special needs

Autism, Asics, and Sibling Love Featured in Ad Contest Entry

Back in August of this year, a talented director friend of mine, Maciek Sokalski, approached me about an opportunity for my boys to appear in a commercial he was entering into an Asics/Footlocker ad contest. Though ultimately the piece didn’t get chosen as one of the five finalists (WHAT?!!!), it deserves to be seen. Maciek did a [...]

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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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She Was Me.

He was supposed to play in his first Challenger baseball game of the new season this morning, but instead we found ourselves at our local Children’s Hospital emergency room, making sure Andrew’s foot wasn’t broken. (Never a dull moment around here, that’s for sure). It was there that I first spotted them; a father and [...]

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We Should Have Had More Kids, Right?

The panic washes over me suddenly while I’m in the shower. We should have had more kids, I think to myself. “WE SHOULD HAVE HAD MORE KIDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I scream to my husband, the words piercing through the hot steam, penetrating my heart, echoing through me until they settle in my soul. There is silence on the other [...]

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The Night Before

It’s the night before Andrew’s first day of school. For many years this night held a mixture of excitement and anxiety for me, and after his new outfit and shoes were laid out, and his lunch box was packed, and his backpack was filled with shiny new school supplies, I would lay wide away in bed, endless questions [...]

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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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Special Needs People Deserve Umbrellas Too

It poured rain here in Orange County today. (And suddenly everyone forgets how to drive. But that’s another story, for another day). Anyway, it was early afternoon and I was driving home from class when I saw a group of special needs adults walking down the sidewalk with who I presumed were their aides or [...]

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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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“What’s Wrong with Him?” is Better Than “He Doesn’t Exist.”

  We were just wrapping up our evening and putting our leftovers into our to-go boxes when she made her way towards me, her cheeks flushed, her eyes hinting at her humiliation. “I’m so sorry,” she said. At least, that’s what I thought I heard her say. We were at a local pizza joint with [...]

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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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