How to Talk With (and About) Autistic Human Beings

I’m currently in physical therapy to rehabilitate a surgically-repaired knee. The kind, competent therapists tend to make small talk, which invariably means fielding tentative, well-meaning questions about my autistic son. Which gives me the opportunity to model the way I'd like people talk and think about people like my Leo. ...more
Great post and very educationalmore

Let's Get Away From It All: Local Beach Version

Things have been a bit stress bombish than usual over here lately. Shocker, for a house with two teens and one tween, I know. So I was even more grateful than grateful when Leo and I found ourselves by ourselves a few days ago, with a free afternoon to boot ....more

Today: The 70th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter

[Image: Dark blue square with an image of the UN headquartersin the background, white text superimposed, reading: "United Nations: 70 Years Promoting Peace and Progress...more

Haircuts Both Miraculous and Useful

This is for posterity. Two haircut milestones.First: Witness what Leo's level of comfort and familiarity with our local hair salon and local stylists means: He, his sister Mali, and I all got our hair cut together. At the same time ....more

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
Before my son was diagnosed with Autism (and ADHD) I'd never given it a second thought just how ...more

Parents New to Autism: Don't Fall for Pseudoscience like DAN! or MAPS.

This is an edited-for-privacy version of an article I posted on an autism parenting board this morning, in response to a parent asking for advice about DAN! doctors.---- Love my dude. [Image: Woman with medium-length red hair and sunglassessharing an embrace with a boy with short brown hairBoth with beige skin.] One of the loveliest features of this group is the opportunity for parents who are new to the world of disability and autism is to hear from parents with many years of experience -- so those new parents can avoid some of the mistakes we veterans unwittingly made.DAN! ...more

How Can Tech Benefit Autistic People? Comments from IMFAR 2015's ASDtech panel

One of the highlights of the 2015 International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR), for me, was being invited to speak on the panel for the ASDtech SIG (Special Interest Group). I've created a Storify compilation of the panel's highlights, but was also given the chance to opine on how tech can best benefit autistic people like (and unlike) my son. So I did, as you might imagine ....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

Tools for IEP, High School Transition, and Future Planning Jitters

Teens. They can nap. Who knew?[image: teen with short curly brown hairand beige skin sleeping face-down on a brown leather couch, in front of abank of windows filled with daylight.] Leo has a mustache ....more