From One Autism Parent to Another I remembered an incident that happened not too long ago. It involved two autism parents and went like this… First, I was one of the autism parents. I was taking my son to an event at a small facility. The event was being run by another autism parent and also involved her own child. (Our kids had met when they both participated in a sport.) What happened at the event? The event itself was something that typically takes place with 20-30-year-olds, so both our kids were involved at a young-ish age. Nothing … [Read more...]

Autism and a Trip to Europe   I recently took a two week trip to Scotland. I had never been to Europe before. It was a really special trip, fun, relaxing, and great sights. I had been away without my child with autism before, but never for longer than a week. And, never in a country that’s eight hours ahead of us. A few times he had been quite young, but now that he’s older, he’s pretty self-sufficient in a lot of ways. He got himself to and home from school, took care of most of his schoolwork by himself (dad helped a little), and … [Read more...]

A Special Birthday for My Son with Autism   My son recently turned sixteen! A milestone birthday. I wanted this birthday to feel special to my son. It was a milestone after all. How did we celebrate this milestone birthday with our son? First, in lieu of having a big party, we had three close friends over to the house. My son played games with these friends and we all ate pizza and chips. This was done on a Friday, late afternoon to evening. Second, the next day (a Saturday), we had a family gathering at the home of my … [Read more...]

Autism and the Community How do our kids interact within the community? What about their neighborhood? I have read stories about neighborhoods that complain about a child with autism. A few of these stories report that neighbors even go so far as to pressure the family to leave. I have also read (way too many) stories about bullying people with autism. What is it about being in the community and people on the autism spectrum? Community interactions are never easy for our kids. They have a natural tendency to struggle with all … [Read more...]

Autism and Talking to Strangers “Mommy, can I go talk to other people?” These sweet words were spoken to me recently by my son. Where were we? Once or twice a winter, my son and I drive up through the Angeles National Forrest. We live in the foothills below the San Gabriel Mountains, so this drive is easy for us. During past winters, our goal was to “drive to the snow.” My son always wanted to “visit” the snow once or twice every winter. He likes to sled and “throw snowballs at Mommy.” We’d also visit the mountains at other times of the … [Read more...]

Autism and Staying Positive Even though my son is fifteen—the age for LOTS of challenges (autism-related and age-related)—I do believe parents need to try to stay positive as often as possible. Yet, it is challenging for us parents. How do you stay positive? I’ll be honest, it’s not easy when you’re dealing with the attitude of a fifteen-year-old. They can be surly and moody, and they’re different, too. My son has changed more in the last year than I think in all the rest of the years combined. Some of it is great. He does his own laundry … [Read more...]

Is Autism Different in a Small Town? I’ve lived in the Los Angeles area for twenty-eight years now. Over half my life. I had my child when I was thirty-six. A year and change later, we were taking him to a regional center for evaluation for autism. We received services soon after, and off we went. Again, this is in the Los Angeles area, a huge city that’s quite spread out. I think this area has three or four regional centers to cover it. (In the State of California, Regional Centers provide services to our kids on the autism spectrum. They … [Read more...]