How a Seven-Year-Old Can Educate the World: #ShareYourAutism

My seven-year-old son recently asked me how many surgeries he had to have before we realized he had autism. It was a reminder to me of how little any of us really understand autism. In truth, trying to explain his diagnosis to him was hard. It’s so, well, open-ended. It’s a spectrum, right? People hearContinue reading “How a Seven-Year-Old Can Educate the World: #ShareYourAutism”

Autism Still Lives Here

Autism still lives here. I want it to leave. I’ve tried taming it, coaxing it, encouraging it to move on. For awhile now, I thought it listened. So sure was I that it had vacated the premises, I made comments like, “I’m not so sure he even has autism,” and “Was the diagnosis even correct?”Continue reading “Autism Still Lives Here”

Raising the Socially Awkward Extrovert

  Me! Pick me! I know! I know! You know this child. He pushes his way to the front of the line, to the front of the class, to the front row of the photo. His hand is the first one up, his answer shouted out before he’s actually called on. He sings the loudest,Continue reading “Raising the Socially Awkward Extrovert”

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’!””

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”

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”

Autism and the Turkey Paci

Autism: “self + -ism”  (from the Greek prefix, auto = self) 1. a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by social-interaction difficulties, communication challenges and a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors (oxforddictionaries.com, autismspeaks.org) 2. a tendency to view life in terms of one’s own needs and desires. (dictionary.com)  Isn’t this everyone? My definition: exhaustion (sprinkled with anxiety and a dash of humor) WTF?  Did she justContinue reading “Autism and the Turkey Paci”

Lost in a Lingo-laden Land

74. The number of terms I’ve come across since the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder was placed on my child. And the list keeps growing. Just days before we got Big C’s diagnosis of ASD, I’ll never forget what I said to a dear friend of mine with three NT kids (look at me showingContinue reading “Lost in a Lingo-laden Land”