parenting

Autism and Wandering: Keep Our Kids Safe

In 2004 our son Andrew was diagnosed with severe autism (by today’s DSM-5 diagnostic standards, a level 3 in severity). Since then, the amount of sleep we have lost worrying about our son’s safety cannot be quantified. There is no chart or graph or equation in existence that can statistically depict the fear we feel [...]

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Special Needs Parenting: Don’t Ever Look at My Son That Way Again.

Disclaimer: I don’t care where you stand on the vaccine/autism issue. I have friends on both sides of this heated debate and I have friends who are right down the middle. And if I dislike you, it likely has nothing to do with your opinion on this subject and everything to do with you being [...]

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Why Banning Devices for Kids is a Stupid Idea

So I just finished reading an article on Huffington Post entitled “10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12,” and thanks to author Cris Rowan’s compelling arguments, I’ve removed all of the devices from the Ashline household in the hopes that it’s not too late for my precious [...]

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Long After

Long after he takes two timid steps up to his seat Long after he is buckled in next to his aide Long after I blow him one last kiss Long after the doors are closed and the driver pulls away from the house Long after the van rounds the corner and there is no one [...]

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Happy Birthday to My Kid and Some Other Stuff

I’ve spent the last several hours sitting on my living room couch, pouring over photos of my children, my husband, my family and friends. My youngest son, Ian, turns 10 today, and nostalgia has filled up my heart and mind, as I struggle to accept how quickly time has passed, knowing it will continue to [...]

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Even if He Asks for the Moon….

What do you do when your non-verbal special needs child uses his speech device (in Andrew’s case an iPad mini featuring Proloquo2Go) to make a very specific request first thing in the morning? Why, you change your plans, pack your crap, and reinforce the hell out of his amazing communication via miraculous technology! Yesterday morning [...]

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I Forgot.

My Ian. When I say he’s a “good” kid, I don’t mean he says “Please” and “Thank you,” or that he gets good grades. I mean, he does all of those things, but that’s just scratching the surface. When I say he’s a “good” kid, what I mean is that he’s a “good” human, something [...]

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Happy Father’s Day: Honoring Two Remarkable Men in my Life

Today  on Father’s Day, I want to take a moment to honor two remarkable men in my life: First, my dad; the hardest working man in the world. A man who gave up the only life he’d ever known in Poland in order to take a risk as a political refugee in America, so  his [...]

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Still Standing

I first noticed her as soon as we arrived. We were spending the day at a local event for autism families; an annual picnic where strangers help chase down bolting kids without having to be asked and there’s no shortage of glorious hand flapping. There was nothing remarkable about her really, at least, not at [...]

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For a Second I Forgot Just How Different They Really Are

Yesterday I took my younger son Ian to a doctor’s appointment. I arrived early, knowing I was going to be subjected to a stack of paperwork that would take me ages to fill out. Except it didn’t: I forget sometimes. I forget just how vastly different the lives of my two sons are. I mean, [...]

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