It's Blogust! Time to Give Kids a Shot@Life!

It's Blogust! That time of year, that annual August period when life-saving advocacy couldn't be easier for good people like you to take part in. When Shot@Life donates a life-saving vaccine to a child in need every time you share the #Blogust tag on public social media (Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter) ....more

At SF City Hall the Day the UN Turned 70, SCOTUS Formalized Marriage Equality, and Malala Spoke

June 26th was a day to be at San Francisco City hall. I was invited to attend the UN70 ceremony to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter as part of the Bay Area Digital Leaders initiative, which was thrilling enough -- I knew we'd get to see UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and SF's own Mayor Ed Lee speak. I was honored to witness such recounting of history, listen to such people, and be present during such a milestone.And then, the morning of the ceremony, SCOTUS ruled that marriage equality was the new law of our land ....more

Things You Should Eat: Nutella on Tortilla Chips

For a very long time -- about twenty years -- I firmly believed a Digestive biscuit with a swipe of Nutella was one of the best things a person could ever hope to eat.With good reason: back when I lived in Ghana as a college exchange student and factory-made sweets weren't always easy to find, we could usually get Digestive biscuits (and Walker's shortbread, another Achilles heel of mine) from street vendors. While the biscuits were a treat on their own, what my fellow exchange students and I truly lusted was Nutella to put on them. We weren't able to find Nutella easily in 1990, nor was it a reasonable purchase (about $20/jar at specialty import stores, if I recall correctly) ....more

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