Getting Through Dinner

This video showed up on my newsfeed this morning.  If you're like me and don't enjoy clicking back and forth on a phone, I'll sum it up for you. The ABC program "What Would You Do" did an episode about a child being taken out to lunch with his family....more

Why Minority Voices Matter in the Autism Community

“What can the white special needs community do to help the brown special needs community?” I was asked this question at the BlogHer ’14 Special Needs Mini Con session in San Jose, CA. I had to pause when I heard it. I wasn't ready....more
misssalad Kpana Kpoto EmiliePeck Race comes into it because it's so closely tied into the ...more

Adventure on Wheels: Road Trip Tips for Special Needs Kids

The doors open; we buckle in; the journey into the unknown begins - the family road trip. A legend of the modern times, the summer road trip carves some of the greatest and worst memories we have as families. As we choose to be tortured and delighted all at once, families pile into cars, vans, trucks, and trailers on a mission to seek out the new land such as the Grand Canyon, or the old such as your last, great, living aunt. ...more

Normality Defined ~ Momma's Heart Hero

During the cooler months of the year my son appears “normal.”  Society sees a typical high school student, a 16-year-old wearing Vans and carrying a string sack loaded down with electronics, power cords, chewing gum, and various other (evidently) necessary items to survive a day in high school.Matthew plays alto sax in the high school marching band, played JV lacrosse this spring, and is socially active – ‘normal’ by society’s standards....more
Excellent. The stamina, endurance, and bravery of kids is something we adults have much to learn ...more

Special Needs, Anxiety, and Socialization

Ever since my daughter was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2000 I have made it my mission to make her as happy and comfortable as I possibly can.In my mind's eye, I've always imagined that she must feel lonely, isolated, and depressed because her illness and the disabilities it left her with have been so confining....more

An Eyepatch, a Dog with Sunglasses, and Sunshine by My Side

My son brushed back my hair and examined my eye patch. I put on sunglasses to help hold the mess of a bandage down. "Mommy doctor," he said and signed at the same time. "Mommy's O.K.," I said. I hadn't been able to find the scissors, so I'd ripped the tape with my teeth. I didn't look so good, I admit. Something irritated my eye a few days ago, most likely a contact lens. It felt better closed. ...more

Beyond Disneyland: California Destinations My Autistic Son Loves

"We love it when our guests are happy!" That's what the red-coated Monterey Bay Aquarium official told me, as she and I stood next to my son Leo, who was blissfully sprawled out on the the floor looking up at a tank full of sparkling anchovies. I had just explained to her that Leo was enraptured rather than upset or injured, and I hoped it was OK for him to be on the floor since his sisters and I were ringing him and he wasn't in anyone's way. Autism acceptance as guest relations policy. What a wonder. What a gift. ...more
Shannon Des Roches Rosa Laurend1985 Yes, but I really didn't want to say it here.  He's high ...more

Special Needs Kids Can Love Supper Camp, Too

Summer is here again, and you might be wondering what fun activities you can get your child with special needs involved in. Depending on the level of your child’s abilities, you might consider sending him or her to the local seasonal camp at the nearby park. Many cities have parks and recreation departments that offer affordable camps and activities for the children in the community during spring and summer. And yes, there are a number of camps designed especially for children with speech, academic and physical delays, which can provide a great experience for your child....more
Great to see kids just being kids, no matter the ability. Everyone benefits.more

I Want to Tell You More: Sign Language Gives My Son a Voice

I stood in front of my son listening and listening, and I still couldn't understand what he said. He calmly repeated the word over and over. I felt horrible. I wanted to understand more. "Boooey," he said, again. He opened his hand and placed the palm in front of his mouth, as if you were to blow on it, exhibiting patience with me as if he was the speech therapist and I was the student. ...more