THE ROADMAP

Stories about anticipating, planning for and navigating life’s twists, turns, tragedies, and triumphs.

Family Planning for the Worst Case Scenario

Family Planning for the Worst Case Scenario

August 10, 2007 I had been ruminating about death for days before I saw the images of the I-35W bridge jutting out of the mighty Mississippi at grotesque angles. Just two weeks earlier, I had experienced my own close encounter, having T-boned a vehicle whose driver was also chatting on her cell, then striking a…

Words Matter

Words Matter

July 30, 2007 In the school of hard knocks, I’ve learned that words that describe people can have lasting and unintended consequences. In years past, I happily embraced several designations: wife, stepmother, and lawyer. All was well until late 1993, when I was pummeled with a most unwelcome label: “refrigerator mother.” This new term attributed…

Autism and the Promise of Less Isolation

Autism and the Promise of Less Isolation

July 7, 2012 I can’t pinpoint the person who first spoke the word “autism.” I do recall with great certainty that I could not repeat the word for months after I first heard it. I didn’t really know what it meant; I just knew that it was not good. I now know that it is…

Autism and Vigilance

Autism and Vigilance

June 24, 2007 Driving through central Wisconsin this past week, I battled the melancholy that crawls into my heart each year at this time, around the birth date of my first-born — my son, whose needs have driven me to near exhaustion and stretched my limits of patience; my son, who is clever and sweet…