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From Inside the Puzzle: Raising a Child with Autism Blog

Adventures at DragonCon
December 8, 2015 3:45 PM by Devon Alley
On Labor Day weekend, we took the whole family to Atlanta, Georgia, to completely immerse ourselves in geek culture at an event called Dragon Con. For those of you who don't know, Dragon Con is a large, multi-genre convention geared at fans of science 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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Conventions and Cosplay
August 7, 2015 10:56 AM by Devon Alley
Last year, A. attended the Knoxville Comic and Anime Con, of which I wrote an entry about in this blog. Because she enjoyed that experience so much, I decided to make sure she continued to attend even more conventions this year. We took her to the Marble 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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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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Wrapping Up Middle School
May 30, 2014 10:22 AM by Devon Alley
As I mentioned in my last entry, I really can't imagine a better ending to A.'s Middle School career than her stellar performance in the annual talent show. It was like the frosting on a delicious if sometimes frustrating cake. A. finished the year with Read More...
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Middle School Theatre Production
March 10, 2014 1:18 PM by Devon Alley
When I returned from my big conference in February, I was able to look forward to the middle school production of The Wizard of Oz, in which A. got to play the role of the Door Keeper. What door keeper, you might ask? The one who was at the gate to Oz, Read More...
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Phone Calls From School
January 23, 2014 8:28 AM by Devon Alley
This morning, the phone number of my daughter's school flashed as an incoming call on my iPhone screen. There is only one time of day when this phone number doesn't immediately make me nervous. Every Friday afternoon, at 5 pm on the dot, we receive a Read More...
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Flair for the Dramatic
December 4, 2013 9:34 AM by Devon Alley
My daughter has taken up a flair for the dramatic. Those of you who know my daughter personally are probably not surprised by this. Even those of you who just know me through my blog may not be surprised by this, because you were probably reading my entries Read More...
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Church Retreat
October 15, 2013 9:05 AM by Devon Alley
When I decided to take my daughter to a weekend retreat for church, I really wasn't sure what to expect. The retreat would be in a group camp site in the middle of a state park, where we would sleep in bunkhouses, share showers and bathrooms with the Read More...
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Acting Out Aesop's Fables
July 25, 2013 1:04 PM by Devon Alley
Last week, A. attended an acting class at our local community college. This was, in a sense, a late Christmas present, except that we'd changed the terms around somewhat. At Christmas, I had wanted to give A. art lessons as a gift, but the only local Read More...
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