Just so you’re AWARE…

autism: noun. one of many terms to help describe (and explain) my son. Many of you probably already know April is Autism Awareness Month. It was, ironically enough, last April that we received my son’s “official” (ADOS-approved) diagnosis of ASD.  Everywhere I turned there were billboards and commercials and news reports and online propaganda screaming atContinue reading “Just so you’re AWARE…”

Meltdowns: “You ain’t seen nothin’!”

Whenever my friends describe “meltdowns” their young children have, I have to restrain myself from busting out into maniacal laughter. They really have no idea. If you’re a parent, you know what meltdowns look like.  They’re not pretty. If you’re a parent of an aggressive child with special needs, you know what a meltdown feelsContinue reading “Meltdowns: “You ain’t seen nothin’!””

The Anniversary of a Diagnosis

A year ago, I received a diagnosis, a slap in the face, a validation. No mother wants to admit she feels a slight twinge of relief at hearing something is “wrong” with her child. But I did.  A small, small part of me thought, So it’s not me.  I’m not a horrible mother.  I haveContinue reading “The Anniversary of a Diagnosis”

What my Special-needs Son CAN Do

ASD: Autism Spectrum Disorder   SPD: Sensory-processing Disorder Many with ASD also have SPD.  Welcome to the land of acronyms. My four year-old son was diagnosed with ASD last February.  If you’re a parent of a child labeled with special needs, then you know what it’s like to agonize over what your child can’t do.Continue reading “What my Special-needs Son CAN Do”

A Mother’s Guilty Secret

Okay, here goes… I dread picking up my children from daycare. In fact, I find ways to prolong it. Sick, right?  I’m supposed to want to pick them up.  I’m supposed to miss them so much from a hard day’s work of teaching that I’m bolting out the door at 2:20 pm.  I see aContinue reading “A Mother’s Guilty Secret”

“Body Calm, Mommy!”

This picture look familiar to anyone?  It was brand-new to me until last spring when my now four year-old son (Big C) received the diagnosis of ASD and the floodgates opened.  Suddenly, I was inundated with cue cards and visuals designed to help us as parents “manage” our son. I’m learning very quickly that parentsContinue reading ““Body Calm, Mommy!””

Is this autism or NT kid-stuff?

NT: an abbreviation for neuro-typical, a term often used in the autism community to reference those who are not on the spectrum. Ever since my four year-old’s diagnosis of ASD over eight months ago, I find myself constantly wondering, “Is this behavior the effects of autism or just a kid being a kid?” Self-doubt andContinue reading “Is this autism or NT kid-stuff?”

“Wanna smell my feet?”

This question is asked daily of me by my four year-old son diagnosed with autism.  Call it hypersensitive.  Call it hyper-curious.  Call it what you will.  He is obsessed with his sense of smell. His favorite question is not “why?” but rather, “Can I smell?” He’s no smelling snob.  He wants to smell it all:Continue reading ““Wanna smell my feet?””

Why NOT throwing your child a birthday party is okay

Bounce houses, rambunctious party games, sugary candy, caffeinated soda, cheap party favors, food left out on banquet tables for children to grab, spill, and lick, large pinatas inevitably leading to kids blindfolded with bats… If these images send chills down your spine, you’re like me and, likely, you have a kid like mine who getsContinue reading “Why NOT throwing your child a birthday party is okay”

“Oh, he’s just stimming.”

Stimming: Everybody’s doin’ it. Even you. I have a confession.  I stim.  Every night.  It calms me. Before I go to bed, I count off on my fingers how many hours of sleep I will get.  Sometimes, I have to count half a dozen times just to get that sense of peace. Sound odd?  Maybe a little.Continue reading ““Oh, he’s just stimming.””