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

Identifying and Avoiding Autism Cults

A child's autism diagnosis can really mess with parents' heads. Media portrayals of children with autism and their adult spectrum-mates dwell almost exclusively on negatives and challenges, so when a parent is told that their child is autistic, they are usually incredibly upset. ...more
A rant is not evidence. Insults are not logic. Having one's beliefs contradicted is tough, but ...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

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
I'd work on your reading comprehension a bit, as my son is also 13. And I stand by what I wrote. ...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

How I Took My Autistic Son Off His Meds

My 12-year-old autistic son Leo was on the black box anti-psychotic medication Risperdal for almost four years. As of this writing, he's been off it for almost four weeks. Will he be okay? I hope so, but I'm not sure. Not yet....more
@dspetroLynneSorayaturns out Risperdol is actually still very necessary for Leo. He had two ...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

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
I am suggesting that families focus on what works for our autistic loved one. We were lucky in ...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
MillStone Vaccine reactions are real but extremely rare and do not include autism ...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
Read my comment directly above. This is not the way to support autistic people & their families.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
Of course Autistic people & their families deserve more and better support. But deploying pity ...more