Friday's Autism Panel: Shattering Myths, Opening Eyes, and Finding Your Tribe

Why should you come to the autism panel? Because the women who are speaking about autism represent a range of autism experiences and perspectives. They are articulate, experienced, compassionate advocates. Because you'll learn so much, that you will have an epiphany about what autism means whether you want to or not. (I'm a bit gobsmacked, as my friend and 2008 panel moderator Susan would say -- and I'm one of the speakers.) Trust me, you'll be disappointed if you miss this panel, especially if autism touches your life in any way. See you Friday. ...more

*SOB* But we will find a way to MAKE this happen for next year! Sometime during then next ...more

Socially Awkward Like Me: The Quirky Parents of Children With Autism

I'm grateful for all the things my son Leo has taught me about myself. He has autism, and as a result I've spent years researching and learning about the traits that add up to his diagnosis. Along the way, I have come to realize that many of my own, quirkier behaviors are not in fact the result of moral failure or insufficient character, as I was socially conditioned into assuming. No, I'm just wired differently....more
I'm so very happy that your son has a caring mom who is self-aware.  :)  I work with kids with ...more

Tales of the Schoolyard: Can I Sit With You?

 "Can I sit with you?" Could more stress be crammed into fewer words? Though to some people this phrase means merely, “Yay, new friends,” to a lot of us it means instant school anxiety flashbacks. ...more

I'm not one to think that grown ups should solve all the problems of children, because I do want ...more

Autism and Potty Training: Never Give Up Hope!

My clearest memory of an autism professional's FAIL happened when I was told that if Leo, then aged five, wasn't potty trained by the time he was six, he would likely never achieve self-sufficiency. Yet in the four years since that proclamation, our boy has completely mastered every aspect of toileting. Sure, he wets the bed occasionally, but so do plenty of neurotypical nine-year-old boys. That autism expert can, on matters toileting-related, kiss my ass....more
Potty training is a challenging element of child rearing in the best of circumstances - this ...more

Bay Area BlogHer Pre-BlogHer '10 Meet Up, Saturday July 24!

D'oh! SOLD OUT! See you in NYC or around town! -SR 7/15Come one, come all to the BlogHer Bay Area pre-BlogHer '10 meet up!  Maybe you're attending BlogHer '10 and want to connect with other local attendees beforehand. Maybe you couldn't attend this year, but want to have the next best thing, a local BlogHer meet-up! Either way,this meet-up is for you....more

The iPad: a Near-Miracle for My Son With Autism

My son Leo's life was transformed when a five-dollar raffle ticket turned into a brand-new iPad. I'm not exaggerating. Before the iPad, Leo's autism made him dependent on others for entertainment, play, learning, and communication. With the iPad, Leo electrifies the air around him with independence and daily new skills. People who know Leo are amazed when they see this new boy rocking that iPad. I'm impressed, too, especially when our aggressively food-obsessed boy chooses to play with his iPad rather than eat. I don't usually dabble in miracle-speak, but I may erect a tiny altar to Steve Jobs in the corner of our living room....more
Hello Shannon! I just found your blog and seen the story about Leo and his iPad. I have a 12 ...more

Girls and Comic Books: How to Help Your Daughter Bypass the Underwear Suits and Find the Feminist Heroes

I both love and fear watching my 11-year-old daughter Isobel embrace everything science fiction, fantasy, and comics. Love it because because I share her enthusiasm -- As Stephanie S says, "I do believe that there is educational value in all forms of media, including television about teenage vampire slayers." Fear it because Iz is both smart and beautiful -- and female characters with those traits often get treated badly in fantastic realms. Especially in fantastic comics or graphic novel realms. ...more

I was a huge fan of the X-men comics growing up, and in that comic I pretended I was the ...more

Absolutely Critical: How to Plan for the Future for Your Child With Special Needs

A lot of us like to put our hands over our ears and shout LA LA LA LA LA when asked to think about formulating a life care plan, because that means we're envisioning our children with special needs having a future without us at their side. ...more

I think one of the best things we could do at our house is remove the emotional part of all of ...more

Autism Activist Holly Robinson Peete: More Than a Celebrity Apprentice

Holly Robinson Peete's appearance on The Celebrity Apprentice has communicated one very clear message about autism parents: Don't get in our way when we're trying to help our kids!...more

Thanks for sharing this great interview! I was pulling for her, but it was good to see her in ...more

The Horse Boy's Kristin Neff on Autism and Self-Compassion

When my friend Amanda pressed The Horse Boy into my hands, I flinched. I'd heard it was yet another Miracle Autism Cure book, and I was all done with cure talk. But she persevered: "It's not about a cure, it's about healing!" My eyes narrowed. ...more

Wow. This is the ultimate truth, isn't it: "I think autism breaks open your heart. The big ...more