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Autism Awareness Month: 8 More Years Until Graduation

We have 8 years before it happens to him. If time has taught me anything, it’s that she waits for no one, sneaking up behind you while you plan and ponder and erroneously assume she will be generous and accommodating. 22 is the magic number. The ledge is always there. In the beginning it looks [...]

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Why I’m Letting My Son’s School Records Be Shared with California Concerned Parent Association

There’s panic swirling among many parents in California, after Judge Kimberly J. Mueller of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled in favor of California Concerned Parent Association and Morgan Hill Concerned Parent Association, granting the two non-profit parent-run groups access to nearly 10 million California student records. California Concerned Parent Association (CPA) [...]

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A Letter to an Impolite Cowboy

Dear Impolite Cowboy: I saw you on the track this morning, wearing your giant hat, walking your tiny dog, sweating through your wrinkled flannel, and I thought nothing of you; just another passerby, enjoying the same space, the same sun, as humans often do. I jogged towards you, my favorite song pulsating in my ears, my [...]

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What Did You Think I Would Do? Stay Quiet?

You hear about it, over and over again, until it’s no longer shocking. Just incredibly sad. You imagine what you would do if it happened to your kid. But you never actually believe that it would, because, how could it? You’re vigilant, involved, dedicated, educated, aware. You volunteer, you show up to meetings with cookies [...]

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Me.

I’m writing a book. I’ve been writing it since 2009 actually. You may be thinking to yourself, “That seems like an awfully long time to be writing a book, Jo,” and you would be right, so let me clarify. What I mean by “I’ve been writing a book,” is “I’ve been sitting on my couch [...]

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New Girl and Netflix Make for a Happy Thanksgiving

A few months ago my husband approached me and uttered six words that gave me instant chills: “Let’s get rid of our cable.” As someone who loves her tv I was mortified at the thought. I may have inserted some choice four-letter expletives as a response to his insane suggestion. That’s when he broke down [...]

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Sometimes He’ll Need a Hug. And Sometimes He’ll Need a Hammer.

It was the first time since her death that defiance flashed across his face   he was tired. tired of goodbyes. tired of the tears. tired of having to reach for tissues every time a bittersweet memory invaded his little heart.   He was tired of all the grown-ups trying to explain something they didn’t [...]

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Brave. Valiant. Strong.

My grandmother. She’s very sick. The prognosis, it’s not good. Back in 2008, on New Year’s Day, I was the one who found her on the floor of the bathroom, a massive stroke claiming her body as she lay there helpless and scared. As I held her in my arms and heard the distant wail [...]

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The Letter.

There’s a letter out there written by a mom of “NORMAL” children to a mom raising a “retard” and it’s spreading like wildfire   Breaking hearts in its wake leaving a bitter aftertaste mouths wide-open while defeated heads shake this letter is every autism parent’s worst nightmare   A neatly typed assertion: someone’s baby isn’t [...]

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Thirty Seconds

The irony is not lost on me. Yesterday, while reading an AP article I was interviewed for about wandering and elopement among the autism community, I turned to my husband and asked that dreaded question: “Where’s Andrew?” We had been mere inches from him all morning, contained together in the close quarters of our living [...]

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