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April 2011 - Posts

From Inside the Puzzle: Raising a Child with Autism Blog

30 Days of Autism Awareness
April 30, 2011 8:25 PM by Devon Alley
Well, somehow, I managed to pull it off. Somehow, I managed to write a blog entry every day for all 30 days of April. At the beginning of this project, I said that my intention of writing every day was to promote autism awareness -- to help other people Read More...
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I'm An Embarrassing Mom
April 29, 2011 9:25 PM by Devon Alley
While I was tucking A. into bed tonight, she pointed at the low neckline of my shirt. "Aaaaaaahhh!" She made a rather nasal sound. "That's illegal." "What's illegal?" "You're showing part of your breast." I looked down and noticed that I was showing off Read More...
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Comic Books & Autism
April 28, 2011 10:47 PM by Devon Alley
I'll be honest -- I was never devoted or disciplined enough to be a true comic book geek in my formative years, but I was a huge fan of Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, I had an affection for X-Men, and I surrounded myself by much bigger nerds than I ever Read More...
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When Tornadoes Chase Us
April 27, 2011 10:00 PM by Devon Alley
It's been a stressful and exhausting day. Everything has been out of sync and not according to routine. From picking A. up from school early due to the threatening weather, to spending great chunks of time in the downstairs bathroom and closets when it Read More...
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Hanen As A Useful Tool
April 26, 2011 9:15 PM by Devon Alley
Today, A. reminded her daycare provider that she was one of the "lucky autistic people," because she is capable of speaking and communicating. This is especially poignant for A. because this was not always the case. The prominent earmark and red flag Read More...
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Adventures in Curiosity
April 25, 2011 10:30 PM by Devon Alley
School was not in session today, so I allowed A. to skip out of daycare and spend the day visiting with Thomas's mother, who was nice enough to watch after her. I was at work, putting together a report of some sort, when I noticed A. was calling me on Read More...
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Easter Addendum - Sharing the Peeps
April 24, 2011 10:20 PM by Devon Alley
First of all -- I am pleasantly overwhelmed by the degree of response and feedback I've received so far to the entry I posted last night. It's so very wonderful to read opinions and responses from so many people, and I absolutely intend to reply back Read More...
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Autism and Empathy
April 23, 2011 8:55 PM by Devon Alley
Today's Thinking Person's Guide to Autism post makes some very important points about autism in the media in reference to abuse and empathy. It's really chilling, the misconceptions our mainstream media tends to promote as well as the language that is Read More...
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What's A Hippie?
April 22, 2011 10:46 PM by Devon Alley
"Look, Devon -- another hippie!" Thomas said as he pointed to a car sporting a "Tolerance" bumper sticker. It's a long-standing joke that my conservative, gun-wielding fiance ended up with a liberal, tree-hugging lady like myself. "What's a hippie?" A. Read More...
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She's My Shining Superstar
April 21, 2011 7:27 PM by Devon Alley
Yesterday, I went to A.'s school to have lunch with her. I sat with A. and her classmates, and they all quoted different Pokemon YouTube videos at each other and told silly jokes and talked about how much fun they had at A.'s slumber party a few months Read More...
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Your Face!
April 20, 2011 9:50 PM by Devon Alley
On Sunday, I took my little family to visit with Thomas's parents' to celebrate his sister's birthday. Good food, wonderful company, and an overall good time. A. was also in wonderful form, though part of this may be because Thomas's sister's friends Read More...
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She Walks Alone Because She Was Born This Way
April 19, 2011 11:44 PM by Devon Alley
When A. was very young, one of her favorite songs was "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day. My shadow's the only one that walks beside me My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me 'Til then I Read More...
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Trouble With Homework
April 18, 2011 8:25 PM by Devon Alley
Just had a really, really rough homework session with A. The worksheet was just a few problems about figuring out the perimeter and area of irregular figures, but it was an exercise in analytic thinking as opposed to strict memorization (which is what Read More...
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iPads & Autism - Useful Resources
April 17, 2011 10:35 PM by Devon Alley
Today, my dear fiance actually gave me his iPad. It's a piece of technology we've had around the house for about a year now, and while it's been entertaining and fun on occasion, it's something that hasn't made it's way into his daily workflow. So, I'm Read More...
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Child-Free Weekend
April 16, 2011 8:35 PM by Devon Alley
About once a month, A. spends a weekend with her father in Chattanooga. This gives her some quality time to spend with her father, and she enjoys these weekends a great deal (she called me today, and so far her weekend has involved pizza, Tron Legacy, Read More...
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Thomas Is Some Kind Of Psycho
April 15, 2011 5:54 PM by Devon Alley
Last night, while Thomas was tucking A. into bed, she asked him if he wouldn't mind to please shave his beard. "I can't do that!" Thomas replied. "My goatee is where I store all of my computer knowledge! If I shaved it off, I'd lose my ability to work Read More...
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Why Is There A Logo At All?
April 14, 2011 8:18 PM by Devon Alley
Becky made an excellent comment on my blog post where I tried to explore possible positive aspects of the "puzzle piece" autism symbol, letting me know how she felt "attacked" by the image and rhetoric around this concept. She also pointed out that the Read More...
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Learning How To Ask Questions
April 13, 2011 6:21 PM by Devon Alley
Yesterday, there was a gas leak at A.'s school, and the entire place had to be evacuated. A.'s daycare is also on school property, so everyone took refuge in a church next door as the problem was fixed. As you can imagine, this is exactly the sort of Read More...
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Autism Awareness versus Autism Acceptance
April 12, 2011 7:59 PM by Devon Alley
I know that I've mentioned The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism before on this blog, and I just read a really wonderful entry about how we should replace the concept of "Autism Awareness" with "Autism Acceptance." In this article, Leah Jane discusses Read More...
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Quick Plug for the Autistic Self Advocacy Network
April 11, 2011 9:00 PM by Devon Alley
I recently discovered the Autistic Self Advocacy Network , and I wanted to quickly share the little knowledge I have about this organization. It's a non-profit organization run for and by autistic individuals, and its purpose is "to provide support and Read More...
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The Importance of Autism Puzzle Logos and Ribbons
April 10, 2011 3:25 PM by Devon Alley
As you may remember, I had been struggling a bit with the idea of the puzzle piece being used to symbolize autism. I'd learned that many autistic adults actually took offense at the logo, feeling as if they were being characterized as being a "mystery" Read More...
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Friendship Club Picnics & Dog Shows
April 9, 2011 8:09 PM by Devon Alley
Today, A. and I attended another East Tennessee Chapter of Autism Society of America Friendship Club Event. However, this story doesn't begin with the events of the day. It actually begins the night before with my awesome fiance, Thomas, and how he was Read More...
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Loves and Hates and Autism
April 8, 2011 6:47 PM by Devon Alley
Things my daughter loves: the Black-Eyed Peas, Daft Punk, Pink (both the color and the musical artist), her Nintendo DSi, playing games on the wii, running outside to sword-fight with the neighbor kids, black holes, snakes, making short films on the computer, Read More...
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Podcast Review: The Coffee Klatch
April 7, 2011 11:26 PM by Devon Alley
It's super late at night, I'm just getting home, and the Internet is down, so super short entry today. Many people may already be familiar with the Coffee Klatch, but it's a relatively new find for me, and I've already found it an invaluable resource Read More...
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When A Problem Comes Along, You Must Flush It
April 6, 2011 7:47 PM by Devon Alley
Some days, as a parent of an autistic child, I have to deal with interesting, bizarre situations that are highly unique to my family and my child's individualized set of special needs -- such as helping my daughter overcome sensory issues so that she Read More...
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A Case Of The Mondays On A Tuesday
April 5, 2011 9:34 PM by Devon Alley
Well, I'm wrapping up my 13th hour of sitting at my desk at work, trying and desperately failing to get a hold of the mountains of responsibilities I need to tie up in the process of a major, awesome, yet extremely stressful transition. Meanwhile, Thomas Read More...
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Blog Review: The Autistic Me
April 4, 2011 9:15 PM by Devon Alley
When I began to plan the relaunch of this blog, I searched the Internet for the history of the use of the puzzle piece as a symbol for autism awareness. In the process, I came across the blog entry More on Autism Puzzle Piece Logos, Symbols, Ribbons on Read More...
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Nicknames and Autism: Just Call Me By My Regular Name
April 3, 2011 9:06 PM by Devon Alley
"You need to finish eating your dinner, Sweetheart," Thomas instructed A. one evening when her "engine levels" were obviously rather high and she was having difficulty staying "on task" with her plate of chicken nuggets. "Why do you call me Sweetheart?" Read More...
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Growing Pains
April 2, 2011 10:02 PM by Devon Alley
Tonight, my daughter informed me that since she was a "big preteen" now, that she really didn't need me to read her bedtime stories anymore. It's funny, because this week has been full of incredibly major and eventful physiological milestones for A. (who Read More...
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Donate An Autistic Kid Today!
April 1, 2011 6:19 AM by Devon Alley
The world has been gearing up for Autism Awareness Month. There have been signs, posters, commercials, containers for spare change -- all promising to donate their funds for the benefit of autistic children. While my daughter and I were walking in the Read More...
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