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Special Needs Families

Update on Alison Mosher

By her Dad, John Mosher

Alison Mosher with her classmatesgetting an email from John Mosher, Alison Mosher’s Dad was wonderful. After John came to fix a computer problem one day in IF mag’s home office, we started to talk about our families.  John shared with me about his daughter Alison and their family’s challenge with Smith Magenis.  Alison’s diagnosis of Smith Magenis took many years.  What was wrong?  What was right?  Without a map the Mosher family just kept trying to play “flashlight tag in the dark” with their family life. I asked if I could write about their family and add their story to the IF mag stories. I related my struggles with my first son’s language delay and couldn’t imagine that level of confusion. John talked to his wife Maria about it and one day soon after I met Allison. Maria and Allison sat in my living room with my son Brody and we talked and I found out so many things and heard so many stories. 

One story that touched me and is so kin to this month’s theme of extended family was the friendship between Allison and her Uncle Chris. Uncle Chris was a big kid and never had children of his own. Allison liked Uncle Chris very much. Uncle Chris liked having such a big fan. A family friendship was formed that warmed the hearts of the whole family. Uncle Chris and Allison especially liked going to the movies together. Wonderful.

Smith-Magenis Awareness
An Interview with Maria Mosher and her daughter, Allison
By Catherine Wayland
September 2006

John Mosher contacted me about a year after the story was written.  He told me that after the story was published, his own family felt comfortable asking questions and discussing Allison’s Smith Magenis.  Before the story, the family thought that their avoidance of the subject was polite and sensitive.  But for John and Maria, this politeness was interpreted as something else and they admitted feeling lonely in their journey.  John told me that day one year later, that the story had connected the family.  That was the day I knew that IF mag was a success and John gave me that great accolade in his brief words. 

Here is the latest update from the Mosher family.  Wonderful, wonderful.



Ally received an award at class night. The scholarship is given to a Mt hope high school senior who embodies courage and his or her daily life and who bravely confronts life's challenges. It is called the Carol Murgo scholarship for courage. Her classmates and audience gave her a standing ovation.

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