After an Autism Diagnosis: 13 Crucial Next Steps For Parents

If your child has recently been diagnosed with autism, as my son was in 2003, here's what I want you to know: Learn from me, don't be me. Leo, around the time of his diagnosis. Photo: © Jonathan Mandel, used with permission ...more
Thank you for this article! My son is 23yrs. old and just dxed a year ago. We went through so ...more

Flying While Autistic Is Not a Crime

Every time my autistic son and I board a plane, this lapsed Catholic starts praying. Not because I think my autistic son will cause problems—he is a newly mature teenager, adores flying, and rarely causes other passengers to even notice him. Nope—I pray because I am worried how other people might (mis)treat him if he ever did need accommodations. ...more
Shannon Des Roches Rosa  I don't airlines was necessarily refusing accommodations.  Each ...more

Being an Expert in Parenting Kids With Disabilities Means Listening, Too

I always avoided American Idol-like reality competitions, because I am a gummi-hearted sort who can't bear to witness mean people publicly humiliating earnest amateurs. ...more
Just to be clear -- autism is not a mental disorder. Many things in the DSM are not mental ...more

How You Can Honor Autism Acceptance Day

People all over the planet are observing World Autism Awareness Day today. My autistic friends and my family, however, prefer to observe Autism Acceptance Day . ...more
MollyRyanYerrakadu Thanks for listening! I hope your family and friends are open to the conveying.more

Why Was Pokémon Banned at My Daughter's School?

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They banned Yugi-oh at my son's camp for a short time and there was an uproar about it. They ...more

Why Do Autism "Experts" Say Such Awful Things?

“There is no human life that is more sacred than another—every human life is sacred.” - Pope FrancisYou want to break my heart? Show me the latest mainstream media piece about autism written by or featuring quotes from a non-autistic autism expert. Almost without exception, that expert is going to say something that self-righteously dehumanizes, endangers, invokes pity for, or degrades my autistic son. My beloved, delightful, innocent son—who has done nothing to deserve such scorn.Maybe you can understand, now, why my heart never stops breaking. ...more
thumbbelina Yes - those are two i have diigo'd and share wtih others.more

How My Son Improved His Health & Changed His Risk Factors

Turns out sugar and processed foods really are very bad things. Or, at least they are for my autistic teenage son. Eliminating those foods (mostly) from his diet was a big part in Leo going from being at high risk for type II diabetes, pancreatitis, and heart disease just a year ago, to him having none of those risk factors at all today. ...more

Parenting Kids With Disabilities: How to Get Through Tough Times

When parents like me talk about our kids with disabilities and intense support needs, we have to be thoughtful. We need to make it quite clear that our kids are much-loved and very awesome human beings. We should never, ever state or imply that any challenges we face as a parent are our children's fault. We need to handle their privacy with delicacy. And we shouldn't accidentally enable disrespect towards children who are already too-frequent magnets for morbid fascination, and pity....more
If off topic, please delete. As an autistic, i have to say the best thing my parents did was ...more

Changing Conversations: When Parents Murder Disabled Children

Michigan parent Kelli Stapleton recently pled guilty to poisoning her autistic teen daughter Issy. According to police reports, Kelly lured Issy into a van, "drugged her, lit the grills and left the van to get more charcoal while her sleeping daughter breathed in poisonous carbon monoxide fumes." Kelli and Issy both survived the attempted murder-suicide....more
pseudopodia Shannon Des Roches Rosa newzealanditisthen Jess at Diary of a Mom summarized how I ...more

Beyond Disneyland: California Destinations My Autistic Son Loves

"We love it when our guests are happy!" That's what the red-coated Monterey Bay Aquarium official told me, as she and I stood next to my son Leo, who was blissfully sprawled out on the the floor looking up at a tank full of sparkling anchovies. I had just explained to her that Leo was enraptured rather than upset or injured, and I hoped it was OK for him to be on the floor since his sisters and I were ringing him and he wasn't in anyone's way. Autism acceptance as guest relations policy. What a wonder. What a gift. ...more
Shannon Des Roches Rosa Laurend1985 Yes, but I really didn't want to say it here.  He's high ...more