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 www.Squidalicious.com. 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

Surrounding My Autistic Son With Community That Matters

When I think about my son's future—and that includes his future without me, seeing as autistic kids, like most kids, tend to outlive their parents—there are three things I desperately want for him: 1) I want Leo to be known and loved in his community. 2) I want Leo to be understood and accepted for who he is. 3) I want Leo's personal wishes respected. ...more
Such a great post. Thank you.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

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

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

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

My Autistic Son's Best Holiday Break Ever

Let's be honest: The winter holiday season can really suck for Autistic people like my son Leo. Leo does not appreciate it when weekly school routines suddenly disappear, and are replaced by random social occasions with loud music, flashing lights, and people who don't even try to understand autism. When the holidays arrive, Leo generally shifts to coping rather than functioning mode, and holiday meltdowns are not uncommon -- not just for my son, but for Autistic people of all ages. ...more
annmerryafter thinking a bit more: If your takeaway is that I think refocusing can only be done ...more

No Misery: This Is Autism, Suzanne Wright

This is my autistic son Leo, my husband, and me, right around the time Leo was being evaluated for autism. And, just to hedge our bets on the Original Sin matter, being baptized. Obviously, we were miserable. Can't you tell by the way Leo is laughing? ...more
thank you for this post. I am bookmarking it to share with parents of autists when I see them ...more

Exercise: So Important for Your Autistic Child

All kids need exercise, but there are specific reasons for autistic kids to get active: Autistic adults cite exercise as critical for self-regulation and helping to ...more

We Cannot Excuse Parents Who Kill Autistic Children

Some members of the autism parenting communities are having a hard time making a critical distinction right now, so let me be clear: Just because you understand how difficult parenting can be does not mean you understand why someone would kill their autistic child. Those two subjects need to be separated by a brick wall. ...more
DHat85 The difficulties of the situation you describe still do not justify murder, as you seem ...more

Our Disabled Parking Pass Is None of Your Business

Why someone needs a disabled parking pass is none of your damn business, just so you know. Folks don't have the passes if they don't need them, and as they go through an official process of applications and approvals to get that pass, your opinion is irrelevant -- even if you can’t tell what the person’s disability is. ...more
Excellent post...thank you for writing it.more