Autism Beyond Standardized Measures

November 30, 2023

Dear Standardized School Questionnaires, I could go on and on about how frustrated and sad I feel when I have to fit my child into all these boxes that he does not fit into. I could elaborate on how this questionnaire is unproductive in describing my son. Instead, I’ll tell you what you’re missing when we check “never” on many of the countless boxes. He may not be able to write the alphabet, but he knows and recognizes all of his letters. He even recognizes sight words—perhaps more than that.…

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An Unexpected Reminder That’s It’s Going to Be Okay

November 29, 2023

I think sometimes we end up exactly where we are supposed to be. Maybe even just for a moment. Today, as Cooper’s mom, the world had something to show me. This morning we brought our younger son to see Beauty and the Beast. And I’ll tell you, when you have four kids, it can be a bit tricky to make one on one time work. Like moving mountains honestly. But we made it happen. As we sat waiting for the show to start, I noticed the group sitting down behind…

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Why Can I Show Empathy to Others but Not My Mom

November 28, 2023

I went into quite an uproar. I was not thinking about the person who had been up since five-thirty in the morning and couldn’t sleep. I only thought about myself, my needs, and how I didn’t want to do my homework. You see, due to my autism, I am incredibly literal, and that can make some school work harder for me to interpret now that I am climbing the ladder of my college-level classes. I felt insecure and inadequate but I didn’t know these were my feelings. All I knew…

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Nurturing the Heart of my Middle Child

November 26, 2023

My second son has been having some big feelings lately. He is 10 years old and sandwiched in between three very big personalities. I think sometimes it can be lonely to be the one in the middle. His dad and I are working very hard to make sure he knows how magnificent and treasured he is. Last night a movie on the couch with popcorn and snuggles. This morning a doughnut date, just the two of us. And lots of conversation. Which is the best part in my opinion. I…

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A Little Boy Who Waits for Me

November 23, 2023

I have four kids. They range from 2 to 12 years old. You can say I am covering a few phases of motherhood all at once. Diapers and cribs to ‘I do it myself, mama’, to I can’t take my eyes off him for a second, to spelling and math tests, to the smell of a hockey player, to a tween. There is never a dull moment over here. Or a quiet one either. Three of my kids love to call me on the phone when I leave the house.…

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Santa in Leather: A Heartwarming Elevator Encounter

November 17, 2023

Let me set the scene for you… My husband and I and two of our boys plus baby get on the elevator. We are loud and busy. Our youngest is trying to push all the buttons. I am using my hip to block him. Cooper, our 12-year-old is autistic and adores elevators. So he is happy flapping and dancing and making lots of noises. Just as the door is about to close to bring us to the second floor of the hotel my husband yells out…‘I’ll hold the door for…

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Pondering Perspectives with William: A Comfort Blanket For My Eyes

November 14, 2023

Anywhere between 5:30 am and 7 am, my door bursts open with a sleepy “morning mom” and a barrel roll into bed next to me. Autism rises with the sun, sometimes before. I’m usually halfway through my cup of coffee, brewed 3 feet from my bed, with almond milk creamer from my tiny in-room fridge. Don’t judge. I’ve written in my gratitude journal, watched the news, and caught up on work. It’s my only quiet, restful alone time aside from the evening after he’s asleep and before I pass out.…

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How Am I Supposed to Not Miss Him?

November 14, 2023

I brought my son Sawyer to skate night last night. A school event at a local roller skating rink. There was pizza and music and arcade games. Kindergarten through fifth grade. Families. Siblings. So many kids. I laced up his roller blades and watched him be a little boy. Skating way too fast. Being silly. Telling stories. Playfully pushing friends. Dancing. Doing the limbo. He has a social life. Friends. He’s growing up. As I sat there watching, holding my baby tight, I was suddenly overwhelmed by all the feelings…

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I Belong to Him: Motherhood and Autism

November 11, 2023

This boy and I are connected. Mother and son. I am his person. He holds me now mostly out in public. A hand in mine or on my shoulder, me leading him. Always touching me. And if he does pull his hand away for a second, I see a bit of panic in his eyes before he reaches out again. At times, I feel I am his eyes and ears, as if he has a blindfold on and I’m telling him where to step and sit. Cooper and other individuals…

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I Learned Invaluable Lessons Alongside Autism

November 10, 2023

I’ve spent a lot of time recently reflecting on our journey living alongside autism. The road has been far from easy, but through the challenges, I learned some invaluable lessons. This is my son Jordan. He is 27 and on the autism spectrum. I am his guardian and full-time caregiver. Maybe you are in the thick of it, feeling exhausted, uncertain, and maybe even defeated. I get it. I was there more times than I can count and didn’t know how I was going to do it another day. But…

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