25 December, 2011


I have been joking lately that the past decade was a 'little rough', but that the last nine months have nearly made up for it.  It's not like we didn't have a whole lot of amazing, awesome things happen in the last ten years, because we did...children and new friendships and a cross-country trip, but lately it feels like things- all of those pieces are finally coming together. For as little sleep as I've had in the past few months, I feel more forward momentum again. My kids are so in-sync at school, and they are each developing into such beautiful people. My husband is happy, which always make my life happier. He loves the people he works with, and he's got plans to build tree houses. And I got an ice machine for Christmas.

That ice machine is so completely unnecessary that when I opened the box from my husband,  I cried. It is just something I want, and he gave it to me just so I could be happy. We don't need it. It doesn't fix anything that's broken. It's not for the kids (though they like it too). It's for me. I like ice. I hate ice trays and I have always wanted an ice machine. The little automatic refrigerator one won't work without a $40,000 reconfiguration for the kitchen, so Descartes found one that fits into the window box behind the sink and voila: refreshing beverages.

I'm not that pleased that it was a material good that tipped me into the "feeling blessed" category, but I know that it did, and once you tumble over that line, it becomes so clear all the good that you have. I've always tried to be a thankful person, but perhaps it was just a little bit easier for me to see how my cup runneth over... once I put ice in it. And I am so thankful for all that I have, and all I have been able to do.


I have met so many amazing people this year, and learned so much. Thank you to all of our wonderful family and friends for warming our life.. and for understanding that our Holiday greetings just turned into a New Years card.

22 December, 2011

Fit to Print

The book ... THE BOOK is now available. I am taking a break right now from building the Kindle version to mark this occasion on my own blog. We have received wonderful reviews so far, especially from Steve Silberman who has called Thinking Person's Guide to Autism the Book of the Year.
He says
...my favorite book of the year on autism was curated and self-published by a group of parent-warriors with the express purpose of sparing other parents the grief, isolation, and confusion that followed their own kids’ diagnoses. Called the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism, it offers helpful, positive, pragmatic, evidence-based advice for making the life of your kid and your family more rewarding and more joyful, starting today. I can’t think of a better holiday gift for someone with a loved one on the spectrum. With current estimates of autism prevalence running at 1 in 110 people in the US, the book deserves a wide readership.

(I hope you read the rest of his article...Leo's cuteness is featured quite prominently!)

This book has been an honor to be a part of, and I can only hope that there's a story, a chapter, or even one line that helps another person navigate this life a little easier. There was nothing like this book when Jack was diagnosed more than seven years ago. I didn't know which information to trust. I didn't even know any adults with diagnosed autism. The website, the online relationships and all of the great content just amazes me.

And I have learned and grown over the last year and a half. My mind has been changed, while I have also become more confident in my own story.  I have a better understanding of community, and I am learning what advocacy looks like, or should look like. My heart has softened, just as my resolve has become a bit more steely. My heart holds so many more people and all of their words.

I have always said I am a different woman, a better woman than I would have been for knowing my son. I know that I would have been a writer or an editor of something somewhere. I probably would have donated my time and skills to help others because I was raised to think that is important. But I recognize that I am only a part of this great project because of my son. All of his struggles and triumphs, and the future that lies before him in this great big world filled with malice and grace. He led me to this opportunity, and I hope he is proud of the work we have done.

Buy your copy today!

06 December, 2011

My Autism Team

MyAutismTeam.com officially launched today. I'm so glad I've had the chance to meet some of the great people there. It's a good project that is already so helpful, and the more data we add, the better resource it will become for other families.

From their press release: 
MyAutismTeam is the first social network specifically for parents of children with autism, making it easy to connect with others who have had similar experiences. The network is a Facebook-meets-Yelp style place for parents to share recommendations of local providers, openly discuss issues, share tips, and gain access to local services that they may not have otherwise discovered on their own. Since the summer, the site has rapidly grown from 30 to over 12,500 members, underlying the growing need of parents seeking support and an easy way to find the team of providers that best meets the needs of their children. 
The site is most beneficial for parents or caretakers of people with autism. Each member shares the "team" of providers and professionals who serve the individual with autism, and other members can see the team you have created. Looking ahead to families with children who are older than Jake can  help me figure out what providers we might need in the future.  I know we are looking for someone to create a special needs trust in the next year, and we will probably need to look into becoming conservators when Jake is a little older. I wish I had this kind of resource when Jake was three and we were searching for OTs PTs and everything else.

Please check out the site, and provide these good people feedback www.myautismteam.com and on Twitter @MyAutismTeam

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