A Beautiful Moment to Share With You…

December 31, 2023

This morning, when I came out of my bedroom, far earlier than I would have liked, I knew my son Cooper was waiting on the stairs for me. For one I could hear train whistles and happy music coming from his ipad. We often hear him before we see him. And secondly, lately, he’s been waiting for me more. Near, but far. Not close enough to touch, but easily heard and seen if I peek around a corner or under a table. He gasped as he usually does when it’s…

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How To Dance In Ohio – The Musical: A Gift of Autism Awareness and Representation

December 28, 2023

One week ago my mom and I stepped off a plane in New York City, we didn’t go because of the holiday window displays, for the Rockefeller Christmas tree, or to visit the Today Show. We went to see How To Dance In Ohio – The Musical. “Hey, I think I heard about that!” Was the most common response I received when I told people about our last minute trip just a few days before Christmas…… you probably saw it on the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade! “Based on the award-winning HBO…

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Parenting Autism and the Conversations We Must Have

December 18, 2023

A few nights ago, my husband and I found ourselves driving around a picturesque town for 20 minutes or so…alone. We had no kids with us. There was no loud noise or fighting, endless questions, or voices from an iPad. It was just us, driving around looking at holiday lights, Christmas music playing softly. Eventually we found ourselves in the parking lot of what looked like a brand new apartment complex located right on the river. It was breathtaking. After looking at the sign, we saw it was for folks…

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The Power of Silence: Communicating with Heart

December 17, 2023

When you have a child who communicates differently than most, you learn to listen with more than your ears. You learn to communicate with a look, a touch, a gesture. Words became less important. You read your child’s needs just by looking at their eyes. A simple look is all you need. You know what a sounds means. One grunt or squeal can tell you everything you need to know. A flap of a hand or a stomp means happy or stressed. Some days you swear you can even feel…

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A Special Night With Santa

December 15, 2023

Tonight was one of those really special nights. Our family, along with 25 or so other families, spent an evening with Santa Pj and Sparkles the Elf. Some kids lined up chairs. Another watched an old 1950’s train docu-series on YouTube called Hobart and Cosmo. A few played tag. Some did crafts. One young man had a stack of paper with printed photos of the vintage treasures he wanted. Another young man wore noise canceling headphones the entire time. A few used speech devices to say…’hi Santa.’ One beautiful girl…

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Navigating Holiday Gatherings with Autism

December 15, 2023

Don’t judge. It’s everyone’s holiday season. With the holiday season upon us, I’ve been reflecting on my autism journey as a younger child. It looked much different than it does now as an adult. Whether it was during Christmas with the family or a holiday gathering, I’d often be alone in the corner, trying to avoid too much social interaction and strong sensory input. While my family would be eating beef, chicken, or some other holiday feast, I’d be snacking away on my favorite snacks like cheese doodles and goldfish.…

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You Are Stronger Than You Think

December 14, 2023

I don’t know how you do it… Last night I shared a video on Instagram of my autistic son ripping paper and books. It’s a new behavior. It’s really loud. And messy. I shared it for a glimpse into the beauty and reality of our world. I could tell you why he does it. He wants to have all the pieces of the magazines and books in his hands. He’s a sensory seeker. He likes to see and touch. To spread the pages out. To line them up. It makes…

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The Way He Brothers

December 13, 2023

I was rushing to get out of the house. Helping Cooper with his shoes and wrestling the baby into her jacket. Only she’s in that…‘I do it myself mama’ phase. I filled water bottles and packed a bag and grabbed snacks. Made sure kids had hats and gloves and Cooper had his speech device and that I looked halfway presentable. You know, doing all of the things. Cooper, my oldest, who is autistic, was nonverbally letting me know that he was going to bring all hundred of his treasures. Sawyer,…

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Every Day is a Party: Celebrating the Simple Joys with Cooper

December 12, 2023

There is a quote that says, ‘don’t ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day your alive is a special occasion.’ My son Cooper reminds me of that quote every single day. The reason I’m sharing it with you is because someone recently commented on one of my posts, pointing out that we always have balloons in our house. And it’s true, they are everywhere. They drift through the house, from room to room. Birthday balloons. Dora balloons. Square. Round. All brightly colored. Some old. Some new. Why? Because…

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My Nonverbal Teen’s Birthday Tale

December 6, 2023

Nonverbal communication is a pretty amazing thing really. My son Cooper, the one in the middle, he communicates mostly with sounds: Think grunts and squeals and gasps. He points a lot. And brings things to us and brings us to things. He places his hands on ours and guides them in certain ways. He touches our lips and uses his hands to turn our faces to see things. He uses his iPad to show us pictures or videos of things he wants to tell us about. He does some typing.…

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