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From Inside the Puzzle: Raising a Child with Autism Blog

Fall Break Escape
January 15, 2016 2:15 PM by Devon Alley
A. only got two days off for Fall Break this year, but I made an executive decision to allow her to "play hooky" for the remainder of the week so that the entire family could take a trip to Fort Walton Beach, Florida in the middle of October. (And by Read More...
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Relaxation Class
October 5, 2015 2:27 PM by Devon Alley
There is an amazing local autism group in our area, called Artistic Spectrum , that focuses on providing creative and recreational opportunities for children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. A. has participated in many of the activities provided Read More...
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A Visitation from California, Part 2
July 28, 2015 12:15 PM by Devon Alley
(This is part 2 of a 2-part series.) Last week, I discussed the main events that occurred with M. and his mother visiting us from California. However, there were so many other small moments that I felt were, ultimately, so much more important to M. and Read More...
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A Visitation from California
July 20, 2015 3:03 PM by Devon Alley
(This is part 1 of a 2 part series.) These past few blog entries have focused on A.'s online relationship with a boy in California who is also on the spectrum. This past week, M. and his mother flew all the way to Tennessee to visit us. It was the first Read More...
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An Online Romance, Part Two
July 7, 2015 2:42 PM by Devon Alley
One of the biggest pieces of news that has occurred in our household in the last year has been A.'s budding long-distance relationship with M., a friend she met on the Internet who lives in California. She has yet to meet this young man, but we are looking Read More...
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Just Like Me
April 27, 2015 12:37 PM by Devon Alley
You know how they always say that, when your children grow up into teenagers, they will be just like you? I must confess, when it comes to A., this is absolutely true. I'm blessed in a way, because I happened to be a very well-behaved teenager. I minded Read More...
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Writing Messages of Hope
April 21, 2015 1:07 PM by Devon Alley
A couple of weeks ago, A. started arriving home from school with various affirmations written all over her body. These affirmations proclaimed such positive thoughts as, “You are beautiful just the way you are!” and “You are loved,” and — my personal Read More...
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Autism Awareness, Autism Acceptance
April 3, 2015 4:21 PM by Devon Alley
Yesterday, April 2, was World Autism Awareness Day. Many people all over the globe lit things up in blue, shared blog posts, and donated money to various organizations in order to promote autism awareness and increase visibility for the condition. I personally Read More...
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Spring Break Plans
March 25, 2015 4:50 PM by Devon Alley
Whenever A. has a holiday from school, she always asks what we're going to do -- what we have planned. Generally, it's not much -- maybe dinner and a movie, or a stop at our favorite pizza restaurant. For this year's spring break, however, I took a couple Read More...
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Attending the IEP
March 13, 2015 2:45 PM by Devon Alley
For those of us who love and care for children on the spectrum, the IEP becomes a source of great joy and incredible anxiety. Talk to any parent of an autistic child the day before an IEP meeting, and no matter how many times they've attended them, or Read More...
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And Now She's an Alley
March 4, 2015 6:10 PM by Devon Alley
So, there was a very big piece of news that happened several months ago that I never got around to sharing. Life has been, as I've mentioned several times over again, extremely busy as of late, so I've been terribly delinquent in updating my blog, which Read More...
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Parenting Lessons from A’s Diagnosis Day
November 18, 2014 9:35 AM by Devon Alley
I'm not sure why I've been thinking back on the visit to Dr. William Allen that resulted in a diagnosis of high-functioning autism for my eldest daughter. Maybe because I've recently referred his services to friends who have questions about their own Read More...
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Underwhelmed by Theatre Camp
August 14, 2014 1:52 PM by Devon Alley
Last summer, I enrolled A. in an acting class at a local community college, and she absolutely had a blast. In fact, I would even hypothesize that the experience was part of the reason she became so interested in acting during the 8th grade, which of Read More...
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Maybe It’s Not So Bad After All
April 24, 2014 9:44 AM by Devon Alley
I worry a lot about how A. is going to react to a new sibling. I worry so much that I'm pretty sure I've gone overboard filling the next few months with awesome mother-daughter activities, such as shopping for clothes, going to see Monty Python's Spamalot Read More...
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Teenagers Need Their Sleep
April 8, 2014 8:06 AM by Devon Alley
A.'s sleeping patterns have really changed over the past year. For as long as I could remember, A. has always been an early bird. Even when she would have the opportunity to stay up really late (especially when visiting relatives) she would still generally Read More...
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