Shannon Des Roches Rosa

I'm the BlogHer Contributing Editor on parenting children with special needs, and I'm at your service. 

I've got three kids -- one of whom is autistic -- so the current playlist has parenting on heavy rotation. I am a kick-ass writer and editor, and have been blogging fearlessly and compassionately about parenting and autism since 2003, at I'm also a co-founder and senior editor at  Thinking Person's Guide to Autism.

My work as an autism parenting and iPad advocate has been profiled in The New York Times, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Wall Street Journal, Redbook, PBS Parents, SF Weekly, and SF Gate. My radio interviews on autism parenting and blogging include KQED Forum, KCUR Central Standard, and News Talk KIRO. I've edited several anthologies and contributed stories to numerous books, including the award-winning My Baby Rides the Short Bus. I frequently speak at conferences, including BlogHer and UCSF Developmental Disabilities.

I'm an unabashed geek, so my enthusiasms often outstrip my social skills. But I'm always happy to answer (and ask!) questions.

My Blogs

Teh Busy: Quick Update, Long List

I swear to you that I am still here. It's just, teh busy, these last two months. So much so that I didn't even put up perfunctory posts in reaction to luminous BlogHer co-founder Lisa Stone mentioning me and this blog on CBS This Morning a few weeks ago ....more

My Public Comments for Today's IACC Meeting

I missed watching the live videocast of today's Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) meeting because Leo's (really good, details later) annual IEP was held at the same time. But as the IACC meetings are for advising on policy, and as they welcome public input both in person and submitted in writing, I submitted comments to be included in the official public meeting record.I did this to counter the anti-vaccine autism zealots who would rather put other people's kids at risk from vaccine preventable disease than face the fact that autistic people have always been here. These angry denialist parents tend to mob the proceedings, so as to give their fringe perspectives disproportionate and on-the-record exposure ....more

World Autism Awareness (or Acceptance) Day: Hope and More Hope for Autism Parents Like Me

Every time I hear Coldplay's song "Clocks," I cry. It's a conditioned reaction; a rocket back to 2003, when "Clocks" was ever-present on the radio, my son had just been diagnosed with autism, and all anyone would tell me was that my life was going to be a shitstorm of misery—and so was his. I cry when I hear "Clocks" because I'm instantly wracked with that phantom hopelessness and depression. I cry because the system that was supposed to support and protect my son looked at us quizzically and shrugged. ...more
Shannon Des Roches Rosa your blog entry from 11/14/13 appeared in my FB feed that day. I was ...more

Walking the Capitol Hill Walk for Life-Saving Vaccines & Shot@Life

"There is no evidence to support a vaccine-autism link, and irrefutable evidence supports vaccination as one of the best ways to protect the health and lives of children all over the world."...more

Put Compassion First: An Interview With Autism Parent Brenda Rothman

Brenda Rothman is a refreshing source of compassion and practical advice in the autism parenting online world. I frequently check in with her blog, Mama Be Good, for ideas about fostering healthy family relationships, encouraging understanding, and nurturing both parent and child. ...more
SocialCognition ollibean Thank you!more

Edinburgh Is My New Favorite City

I'd not been to Edinburgh since 1990, when I was 20 years old and pregnant, and my thoughtful studying abroad brother imported me for the UK for Spring Break to get my mind off being a 20 year old pregnant college student who was having a very difficult time deciding what to do about being a 20 year old pregnant college student.I enjoyed that visit quite a lot, but I don't remember Edinburgh being quite so ... lively. And Sunny! ...more

There's an App for When Mommy Is Away on Business

I am leaving this afternoon for two weeks of whirlwind international and bi-coastal conferencing. If you're going to be at the March 5th National Autistic Society conference in Harrogate, UK, where I'll be talking iPads & apps; or at the March 7th UCSF Developmental Disabilities Conference in San Francisco, where all four TPGA editrixes and I will be discussing Thinking Person's Guide to Autism, social media, community, and outreach; or at the UN Foundation's Shot@Life Champions Summit to discuss vaccine policy and outreach in Washington DC March 9 - 12, please do say hello. (If I was to wear a communication badge, it would be Green, as perfectly outlined by ASAN -- I am not great at initiating conversations, but am happy to chat if approached.)My husband and mother and a whole squadron of friends and helpers are covering for me -- the documentation for How To Run This Household When I'm Not Here is seven pages of 10 point text ....more

Autism in Ghana: One School's Success Story

The first thing I noticed on arriving at the Autism Awareness, Care, and Training (AACT) school in Accra, Ghana was how much it reminded me of my son's autism school here in California. Both are places of peace, calm, and competence plus the occasional whoop, shout, or "eeeee," while students and staff radiate not just positivity but confidence. This is because students are encouraged to learn to the best of their abilities, and are appreciated for exactly who they are. AACT is a remarkable place. ...more
Meghan_Hussey Interested in any information/links you have about autism approaches/schools etc. ...more

The Probems With "To The Woman And Child Who Sat At Table Nine"

Leo loves going to his favorite restaurants A few thoughtful souls have forwarded me the Anti-Jared story about the restaurant manager who treated an autism family with kindness after another table complained about their noise. Here's the heart of the story, from the manager's perspective: "I started to walk to your table. You knew what I was going to ask ....more

What All Autism Parents Need

To be a parent is to be frustrated. I think we can all agree on that. Or can we? ...more
patssister1960 While I respect what people choose to call themselves, most of the autistic ...more