Forecast: Mixed With a Serious Chance of Storms

Not the weather, me. Not the weather. ME. I hate admitting to struggling. I hate feeling the storm brewing in me, the internal tornado...the sense that I'm about to fly off, scatter into pieces, shatter beyond repair. Even more, I hate that to a degree I can contain that tornado so that most people are unaware that anything is amiss. ...more

Let's Do More than Just End the R-Word

Last year, I let this day slip by. I'd written about it the three previous years. I spend a lot of my time trying to create empathy for people (all people), and this -- the casual disregard for people with intellectual disabilities, the widespread belief in our society that people with disabilities are disposable -- hurts. It isn't the word that hurts -- though it does -- it's the WORLD that hurts. ...more
Great read. As a people, we need to learn to love. Having a sense of humor is not a bad thing. ...more

All Good Things: A Father's Retirement

In life, all good things come hard, but wisdom is the hardest to come by....more

Conversations With My Boy about Death

It's been nine weeks since we lost Frankie, and for the last seven weeks, here his ashes have resided, with his little box saying Fannie, not Frankie....more

Squeeze and Release: The Joys of Teaching

The pressure that's squeezed me for months has loosened. It had gotten progressively stronger, more forceful, wringing me exhausted even before the morning started. It's loosened, but it's not gone, and I know that it won't ever fully leave. I will get periodic reprieves, opportunities to rest, and I must make the most of those moments so that I am girded and ready when the pressure tightens again. ...more
I just completed my first semester of teaching. I can see why we get the long breaks we do now, ...more

A Review of the Film Fly Away

We’ve just finished a documentary on Stephen Hawking and I hand Bobby the dvd and ask him to put it in. “What now, Mama?” “Wait and see,” I tell them. As the film starts, my three children, all at various points in the spectrum, all engaged in their own private worlds, perk up and stop to look at the tv where sounds of a person humming begin spontaneously upon the dvd loading. All three set aside their cards or books and watch. Lily peppers me with questions as music plays and a child(?) draws people in vibrant markers. ...more

Pie and Moms: Have Your Pie and Eat it Too, Damnit! :-)

I would show you pieces of pie, but no pie has stayed around long enough in this house to snap a picture of it. I tell you what I'll do for my readers: when I'm shopping today, I'll buy some. Just for you. I can make this sacrifice since you've come to expect photos of stuff. I'll add them in. Ain't that sweet of me? Why pie? What makes me bring up pie? You want some, don't you?I was looking at twitter and a tweet caught my eye:...more

Do Not Say...


A Mythology to Live By: Priscilla Gilman's Journey As A Special Needs Parent

In my American Literature course this semester, I worked to weave Joseph Campbell’s vision of the purpose of mythology throughout the pieces we read, to get students to consider the role that literature, in its many mediums, plays in providing the bedrock on which we live our lives and derive meaning. In a world in which religion no longer dominates our culture and for many people no longer lives and breathes, providing the answers for all life’s mysteries and meanings, the stories we listen to, watch, or read often become the essential framework on which we hang our own life narratives....more

Comfort Zones: Ever Widening Them for Our Children, Whether They're Disabled or Not

Have you ever noticed that you function better when you feel comfortable and confident in your surroundings and that when you are unsure of yourself, you are more likely to stumble? The same is true for our kids. In their element, where they are sure of all the important variables and comfortable expressing themselves, they make better eye contact, engage more willingly in communication, show attachment, and function at their best. Remove them from their comfort zones and we have vastly different children....more