Posts Tagged ‘Autism’

Grandparenting a Child with Autism

January 18, 2013 Several years ago, I wrote an essay that was published in an anthology of works by mothers of special needs children. “Dancing with Despair” recounted the first 14 years after my son’s autism diagnosis, during which life was overrun by doctor and therapy visits, special diets and behavioral programs. Sleepless nights followed…

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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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Care for the Caregivers

December 9, 2011 We know them. We are them. The people who change parents’ Depends; sit with children through chemotherapy; answer the same question from a spouse over and over. Caregivers are the bone-tired folks who attend to others’ basic needs, often while balancing family responsibilities, not to mention employment. Unpaid caregivers often step in…

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An Upscale Retreat for People with Autism

October 28, 2011 Two decades ago, autism was a mysterious condition known to relatively few. These days, media reports about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) appear daily; it’s rare to find someone who doesn’t have a connection to the lifelong condition affecting between 1 million and 1.5 million Americans. The children who were diagnosed with ASD…

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Autism and the Transition to Adulthood: It’s not a Sprint

My guest blog post that appeared on Laura Shumaker’s San Francisco Chronicle blog (SFgate.com)  on October 20, 2011. I sat down at the table for our 2 p.m. meeting and looked up at the clock. We were about to design my son’s last IEP (Individualized Education Plan) – the roadmap for his final services from…

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Art and Autism: Through Jimmy’s Eyes

September 30, 2011 Jimmy Reagan’s story unfolds through pictures. It begins with baby photos his parents treasure: Jimmy as an infant, snacking in his high chair, impish grin stretching between rosy cheeks; Jimmy frolicking with his dad in a pile of leaves, bright eyes focused on the camera. Then the images reflect a dramatic change.…

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Roots, Wings and Guardianship

July 8, 2011 Helping our children to feel both grounded and independent is a fundamental tenet of parenting. So we give them roots and wings by imparting skills and values. We harp on them to buckle their seatbelts, eat their veggies, and treat others with respect. After we’ve counseled them on how to do their…

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A Plea to Attorneys: Help Make Way for Justice

April 15, 2011 Late last month, a 22-year-old man with a criminal record pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman with Down syndrome while on a Metro Transit bus in St. Paul. The woman was one of several vulnerable adults traveling with a personal care attendant, who was apparently unaware her charge was performing…

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“House Rules” Hits the Mark

April 1, 2011 A friend asked whether the book “House Rules” by Jody Picoult reflects my family’s experience with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Picoult not only illuminated some of my life, she also roused a latent fear about what would happen if my adult son encountered the criminal justice system. “House Rules” unfolds through the…

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