Autism and Spreading Awareness Alternative title…You Never Know When Something Will Come Up. What does that mean? It means you never when something you did in the past will come back and add some good to the world, have an impact, be noticed, and be appreciated for trying to spread awareness. What happened? I was contacted in March by a person affiliated with a film festival in Miami, Florida. The film festival is officially called the 2018 NAMI Reel Minds Miami Mental Health Awareness Film Festival. NAMI stands for National Alliance on … [Read more...]

A Light Bulb Moment for Parent of Child with Autism I read this article the other day by a female adolescent with autism. I’ll post it below, because it was very revealing. What did it say? Well, this person with autism explained why she hates her parents. What? Hate is very strong word. Yet, when I read the article, I understood her point of view. Which was? She dearly loves her parents, but she struggles with their idea of her capabilities verses her very real need to download from the outside world in a safe place. She knows that … [Read more...]

A Community Autism Experience I was at the gym the other day. I was about to get into the swimming pool when a lifeguard approached me and said, “There’s a young man who is going to share your lane with you. He has high functioning autism, but he knows how to share a pool lane.” What happened? Well, nothing really. I swam on my side and he swam on his side. I have some thoughts, however, on this pretty minor encounter with a young man on the spectrum. Was this a typical interaction? Yes. The pools often get full to the point where a … [Read more...]

Autism and Volunteering My son officially started high school this past summer. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about him in high school, but for now I’ll discuss his first ever high school class—the summer health class. What’s the summer health class? In our school district, it’s common practice for incoming freshman high school students to take the required health class over the summer. Not all students do it, of course, but the majority do. By taking it early, it frees up an elective for ninth grade. As the reason for our son to take the … [Read more...]

Autism and a Canadian Trip   I seem to think that my son should experience as much as reasonably (and financially) possible, even knowing that autism is going to tag along. What experience did he have this time? Well, some experiences are good (positive) and some are not so good. A year ago last winter my brother died suddenly. It was a difficult time for my family and the first family death that my son was really aware of. (His paternal grandfather died when he was six, but he didn’t really remember it.) He had enjoyed the time he … [Read more...]

An Autism Mom’s Mother’s Day   My child is fourteen, so I have banked a few Mothers Days. Having a teenager on the brink of high school, however, is making me quite terrified and grateful this time around. He’s growing up into such a delightful, intelligent, and charming individual, autism aside. Right around the corner is adulthood. That terrifies me, and makes me look back at all of the years. I guess what I’m thinking about this time around is that Mother’s Day isn’t really about autism. I am the mother of a child with autism, but … [Read more...]

More on Autistic Empathy   Sometimes my child doesn’t succeed at understanding the feelings of others, than there are those times when I believe he’s beginning to get it. A recent incident involved a bunch of teenagers and a Smash Bros. game. What happened? One of teens can’t play this popular Smash Bros game because this teen gets over stimulated. My kid plays it often—so much so that he’s practicing for his first tournament. And, he’s learning from a different teen who has attended one of these tournaments. What happens when a … [Read more...]