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

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

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

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

Identifying and Avoiding Autism Cults

A child's autism diagnosis can really mess with parents' heads. Media portrayals of children with autism and their adult spectrum-mates dwell almost exclusively on negatives and challenges, so when a parent is told that their child is autistic, they are usually incredibly upset. ...more
A rant is not evidence. Insults are not logic. Having one's beliefs contradicted is tough, but ...more

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
DHat85 The difficulties of the situation you describe still do not justify murder, as you seem ...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
Shannon Des Roches Rosa your blog entry from 11/14/13 appeared in my FB feed that day. I was ...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

How I Took My Autistic Son Off His Meds

My 12-year-old autistic son Leo was on the black box anti-psychotic medication Risperdal for almost four years. As of this writing, he's been off it for almost four weeks. Will he be okay? I hope so, but I'm not sure. Not yet....more
@dspetroLynneSorayaturns out Risperdol is actually still very necessary for Leo. He had two ...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