind, had cerebral palsy, was fed via a G-tube with a twenty-four-hour feeding pump, and took as many as thirty-two medications a day.” 

Because of what she learned on her almost-sixteen-year journey with her son, she has written a practical and supportive guide to help prepare, organize, and encourage mothers as they raise their special needs child. In this book she helps mothers face many difficult decisions regarding healthcare, schools, and respite and gives tips on organizing the household, recipes, and Scriptures to feed the soul. Nieto says, “My hope is to remind mothers of God’s love and to appreciate that they are ‘chosen’ by our heavenly Father to nurture these little ones.”

*“Birth Defects are Common, Costly, and Critical,” June 28, 2023, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov.


Sandra Nieto served on the board of the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation from 2000 to 2003. Married and the mother of four adult children in a blended family, she and her husband live in Arizona. She enjoys walking, hiking, and running and has run half-marathons, a full marathon in Paris, France, and two triathlons. Sandra blogs at www.sandranieto.com but Special Kids—Chosen Moms: A Mother’s Guide to Raising Her Special Needs Child is her debut book.

Interview Questions

  1. First, tell us a bit about your son, Clay, so we can get to know him.
  2. What was the biggest challenge for you when you found out your son would need lifelong special care?
  3. What area do you think mothers of special needs children most need help with?
  4. You say the quality of the child’s life will largely depend on your (and his) attitude toward struggles. What did you find helped most to keep your attitude about caregiving positive?
  5. Out of all the tips and advice you give in the book, what do you think is the most helpful?
  6. Navigating the medical arena with diagnoses and insurance and appointments seems daunting. What helped you keep on track?
  7. What are the distinctives of your book, Special Kids—Chosen Moms? Why do you feel the material in it is beneficial to moms with special needs children?

For a review copy or to interview Sandra Nieto, contact Joni Sullivan Baker, Buoyancy PR,
at 513/319-3231 or jbaker@buoyancypr.com.