(Ed. Note: This is a response to the anonymous piece from The Afghan Women's Writing Project "I Am for Sale, Who Will Buy Me?" on BlogHer.)My older daughter Iz has fully embraced the tween battle cry "it's not FAIR!!"...more
Of course I stalk my birth son on Facebook. How could I not? His barely-open adoption slammed shut fifteen years ago when his mother suddenly took ill and died far too young, and all communication with his family ceased. I spent years hoping for information but listening to cricket chirps -- until two years ago, when a cynical Facebook search turned fruitful: he had a limited public profile! I've been checking in on him ever since....more
Sparkly rainbows and miracle cures: those are what too many books about parenting children with special needs are made of. We may succumb to them during our initial post-child's-diagnosis research frenzy, but the truth is most of our kids have already told us who they are. Our job is not to chase the sparkly rainbows, but to plant our feet on the ground and start supporting those children....more
As last year's holiday season sputtered out and the relatives left our house, I exhaled, then smiled. I'd really enjoyed all the feasting and fun, from the morning moment the kids' cousins started frolicking underfoot, until the last precious late-night conversation wound down. But there is no way in hell we can manage another holiday season like that one, because floundering in all the happy happy joy joy was one miserable, disoriented, sleep-disturbed little boy with autism and his equally disoriented parents....more
Ever since I became Leo's mom and Leo became Leo, there is one special day I look forward to, every year. It's not Christmas, as the winter holiday season trumps even summer on my family's trepidation scale. And it's not the first day of school, despite how gleefully I usher my children into their teachers' care.No, it's the day of Leo's annual birthday party. Because on that day, every year, my son gets to be his own exuberant self, unreservedly....more
Halloween should not be a time for parents of kids with special needs to dwell on Ghosts-of-Halloween-Past or Ghosts-of-Halloween-That-Might-Have-Been, because there's far too much fun to be had. We do, however, need to approach Halloween with clear-headed creativity and flexibility, and prioritize our kids' needs and stamina. So, if you're in the market for Halloweening advice, let me dump some on your head, courtesy of personal experience, friends' adventures, the Internet, and the Twitterverse....more
Autism Science Foundation president Alison Singer is well known in the autism community for her formative role at Autism Speaks, for her controversial participation in their Autism Every Day video, and for leaving Autism Speaks to found the Autism Science Foundation.
I can't stop thinking about the story of Anita Tedaldi, who, after eighteen months of mothering an adopted special needs son, decided that the best place for her son was with another family. Anita's story hits me in two of my tenderest spots -- as the mother of a son with special needs, and as a birth mother who placed her first son in his adoptive parents' hands almost twenty years ago.