Are You a Professional and a Parent to a Special Needs Child? This is For You.

Whether you just found out that your baby has a disability, you’ve just found your sea legs after years of caring for your child with a learning difference, or something in between, the Mindful Return e-course, Balancing Career With A Special Needs Child, is for you.

In this go-at-your-own-pace program, you will learn how to successfully navigate the being a working parent of a premature, intellectually or developmentally disabled, and/or medically fragile infant, toddler, or child.

This Course is the First and Only One of its Kind

Surprising, isn’t it? We thought so too. Until now, parents of special needs kids have not had access to a network that encourages and offers tactical guidance to people who want a career and have a special needs child. So, we created one.


It doesn’t matter whether you sit in a corner office or a home office, working only during nap times, the guidance offered here is second-to-none.

We Hear You.

Do these thoughts cross your mind while you drive to a doctor’s appointment or rock your baby at 2 a.m.?


Sometimes I just really wish my kid was ‘typical.’ Does that make me a bad parent?


There are just too many specialist appointments involved with parenting a special needs child. Will I ever be able to make a career work while juggling them all?


If I ask for flexible scheduling, will I have to sacrifice career growth?


Other people may think they know what it’s like to raise a special needs child, but they don’t. Where are the parents who understand?


Is it possible to be successful at work while still being the kind of parent my child needs me to be?

We want you to know that we hear you, and you’re not alone. These thoughts are completely normal. Not only that, but we’re fairly certain another person raising a special needs child is thinking at least one of them at this exact moment.


Even if you have other children who call you mom or dad, becoming a parent to a special needs child is a huge transition. Now, you’re responsible for caring for your child with special needs while still earning a living and putting food on the table (or maybe in the g-tube). Yes, this is a beautiful time in your life, but it’s also a time riddled with anxiety about the future — and those feelings of worry are only natural when you’re trying to figure out this path alone. But it doesn’t have to be that way…

Introducing: Mindful Return’s Balancing Career With a Special Needs Child

Mindful Return’s Balancing Career with a Special Needs Child is a program designed specifically for career-minded individuals who have gone through the transformative experience of having or adopting a special needs baby, toddler, or school-aged child. These children require extra love and attention. Sound familiar? Keep reading because this is for you.


This program is designed to leave you feeling more relaxed while simultaneously more empowered. It’s created to connect you with other parents who have walked a similar journey as you’re experiencing now. Through each lesson and conversation, you’ll start to feel encouraged and inspired that it truly is possible to have it all.

We’ll show you how to negotiate for flexibility, plan complex logistics, and find real balance between both demanding roles. Throughout it all, you’ll be surrounded by a community of other working parents of special needs kiddos who can offer a truly empathetic ear, as well as unique insight into pursuing a career with a special needs child.

This is More Than an E-Course. It’s an Experience You Can’t Find Anywhere Else.

As Seen In

Created by Three Working Parents Who Get It

Mindful Return’s course for career-minded parents of special needs children is the brain child of three working parents who have walked the walk.

Lori Mihalich-Levin is a lawyer with two young children of her own. She has experienced first-hand the challenges that come with returning to work after maternity leave.

It’s through her experience that she created the original version of the Mindful Return course for working moms. However, given her passion for inclusivity, she wanted to design something unique to special needs parents, which prompted her to team up with Mia and Bryan...

Mia Durairaj is a health writer and researcher for the medical device industry.

When her medically-fragile twins were born three months early in 2017, she first assumed her career in health communications was over.  Determined to carve out time for her career, she decided to start a small consulting business during her children’s nap times. As that consulting business grew, she found herself with more flexibility to attend all of her children’s appointments without sacrificing the career she loves.  In 2019, Mia returned to the full-time workforce as a Senior Strategic Insights Manager at Dexcom.

Bryan Levine is a lawyer and dad to an amazing ten-year old boy diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

He lives in New Jersey and works in New York City in the Legal Department for Citigroup, where he has been since 2017, having previously been a litigation associate at law firms in Washington, D.C. and New York.  Bryan’s focus on work-life balance came after his son was diagnosed with ASD at 26 months.  Realizing the challenges his son would face – physically, socially and emotionally – Bryan put a plan into action to alter the balance between his work and home life, to become a more active, engaged parent and advocate for his son.

In Mindful Return’s Balancing Career with a Special Needs Child, Lori, Mia, and Bryan brought together a core group of parents to share words of wisdom about this unique journey:


Maria Dellapina, President and Founder of Specs4Us


Richard Peake, Operations Executive


Gina Gallagher, Copywriter, Speaker, and Coauthor of Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid


Kara Wahlin, Marriage and Family Therapist and Owner of NICU Healing


Tasha Howland, Mobility Sales Executive at AT&T and Special Needs Advocate


Sarah Rudell Beach, Executive Director of Brilliant Mindfulness, LLC and Author of the Left Brain Buddha Blog

A Completely Private Community of Support is Here

In addition to the expert guidance and support from Lori, Mia, Bryan, and the group of guest authors, you’ll also find inspiration and support from a private community of parents who have walked or are walking in your shoes.

This community gives you the chance to ask private questions, get real answers, and sleep better at night, knowing other working parents of special needs children have your back. This community will put wind in your sails, helping you lead, grow, and thrive in your roles.

What to Expect When You Join

You’re busy, and the last thing you want to do is add another thing to your to do list. We get it, which is why we’ve made it as easy as possible to access the material you crave. Take the online class on your schedule and in the comfort of your sweat pants. Read the material while waiting for your child to get out of therapy or sitting down (for once) with a hot cup of coffee during naptime.

Here’s what’s included during the 4-week course:


A mind shift that lets you feel calm and peaceful about working and parenting;


Brainstorming exercises to help you find practical solutions to all those worrisome logistics;


The path to turning personal challenges into leadership opportunities at work;


An unbelievably supportive, private community of other special needs parents with a career mindset.

Around here, things are casual, comfortable, and most of all, convenient. But don’t mistake that for lacking power and efficacy. We’re simultaneously giving you relief while building your confidence.

Here are the specific lessons you’ll get access to:


Special Needs Parenting: Challenges and Rewards


Working with a Mindset of Gratitude


Adopting a New Perspective


Coping with Overwhelm, Anxiety, and Depression


Coping with Guilt


Baby Steps Toward Self-Care


Starting a Meditation Practice When You Have No Time


Choosing and Working with Child Care Providers


Understanding Work Flexibility


Sick Days, Snow Days, and the Land of the Unexpected


Putting Healthy-ish Food on the Table


Wellness and the Special Needs Parent


Can Parents of Special Needs Kids be Leaders?


Redefining Success


Grow Your Team


Focus on Your New Skills


Letting Go of What Doesn’t Serve You


Avoid Isolation


Find Your Tribe: In-Person and Online Options


Your Village: Partners and Parents and In-Laws


Sharing Good News


Keeping the Course Alive

Being a single parent of a special-needs kid can be scary. Even when you have lots of supportive friends and family, the never-ending battle to ensure that your child has the proper medical and educational support can leave you feeling exhausted and isolated. The Mindful Return course for parents with special-needs kids gave me new skills and insights that helped me to advocate for my daughter and improve my self care. But more than that, it provided me with a sense of community. Sharing my experience and connecting with other parents made me feel that both my daughter and I had a place in the world — since finishing the course, I’ve reached out to a local organization with whom I plan to do some post-pandemic volunteering. I highly recommend Mindful Return for any parents who feel that they could use some expert support.


Senior Director of Quality Assurance, Schrodinger

Mindful Return’s Balancing a Career with a Special Needs Child Course is a wonderful tool to help parents who are wanting or needing a career but unsure of how to juggle all that comes with parenting a child with special needs. The course is easy to use and addresses important and relevant topics that are practical for managing everyday life. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to take the course and would highly recommend it!


CPA, Professor, and Mom of a Special Needs Toddler

Take the Course on Your Own Schedule

The Fine Print

At $399/person, Mindful Return is around the same price as a night away, with far longer-lasting relaxation benefits. Participation includes:


Indefinite access to all the course materials


A $25 coupon for your partner to sign up for any of our Mindful Return courses, including a course for new working moms or a course designed specifically for new working dads. (Hint: You can also use this coupon toward a baby shower gift for a friend.)

Many employers cover the cost of this course! Ask yours if this is part of your employee benefit package (and if it isn’t, ask if it can be added).

Know you’d benefit from this course but have financial hardship?  Simply complete the Mindful Return Financial Assistance Form to apply for a full or partial course scholarship.

There’s a Book You Should Read if You’re Eager to Get Started.

Lori wrote the book on returning to work after maternity leave, and it’s available for you to start reading now. Dig in as you start your nesting phase, or crack it open during a marathon feeding session. The more you dig in, the more you’ll find hope that you can return to work prepared, confident, and ready to rock your new role.

You Have Questions. We Have Answers.

When should I sign up for this course? When I'm expecting a special needs child? Am out on leave? When my child is in school?

There is no wrong time to take this course.  With that in mind, you can dive in anytime you feel ready to start navigating the challenges of being a working parent of a special needs child or want some encouragement that you will survive the chaos.


Is there a particular time of day I need to log in to the course? And can I participate from a mobile device?

Any time of day is a good time to log in, read the lessons, and see what other parents are writing. And yes, the private and secure online platform used for the course (Ruzuku) is accessible via mobile devices. 

My schedule is so unpredictable – what if I fall behind with the lessons?

This course is designed with the chaos of a working ’s life in mind. It’s easy to pick up where you left off and go at your own pace. 

Will I have access to the course materials after the course is over?

Yes! You will have indefinite access to the course material, on the course’s private Ruzuku page. 

How much does the course cost, and what methods of payment do you accept?

Joining the 4-week, 24-lesson course costs $399. All major credit cards are accepted for payment through the Ruzuku course website using Stripe (like PayPal, only easier to use!). If you know the course would help you, but you have a financial hardship, please complete the Mindful Return Financial Assistance Form to apply for a full or partial course scholarship.

I’m worried about my privacy. How can you ensure my information stays private?

Privacy is paramount to us. All of the discussion and information takes place on a private platform. You can share as much or as little as you’d like. Have a question but don’t want to divulge your first name? No problem. You choose how you show up in this exclusive community.

I’m an adoptive or step-parent. Does this course still apply to me?

Absolutely! This course is all about navigating the challenges that come with being a working parent of a special needs child, regardless of how you arrived at parenthood.

How do you define special needs?

Special needs children are those who are born prematurely, have an intellectual or developmental disability, and/or who have a special health care need.

Do you have a question that wasn’t answered here? E-mail Lori directly at or Mia at

Take the Course on Your Own Schedule

Stay In Touch

Even if you’re not ready to sign up for Mindful Return yet, we want to keep in touch with you. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to learn more about what it takes to be successful as a working parent, with regular tips, guidance, and support from Lori Mihalich-Levin.

Our Gift To You

At Mindful Return, we know that calm, thoughtful planning, and time for reflection, are keys to success in working parent life. Our FREE guide, 99 Questions to Ask Yourself Before, During, and After Maternity Leave, is our gift to you and your new bundle of joy.

Thanks! Check your e-mail for more information.