More Than Just Caregivers: The Power of Connection

June 4, 2024

This weekend, I had the honor of pouring into over two hundred special needs caregivers. I told them about how much I wondered what I could speak about that would inspire them, be something new they hadn’t heard before, and give them something tangible to put into action. I asked them to pause each day and ask themselves three basic questions to clear space to find gratitude and joy every single day. Even on the hardest days, there is always something to be grateful for. In a world where we…

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Summertime on the Spectrum

June 3, 2024

Summertime is different for some kids… So many of you are asking me about Cooper’s summer plans. A valid question. He finishes up school this week. Then he will be an eight grader. He absolutely understands that school is almost done for the year. I know because yesterday when we walked him to the bus he held up three fingers the entire way and had us repeat…’three more days.’ He likes his reassurance that one. Summer breaks are different for kids like Cooper. Or maybe it’s just him. I guess…

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Autism: In My Own Time and Place

May 31, 2024

Ten years ago, the word “autism” was not in my personal dictionary. I rarely heard the word. I didn’t know anyone who was on the spectrum, or even a friend of a friend. I couldn’t have told you what it meant or what the signs were, just that it was a word that seemed hidden or something to be ashamed of. A word that you whisper quietly so only a few can hear. A word that scared me because it was unknown and unfamiliar. I couldn’t have told you that…

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He Deserves to Live with Dignity and Respect

May 29, 2024

And then she said, ‘you are so lucky that your son doesn’t care what he looks like. Or care about the latest trends in clothes or even what his hair looks like. It’s so hard these days to keep up.’ She finished it with, ‘I bet he doesn’t even care what you dress him in…’ I’ve been thinking about that conversation for over a week now. I know what she was getting at. I know what she was implying. She was telling me I was lucky that my kid didn’t…

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Looking at Hope in a Realistic Way

May 24, 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.…

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Autism, Football, and Apples

May 21, 2024

I love football. I don’t remember ever not loving football. I can’t tell you when that love started because it has always been part of my life. Growing up, Sundays consisted of going to church, making a great Sunday dinner, getting together with family and watching the Denver Broncos. One of my favorite memories of my Dad is running back and forth throughout the house while he threw me passes. My love for football has grown and changed over the years. Like any dad, I hope that I can share…

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We Attended a United Dance Together

May 20, 2024

The child you have right now is not the child you will have forever. Let that sink in. You can also say the hard that you have now right now is not the hard you will have forever. Years ago, when my son was 4 and 5, and autism was new, we were really struggling. This sweet boy couldn’t communicate. He didn’t feel well. He had anxiety and adhd that seemed to consume him. We couldn’t leave the house. We didn’t sleep. We didn’t stop moving. We quite literally never…

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Am I Brave Enough…?

May 18, 2024

I just left the grocery store. I only had a few things today so opted for the self checkout today. While I scanned my items, I became aware of two young men next to me. I would say they were both in their 20’s. It dawned on me rather quickly that one was helping the other shop for groceries. He was helping him scan each item, slow and meticulously. Talking him through he step. The gentleman being helped was very much enjoying himself. He was laughing and making very happy…

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Autism and Independence: In Her Own Time

May 16, 2024

In her own time. Those four words are more important than I can express. I am not sure I can put into words the incredible moment my autistic daughter had yesterday, but I am going to try. Yesterday, Kya asked to “go in the car to the dollar store for Elmer’s glue.” So we headed to the store. While there, she looked at clay but passed on it. We gathered what she wanted and headed to the till. Once there, she said clay, so I decided to let her go…

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Autism Journey: A Mother’s Love Letter to Her Son

May 15, 2024

Dear Son, When I found out I was pregnant with you, I fell in love at first heartbeat. We called you little niblet because in our first ultrasound and picture, you were this little bean, but we heard a strong heartbeat. It was amazing to feel you move and hiccup in my belly. I remember the day dad felt you kick for the first time; we were at the cottage. You knew then it was going to be your happy place. My pregnancy was pretty normal up till the end.…

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