The birth of advocacy

It happened again.I got a dreaded phone call from a girlfriend who lost her full term baby, abruptly, unexpectedly- in the dangerous passage from warm comfortable uterus to the sharp, cold air of the birth room. As always, I cried. I cursed the world. I stopped breathing for a minute, the pain impenetrable, then exhaled, anguished. My heart races and I hold my hand over my mouth, "No, no." The unthinkable has happened....more

Social Work the Protected Title

As a social worker I feel a great amount of pride about what I do, but that doesn't make me a social worker. I often hear people describe the profession of social work with a job description. That's like saying a doctor is someone who listens to your lungs and looks down your throat. Though those are things a doctor may do as part of an exam, those things do not make one a doctor. In the same thought a social worker is not someone who assists with food stamps, or works at CPS....more

A Reluctant Autism Mom -- and So Much More

People think of autism moms as fierce advocates. Women who know exactly what to say when someone criticizes their child or their parenting, that perfect combination of words that both educates and shames the person who dared speak up. We’re angry, but with a purpose. We’re protective. We’re ready to take on the world. We suffer, but it’s noble suffering. Well, that may be true, but this is truer: ...more
Your story could be mine. Your words could be mine. It's been three years since my son was ...more

Advocacy - You Make The Difference

Remember that song by John Mayer, " Waiting on the World To Change?"It always bothered me because I thought the message was one of apathy. I actually like the tune, but Mayer's chorus, "waiting on the world to change," repeats endlessly, leaving me hopeless, and angry. ...more

The importance of an advocate

The older I get, the more I realize you don't get very far in this world without some kind of help along the way. This is definitely true of this foundation. We wouldn't be standing here if you all didn't support us, and I would have no knowledge to pass on to any of you if we didn't get to know the people we have throughout our journey. And I don't think I we will ever go along to another IEP meeting for Sean ever again. We will always take an advocate with us. ...more

How Online Advocacy Influences Life Offline

It's uncomfortable to bring it up out of nowhere with people, but if someone asks, I am good about dispelling myths or telling them what my experience is like. But I don't go to restaurants and order my burger and then tell my server about my PPD, PPA, and OCD. I don't let the dressing room attendants at the GAP know I have Generalized Anxiety. I don't let the cashier at Target in on my PTSD. And I sure as heck don't put any of that stuff in my syllabus in the About Mrs. Sluiter section, nor do I introduce myself that way in my welcome email to parents. If someone asks about it, I don't lie. I mean, duh. The Google search. ...more
 @Miche Kat What a lovely compliment!  Thank you, Miche! I try to live by the rule of thinking ...more

Publicly Stand Up For What You Believe In!

I keep getting asked this question:"Do you think using the media is good way to spread an important message?"...more

Does this gown make me look fat? Or how not to become a 'patient'

I could write a book about my experiences as a nurse for over twenty years in the emergency departments of several hospitals.  How people react to a crisis is amazing; I’ve seen bravery, courage, laughter, crying, hysteria, denial, anger, frustration, almost every emotion possible has the ability to surface during horrible times.  As a nurse who has also spent more than enough time as a patient, I think I have also experienced every one of those emotions.  There truly is no “right” way to handle a crisis in the hospital.  The important thing is the need to experience and...more

Why I Walk

I am acutely aware that April is Autism Awareness (or Autism Acceptance) Month. I serve on both the corporate sponsorship advisory and public relations committees at my local chapter of Autism Speaks (See how St. Louis did Light It Up Blue!). And before I go any further, let me say this....more
 @Jerrilynn Thanks!more