For Would-be Employees and Amenable Employers, Opportunity for a Happy Dance

  This op-ed appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on June 23, 2019.  Two weeks ago the Internet was abuzz when a joyful Minnesota mom posted a video of her 4-year-old son singing his first tune. The world beamed along with Sheletta Brundidge, for young Daniel Brundidge wasn’t just singing – he was speaking…

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Autism: Awareness, Vigilance, and Encouragement

As seen in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on April 21, 2019. A familiar knot formed in my stomach as the words scrolled across the bottom of the TV screen late last month. A 27-year-old non-verbal woman with autism was missing from her Texas home. My mind flashed back to 2007 when, in the span…

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Autism: Grief, Gratitude and Gifts

Have you noticed that blue is the new pink? It’s Autism Awareness Month, and following the lead of breast cancer advocates, autism advocates are bluing it up to highlight a condition that is near to my heart. Ten years ago I began writing about autism and the challenges it presented for my son and our…

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Autism: I Can Hear You

As seen in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on 5/3/15 My son Jack turned 16 on the same day in June 2007 that a Wisconsin toddler drowned after wandering away from home. Though we never met, my heart ached for the parents whose fate I had feared. I’d worried about a number of scenarios that…

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Autism Insight: Sensory Overload and Social Skills Challenges

July 12, 2013 I couldn’t help but hear the conversation between two women sitting an arm’s length away. The more boisterous of the pair had spent the holiday weekend with extended family members, including her 8-year-old nephew with autism. He would not listen and would eat only pizza, she vented. I bit my tongue as…

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Autism and Emergencies

May 3, 2013 Patrick was a 19-year-old who didn’t have a friend to call his own. While living with his parents, he enrolled in a local community college, where he met a couple of guys who wanted to hang out. When his parents learned their son was going out for the first time, they were…

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Despair, Awareness and Acceptance

April 20, 2012 If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism, the saying goes. It’s hardly a one-size-fits-all disorder. That makes it tough to understand the one in 88 people who have the diagnosis today, as compared to one in 150 in 2000. Hence efforts continue globally by individuals and…

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