Bookends of My Heart: Autism, Joy, and Heartache

July 21, 2024

It’s been a long day. A tiresome one. But a good one. I found myself with a rare moment of quiet, two of my children at the counter, the other two playing outside. My oldest and my youngest. Cooper and Wynnie. My bookends. I found myself staring at them for a second, wondering what the future holds. The wildcard being autism. Always, autism. When Wynnie was seven days old, Cooper held her for the first time, reassuring me that this would all be okay. As he cradled her, he counted…

Read More

I Was a Less Than Great Mom Last Night

July 21, 2024

I had all four kids alone, from toddler to tween to an emotional 13 year with autism and it was a lot to handle. There was a lot of screaming. There was water play when there wasn’t supposed to be water play. And then wet clothes on the floor. And sand. I yelled. I don’t usually yell. But I did. There was talking back. And throwing. So much throwing. There was ‘mommy will you play with me.’ And a lot of screen time. At one point I looked around at…

Read More

Reactions to Autism: Would You Be So Understanding?

July 17, 2024

I found myself out today in the community with my two of my four children. We were in a group of people. We were quietly sitting. And by quietly, I mean my 5-year-old son was bouncing off the walls and my toddler was chatting up a storm. Just as kids should be. Busy and happy. It was lovely. The three of us out together. I’m stretched a little thin these days so it’s nice to get time with my kids. I found myself looking around. I found myself missing my…

Read More

Autism: From ‘Never’ to ‘Possible’

July 14, 2024

When my son was diagnosed with autism nine years ago, I began to think in nevers. Not right away. But more over time. Now as a typically very positive person, it felt strange. It felt unlike me. But, that’s how the people around us spoke about autism. Your son will never talk. He will never ride a bike. He will never make a friend. I could go on an on. He will never have a normal life. He will never live independently. Never, never, never. With each evaluation for services,…

Read More

The Beautiful Chaos of Raising Four Children

July 13, 2024

There are a lot of things that change when you have four child. Many that didn’t surprise me. Your house suddenly feels a lot smaller for one and it’s nearly impossible to find a quiet space. Your favorite car or truck that you have loved no longer fits two car seats and 4 other people and you ultimately have to decide if you are minivan person or not. I am not. I am fighting it. You can no longer fit at the kitchen island for meals. Someone or two or…

Read More

To the Mom Who Just Heard ‘Autism’: You Are Not Alone

July 12, 2024

My message to the mama who just heard autism for the first time…. Your child has just been diagnosed with autism. Maybe it came as a shock. Maybe not. Maybe like me you already had an idea that something was going on. But you still felt the sting when the words were said out loud. There are so many things I want to tell you. So many important things that I feel you should know. But right now, if you were anything like I was 9 years ago, your head…

Read More

“She Doesn’t Look Autistic”

July 9, 2024

What does autism look like? It looks like mismatched slippers every day. It looks like refusal to comply. It looks like obsession over socks being just right. It looks like dance parties at home but refusing to dance at dance class. It looks like holding her bladder until she is in a ‘safe space’ where she can finally find relief. It looks like fighting sleep even though she is past the depths of tiredness. It looks like food being cut into bite-sized pieces and discarding certain pieces because they don’t…

Read More

We Felt Weightless

July 7, 2024

Yesterday, our family went tubing. I watched my three year old daughter bravely climb in. Then my five year son and 11 year old son. They squealed with joy and high fived and yelled for dad to go faster. I couldn’t believe it. I commented how fearless kids can be. As we circled the boat, my 13 year old son sat next to me. He watched with bright and curious eyes. He isn’t one to join in. Or always willingly try. I looked from him to his siblings. And then…

Read More

Why I Can’t Hate Autism: A Mother’s Journey

July 2, 2024

I can’t say “I hate autism” anymore. I haven’t said it much, but I have. There are moments when I desperately want to be angry at autism—during a colossal public meltdown, the relentless screaming in the car, when things get broken at home, or worse, when my son can’t cope and it seems like something else has a hold on him and won’t let go. I want to be angry at something. I want to blame this invisible force that seems to inhabit our lives and shadow us everywhere. There…

Read More

Never Give Up Hope: Navigating Autism as a Mother

June 30, 2024

Hope. Gosh I hear that word a lot. Have hope. Never give up hope. All we can do is hope. If we give up hope, than what do we have left. In the world of special needs, hope is a hot topic. Hope and I have had a rocky relationship over the last few years. For years I hoped nothing was wrong with my baby. Then I hoped my toddler would catch up. And then I hoped that it was ‘just’ a speech delay. Then I hoped it wasn’t autism.…

Read More