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  • Attending the IEP

    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 how often such meetings have gone well, they will almost always express a sense of ...
  • Parenting Lessons from A’s Diagnosis Day

    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 children's developmental delays. Maybe because I recently discovered he's on the Board for a local ...
  • Talking About Empathy Again

    Empathy is something I rant about a lot in this blog. There's a very good reason for that. Despite the fact that several scientific studies and scores of first-hand accounts of autistic adults suggest otherwise, a lack of empathy is still often listed on major websites as a common symptom of autism. As I've said time and again on this blog, it's a ...
  • The Trouble with the Zombie Apocalypse

    My mother made a very accurate observation about A. recently. She said, if we ever did have the misfortune of experiencing a zombie apocalypse, A. would have a very very difficult time. I'm certain it goes without saying that everyone would have a very difficult time during a zombie apocalypse, and also that a zombie apocalypse is extremely ...
  • A Geek’s First Convention

     his past Saturday, A. attended her first geeky convention. The convention she attended was the Knoxville Comic and Anime Con which was held at a nearby expo center this past weekend. To be honest, I didn't have very high hopes of the convention. My first geeky convention was Dragon*Con when I was in my twenties, which was a massive event ...
  • Middle School Theatre Production

    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, of course, the one who lets you know, ''Nobody can see the Wizard, not nobody, not nohow!'' It ...
  • It's a Girl!

    Life has been so incredibly busy and crazy these past few weeks that I've completely neglected to share the news we received back during the first week of February. Thomas and I will be bringing another girl into the family, and A. will have a little sister in just a few more months. We scheduled the anatomy ultrasound for early in the morning ...
  • Our Whole Lives

    I recently enrolled my daughter in the OWL program at my church, much to her dismay. This is not a topic she is particularly keen to discuss or even think about. Not only would she much rather be engaged in her preferred activities, and not only does the program demand that she spend time in a social learning exchange with others, but it's also ...
  • Hope is the Thing with Feathers

    This entry isn't about A., exactly. This entry is more about me, and about how 14 years of experience at being A.'s mother has really influenced the way I see things, now, and the way I move forward with my decisions and the direction of my life. For those of you who don't know, I'm 34 years old, and I will turn 35 before this new baby is born. ...
  • From the Archives: An Artist In Residence

    In this entry from the archives, I explore my daughter's creative mind, and share some of her artistic creations. September 9th, 2006: In some ways, the similarities between my daughter and my own lonely seven-year-old self frighten me to no end. In others, I am continuously amazed at how very different my daughter is from anything I have known, ...
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