All Done January

Not a great month. Happy to see it go away, and no encores, please. Though cool things got done this month; you can look at my Stuff I Did for Jan 2016 if you want to know what they were.My mom stayed with us for much of January, which was a blessing and a delight, and for which I was grateful ....more

How Can We Do Better By Our Autistic Girls?

Autism is different for girls, and not only because fewer girls than boys get autism diagnoses. Autistic women and girls not only tend to have different traits than autistic boys do, but are also socialized differently -- leading to many of those girls being overlooked or misdiagnosed well into adulthood, and leading most of their life without the supports that could have made their lives much easier. It gets even more complicated when autistic girls are also racial minorities, and/or from low-income households....more
I shared this with two friends who have autistic daughters. BTW, I loved how the autistic girls' ...more

Adios, 2015

Learning Speed Scrabble: Part of Mali's Grifter Training[image: Three white people playing Scrabbleon a bright red table.] Good bye, 2015! We are spending our evening playing Speed Scrabble. Or, some of us are ....more

Thoughtful Gifts For Your Favorite Autistic People

Be thoughtful. That's the best advice I can give to anyone looking for gifts for autistic friends and loved ones. Ask after what they really like, want, or need, and be ready to embrace free-thinking gifts like jumbo rolls of bubble wrap. If you are after more specific advice, or need more than gift guides of holidays past, please consider these items that my autistic son Leo, his friends, and his community members appreciate....more
AutismMN Thanks for the share!more

And Boy, Are Our Arms Tired

[Image: White teenage boy and mother, both wearing bathing suits, with the ocean and rocks of Cabo San Lucas in the background.] We just got back from a week in Cabo San Lucas, a Thanksgiving week spent with most of both sides of our family, and one in which we successfully dodged all massive feast preparation responsibilities yet still managed to have our pants feel quite a bit tighter upon returning home. Success!This was our family's second time in Cabo, and it was, for the most part, a happy repeat of our glorious first visit. Leo swam, and then swam some more ....more

What Kinds of Therapies Actually Help Autistic Kids?

At two-and-a-half, my autistic son spoke more often than several other kids in his regional center-funded speech and language class. Two years later, several of those kids talked non-stop, whereas my son continued to speak only occasionally, and mostly kept his own counsel. We parents of those kids constantly compared notes, as parents of autistic kids often do, about the differences in our kids' speaking abilities. Which different therapies and interventions were our kids receiving? How did they make a difference, and why? ...more
Shannon Des Roches Rosa ...more

Happy 15th to Our Resident Dude

Low fat low sugar cupcakes -- that Leo graciously ate anyhow[image: yellow cupcakes with pipedchocolate frosting.] Leo's 15th birthday was two days ago. There was much cupcaking, over three birthday events over two days -- which meant three iterations of being sung Happy Birthday, which Leo looooved.He also enjoyed the cupcakes I made for him even though they were from a low sugar, low fat recipe. I ate one, and it wasn't .. ....more

5 Reasons Autism Communities Are Divided (and Why That’s Not Necessarily a Bad Thing)

I hate conflict, yet the autism corners of the Internet -- where I spent most of my online time -- are rarely without it. So I get why well-intentioned parents and professionals periodically send out can't we all just get along calls for "autism unity," because I want things to be smoother for all of us, too. ...more
"spent decades being silenced" We're still silenced. Groups like Autism speaks have a megaphone, ...more

Pumpkin Patches and Mezcal

Autism acceptance doesn't magically turn Leo's or my life into sugar-topped cakewalks, just so you know. (Allow me a smidge of irritation over how often Pollyanna charges gets leveled at us.)I accept that many things are hard for Leo because he's autistic, that I can't understand why they're hard if I approach those roadblocks like a non-autistic person would, but that if I try to see and understand matters from his perspective -- his unique autistic perspective -- things get easier for both of us.But I can't make everything in his life about being autistic either, because that means I end up underestimating him in other ways, specifically regarding how much he is maturing. Oftentimes, I'm the one who's lagging behind, in terms of adjusting to the sometimes decreasing amounts of backup Leo needs to navigate this world.An example: last week, after several days of promising Leo I'd take him to a jumpy house pumpkin patch, I finally managed to get him and Mali to the closest one ....more

Achievement Unlocked

[image: white teen girl with long curly dark blonde hair holding up her new driver's license.] This kid is now a licensed driver. In the scant few hours since getting her license, she has:1) Driven to a friend's house in another city2) Driven herself to and from soccer practice3) Decided that she wanted a specific kind of snack from the grocery store, drove herself there, and paid for the snack with her own money (did I mention that she also has a job?)All good things, all good things. All really weird things....more