We live in a world of people who possess distinct personalities and abilities. Outside appearances don’t always tell the complete story of who we are. This month, Augusta Family shares a snapshot of our local special needs community with personal stories and collections that we hope provide insight, resources and knowledge to our readers. Our special needs directory lists more than 100 support groups and medical centers in and around Augusta for families of special needs kids. Augusta Family’s staff spent the day with cover subject, Leanna Heider, at Great Oak Equine Assisted Programs in Aiken where we discovered the value of equine therapy through trained horses and attentive staff members. Longtime feature writer, Dr. Dana Harris, shares a personal piece that will educate and touch hearts. The Smart Mom’s Guide contains steps of preparedness if you are considering a special needs adoption and Josh Heath, our Inspiration Station writer, covers one local Augustan’s dream of helping others through the therapy of music. From book reviews to apps to stories, we curated this issue with special needs families in mind. It is our hope that families will keep this issue as a resource throughout the year while navigating the challenges of life.

Enjoy July’s issue!