For Grandparents & Parents of Children wth Autism

A New Year

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I purposely did not entitle this post “Happy New Year” because it seemed disingenuous. I have tried not to make this blog a political one, but the election result has put our vulnerable special needs community in jeopardy, and the word “happy” does not seem to correlate well with our future.

Up until the election and since my last post in April, I have been on social media to an obsessive degree, leaving my blog behind. I did my best to advocate for the candidates that can do the most for us, who have compassion for those in need, and who have the best interests of our country at heart. To me, the failure was like a death to which the five stages of grief have applied. I am still a bit lost somewhere among those stages, but I’ve found that concentrating on my family has helped.

Getting back to my blog is the first step I’ve taken to reach out. Again, I do not wish to make my content political, but when politics affects children with special needs, I feel the need to speak out. In fact, right now, the Supreme Court is about to make a decision that will affect our schools’ commitment to serve our children appropriately. With an evenly split court, we cannot even be sure a decision will be made; and, with a new judicial appointee, we may indeed suffer a setback.

The 2018 mid-term elections will come upon us quickly. We will have another chance to choose representatives that care about the most vulnerable among us. I intend to help in that fight by informing everyone who should be invested in it. Even if it is two years from now, I want to be able to write, “Happy New Year” and mean it.

When to Just Let it Be

Autism is complicated, but there are theories and methods of intervention that can be useful in its treatment. The most well-known and well-studied evidence-based intervention, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), demands constant re-evaluation in order to produce results. At the heart of this approach is “analysis.” It promotes the idea that if learning is not taking place, the analysis of the… Continue Reading

Pediatricians as the First Line of Defense

I have a pet peeve: Some pediatricians are not screening for autism as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP); nor are they paying heed to well-founded concerns of the mothers. Since autism can be diagnosed as early as 12 months, and early intervention holds the best chance for improved outcomes, my husband and I decided to publicize… Continue Reading

Pillow Talk

As a busy working wife and mother of two, my family was always a priority, but the house suffered; not that I was totally neglectful, but the cleaning, the dusting, the vacuuming, and the making of beds were relegated to the realm of  “if time permits.” Retirement allowed my inner neat freak to emerge, and these days I compulsively clean,… Continue Reading

Yin and Yang

Is there a relationship between prodigies and autistics? There are several researchers, including Joanne Ruthsatz, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Ohio State University, who think there is. When Sam’s was just two, his brother, Oliver, was born. I remember the doctor noting, “This is one healthy baby!”  I don’t know what made him make that calculation, but I put it aside… Continue Reading

Coming to Terms

Yesterday, my daughter uttered the words she had been fighting to dismiss. I don’t believe she even knew she had uttered them. They seemed to come from an unconscious reckoning, three and a half years in the making. Sam just made it. At birth he was two ounces shy of being relegated to the NICU. We didn’t know it then, but that… Continue Reading

The Secret

A mother of a special needs child posted a question on my Facebook page. She began by acknowledging that, like many dual income parents, she and her husband struggle to balance their work with the many time demands outside of it. She implied that there must be a “secret” to dealing with this, and she asked to be… Continue Reading