Just a Girl: My Daughter’s Journey with Autism

January 26, 2024

What I want the world to know about my daughter My daughter is autistic, nonverbal, and has apraxia. She has debilitating anxiety. She has a monkey on her back, and it’s called autism. It confines her ability to enjoy and experience life. It has robbed her of so many things—relationships, children, and a career, to name a few. This isn’t the case for all autistic people, as it affects everyone differently, with varying degrees. My daughter has struggled immensely throughout her life. Her differences are at times invisible and other…

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My Journey as a Mentor for Individuals with Autism & Special Needs

January 24, 2024

“I wanted to help individuals who felt alone.” When I first learned about my autism diagnosis at 11 1/2, I often wished for a role model on the autism spectrum, someone who had navigated a similar path and could offer guidance and understanding. At that time, my awareness of the broader autism community was limited. I wasn’t yet familiar with the influential voices in the field. Now, as an adult who has navigated many challenges and has established a career as a professional speaker and author, I am privileged to…

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Superheroes Among Us: Happy Birthday Sawyer

January 20, 2024

Today is my son Sawyer’s eleventh birthday. Which is a really big deal. Because according to him he’s basically 16. I am a storyteller. At least I consider myself one. I think our stories are what complete us. And telling stories about Sawyer are my favorite. And I write them down so one day, when I am old and grey, we will have them to look at. This is my favorite Sawyer story… We had arrived at Cooper’s school to pick him up for the day. It was Jamie, Sawyer,…

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You Are My Calm in the Chaos

January 12, 2024

My son, Your birthday is in 8 days. You have been counting down since mid December. You love your birthday. And you love being older. So much so that you are already telling people you are 11 years old. I lovingly correct you every time, reminding you that you are still my 10 year old. For a few more days at least. I also threaten you with a potion that will keep you little forever. When you were younger you belived me that it would work. You aren’t scared anymore.…

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Our Border Experience: A Need For Autism Training

January 11, 2024

“Why would you bring her?” Those five words sent chills down my spine. My daughter Kya is 13 and on the autism spectrum. Sometimes the simplest of things can be hard for her. And things that most take for granted like waiting, sleep, and language. Last weekend I took Kya to the States to buy the Gerber yoghurt melts that she loves. We live in Canada, and we only have a certain kind, and she loves the ones that are available in the States. On our way home going through…

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Autism is Not a Dirty Word

January 10, 2024

Every morning I wake up to messages from people on social media. Most are well-meaning. Many are kind. A few are awful. Some are bizarre. And some, tell me how to raise my son. And how I’m doing it wrong. They tell me what I should be doing, how I can do it better, and what I can and cannot say about him. I’ve gathered a list of what I cannot say. I cannot say he has autism. Or is autistic. I can’t say he is nonverbal or nonspeaking. I…

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Reflections on Autism and the Teenage Years

January 9, 2024

Here we are in the new year, and I’m struggling. It’s an internal struggle, and I’m having a hard time shaking it. The new year is never easy for me, and I think it may be tied to the fact that my dad passed away on New Year’s Day in 1992. I get severe anxiety and sadness every year around this time. I think the anxiety this year may also be tied to my autistic daughter, Olivia, returning to school. This has not been the best school year for her.…

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Through His Eyes: My Son’s World of Sensory and Autism

January 8, 2024

Written from the perspective of my autistic son. As I enter a new room.  The sights and sounds flow easily into my body like music with long, gentle cords.  I feel at peace as though I almost cannot feel my body – it moves the way I tell it with gentle, gliding movements. The view of the room comes to me in muted, soft colors. The sights and sounds translate to my body that I am safe.  The next room I come to causes me to pause and shudder.  I…

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Finding What Works for Us at The Wisconsin Dells

January 8, 2024

We have a unique family. At least I think we do. We have a teen and a tween and a little and a toddler and a super social dad and a tired mom. We have four that like to go and do and one that needs a little more encouragement. We have four that are extremely social and two that prefer the comforts of home. And we have autism too. Which means some things just aren’t possible right now. Like flying in an airplane. Or long car rides. And sitting…

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The Healing Power of Sharing Life’s Challenges

January 3, 2024

Did you know there are some women out their who never whine? Or complain? Or even say it’s hard. I never knew that. I really didn’t. So when I stumbled across a post on Facebook bashing women for talking, or as they said whining, about the hard parts of life, I was shocked. Apparently, these so called whiners hate their kids and husbands. It was a lot to take in I a tell ya. I realized, they are probably talking about me. I talk, whine, complain, vent all the time.…

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