Posts Tagged ‘Autism’

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, Mothers and the Great Gift of Planning

Child with special needs holds paper heart

This piece originally appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on May 13, 2018.   One in 42. That was the prevalence of autism in 8-year-old Minnesotans in 2014, the CDC recently reported, compared to one in 59 nationally.   So for an awful lot of moms, “our day” triggers a constellation of emotions: sadness,…

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The Secret Power of Expressing Gratitude

A man in Peru showing his gratitude

1/3/17 Everyone is talking about gratitude these days. It’s good for your soul to feel grateful. Gratitude fosters resilience. What’s even better than experiencing gratitude?  Expressing your gratitude – to your boss for the great year-end bonus, to your spouse for giving you a day at the spa, to your neighbor for shoveling your walk…

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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: Understanding From the Inside

May 2, 2014 We were driving to the store when my typically reticent son broke the silence. “Do you regret having me?” he asked. He knew I loved him, he said, but felt responsible for my abandoning my career when he was diagnosed with autism in 1993. I responded quickly, hoping to quash his festering…

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Louise Whitbeck Fraser: A Pioneer in Special Education

April 4, 2014 As Autism Awareness Month gets under way, it is an apt time to honor Louise Whitbeck Fraser, a pioneer in special education whose heart for children led to new initiatives and opportunities for individuals with special needs. In the winter of 1985, Tom Balcom recounted the story of Louise Fraser in a…

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