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
thinkingautism I do not see how anyone not a psychopath can think it is ok to murder their ...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

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
addihatesamish Shannon Des Roches Rosa No worries re: your comment in that case, and I apologize ...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