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

Our Disabled Parking Pass Is None of Your Business

Why someone needs a disabled parking pass is none of your damn business, just so you know. Folks don't have the passes if they don't need them, and as they go through an official process of applications and approvals to get that pass, your opinion is irrelevant -- even if you can’t tell what the person’s disability is. ...more
Excellent post...thank you for writing it.more

Autism and Puberty: What You Need to Know

I am officially the parent of not one but two adolescents. Of two young people hard-wired to vacillate between sweetness and raging defiance. To make matters even more interesting, my son Leo has an autism diagnosis, my daughter Iz doesn’t. The final complication: Though the Internet overflows with advice and perspectives for kids like Iz, I've had a hard time finding really good puberty resources for kids like my son -- kids who communicate and often behave atypically. ...more
DebbieRedman  Did she ever get angry about the changes with her body? My daughter is 12 and ...more

Dr. Paul Offit on the Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine

Ideally, we recognize things that seem too good to be true, but when it comes to alternative medicine, many people put their faith in testimonials rather than science. Dr. Paul Offit's book Do You Believe in Magic? explains why alternative products and therapies are often neither better nor safer than traditional approaches....more
@TanyaCummingsBoozer I am glad you feel so great about "taking back your life." But I'll go with ...more

Things I Learned Taking My Teen to Ghana, West Africa

Before I had kids I always imagined that my brood would be a globe-trotting one, with summer breaks spent introducing my kids to the rest of the world and vice versa. Now that I actually have kids, I've realized those daydreams were a bit of a stretch -- my two youngest kids would rather stay home unless we're going to their grandparents' homes or Disneyland, and my husband's vacation time allotment, while generous, is not unlimited. But that doesn't mean I can't still wring out the occasional jaunt, which is how I ended up taking my fourteen-year-old daughter to Ghana. ...more
@Shannon Des Roches Rosa  @globetotting.com Well, who would have thought reading a post about ...more

Autism in the Media: Stop with the Awful Stories!

Would you want someone patronizing you in front of the entire world, or writing headlines about how awful your life is and how much you suck? Well, autistic people don't want that either, and neither do autism families -- yet those are the autism stories most frequently in the news. Journalists and the media need to start rethinking how they approach autism stories, because people like my son Leo and families like ours deserve better, plus Leo is not the only awesome autistic person. Writers and journalists need to work harder, find better sources, seek out fairer messages, and help the rest of society learn to better accept and understand autistic people....more
In my very humble opinion, I think it's really important to avoid making the mistake of thinking ...more

Do the Right Thing: April 2 Is Autism Acceptance Day

You don't want to be on the wrong side of history, do you? That's a question we're hearing a lot just now. And I think it's a particularly important question to ask yourself today, during Autism Acceptance Day, and throughout April, which is Autism Acceptance Month. It's important for you to accept and then help other people understand that autistic people like my son are your fellow human beings, with your same inalienable rights to live happy and pity-free lives. That whatever their needs and abilities, autistic people are not "less" than other people....more

My Birth Son Probably Doesn't Know He's Adopted

I recently found out my birth son was likely never told he was adopted, and has been publicly speaking out about an ancestral heritage that, genetically, isn't entirely true. And I'm worried -- nay, freaked out -- about how he might feel, if he discovers his adoptive cultural background and biological background don't match....more
nikonMom Congratulations to your relatives. And for the record, things on my side have evolved ...more

Finding Balance as a Mom: I'm Not a Flake, I'm Focused

You don't see my name in several of the places you used to, like volunteer boards, autism organizations, and guest posts. But that's not because I'm flaking, it's because I'm focusing. After I found myself on the verge of an overload-triggered nervous breakdown a few months ago, I decided to prioritize -- to put my family, friends, and critical work first, in that order. I now get to the stuff I can get to, and I try not to lose sleep over the rest, mostly because letting myself become sleep-deprived over anything not in that top three is something else I've decided not to do. So, I'm sharing my experience and approach because I suspect I'm not the only parent trying to avoid a meltdown....more
@Shannon Des Roches Rosa Thanks, Shan!more

Seizures, Autism, and Our Family's New Normal

I'll never turn my cell phone off in a movie theater again, not after doing so made me miss the call that my 12-year-old autistic son was having a full-blown seizure....more
Shannon, the emotional roller coaster and angst you described are all too familiar. (BTW, a ...more