To the woman who heard The Speech

The speech all special needs moms have

It was long and more than you expected, I’m sure. But what you don’t know, what you must not have considered despite your career, is that special needs moms prepare for this type of encounter from the time our children exhibit their first behavior that sets them apart from the crowd. You see I know. I […]

Autism and wandering and AngelSense

autism and eloping

I shared this story several years ago but wanted to share it again because it’s such an important issue and because I’m working with AngelSense to help tackle the issue of autism and wandering. One of my closest friends has two boys with autism. I have watched her unload them from her vehicle, clinging to one while holding her […]

An emergency of the best kind

adult life with autism

This afternoon I carried Sawyer to the car without shoes, Parker and McKenna ran behind. I told them they didn’t need to grab their coats, just hurry, hurry, hurry. Ashlyn ran out with headphones dangling from one pocket, trying to stuff a cell phone into the other. A phone call two minutes prior had shot us into […]

Autism and empathy

autism and empathy

Before my life as a stay-at-home mom/writer/taxi driver, I was the director of an autism center. I had the privilege of watching countless children and teens on the spectrum come in and out of our doors every day. One of my favorite teens was a boy with Asperger’s. He was broad and tall for his […]

What raising a child with autism taught me about raising a child without

what raising a child with autism taught me

Twelve years sit between Ashlyn and her next siblings. I parented through more than half her childhood and nearly survived the middle school years before adding more kids to the mix. Raising a child with autism before parenting her siblings who do not have autism taught me a few things I hadn’t expected. 1. Including others […]

This is our autism

this is our autism

Since the beginning of my life as an autism mom I have been surrounded by versions of what people think autism is. Well-meaning onlookers have mentioned that my daughter doesn’t count 5,000 items in 30 seconds like Rain Man or memorize the name of every US president like that one other person with autism they know. In […]

Autism and adulthood

kids at the aquarium

Let me explain what it is like to go from having a child with autism to having an adult. If you already know what it’s like feel free to skip ahead to the picture at the end of this post. If you already know because you happen to be one of the few parents of […]

I will not be a broken record

candle light vigil

With April comes Autism Awareness month. In the past I was the first mom to wave my puzzle piece ribbon while shining my blue light but I’m just not there anymore. Everyone knows someone with autism. I don’t need to remind you that the numbers have now risen to 1 in every 68 children. I’m […]

I’m with the band

Special Olympics

There’s this strange argument I used to have with myself and I’ve always wondered if other parents did the same. As the mom of a special needs child, I looked for every opportunity for her to be with her “peers.” I wanted her to be treated like them. I wanted her to be included in […]

Stop Saying It

end the r word

Today is the official day of the End the R word campaign. There is a story I could share about how this word was directed towards someone I love dearly. But I won’t. I heard what was muttered and the person it was directed towards did not. Putting it in print will not help either […]