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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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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Today, fear wins.

I’m supposed to be getting ready. I’m meeting a fellow autism mom at 1. Instead, I’m sitting at my kitchen table, my heart aching as I try to process the news about Avonte Oquendo. Remains which were found near the school where he vanished on October 4th, 2013 were confirmed to be his by the [...]

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Alcoholism: I Still Sniff My Water Bottles

There’s a lot of things that changed when I got sober. I stopped waking up hungover. I stopped eating whole cloves of garlic to mask the booze on my breath before my husband got home from work. I stopped ignoring my kids. I stopped feeling hopeless and helpless and like the only thing I was [...]

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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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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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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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