A Sad Story in our Autism Community I’m purposely going to keep this blog short, because this is not one that makes me feel warm and fuzzy. If anything, it makes me sad, and a little terrified. I’m blogging about suicide. One that affected our local autism community. What happened? In the spring, a seventeen-year-old with high functioning autism committed suicide on April 2, Autism Awareness Day by jumping from a parking structure at a Glendale, California mall. We didn’t know this young man, but friends of ours did. I remember hearing … [Read more...]

Kimberly Kaplan and 300 Autism-Related Blogs I guess you can call this a toot-your-own-horn posting because this is my 300th blog! I have not only written 300 blogs for my own website but those same 300 blogs have also appeared on ModernMom.com. How did I start on ModernMom.com? Well…through a recreational softball team, of course. Huh? My husband ran a recreational softball team years ago in Santa Monica. At some point, he picked up a player who happened to live near the field. This player spent a week or two walking down to this field … [Read more...]

Autism Imagination and a Preferred Topic, Plus Pizza This blog is about a project my son did for his English class. What did he do? First, his English teacher assigned a book reading project for the semester. His students had to read a teacher-approved, substantial book over the course of the semester. My son chose a book about trains. It’s a non-fictional book, but the teacher approved it. He read it over the last three months and took notes that had to go into a notebook check that happened once a year (for a separate grade). Even … [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...]

Returning to the Diamond for an Autistic Teenager The last time my son played baseball was in 2017. What team does he play on? It’s a special needs VIP Little League team. He’s played on this team for several years now. When he last played, he was really enjoying it. He has always liked to hit, but his last full season (in 2017), he tried pitching. He practiced pitching and had some success. Unfortunately, he couldn’t add onto his 2017 success in 2018. Why not? He broke his foot in January, 2018. When it happened, we had just signed up … [Read more...]

A High School Open House with My Child with Autism   Open house. Every school has them, at some point during the year. It’s a chance for the student and parents to visit their classrooms, see some work, and talk to the teacher. What about my son’s open house? This year open house, my son’s second in high school (sophomore year), was a success. We live close to the school so we walked. Once we arrived, my husband and I let our son take us to his classes, in whatever order he wanted. We visited with his Spanish teacher, his math … [Read more...]

Autism and a New Athletic Experience   My son likes to try new things, a quality I admire. Sometimes, he says “I want to try this or that,” and it turns out he doesn’t like it.   This happened a few years ago with a place called IFly, a sky diving simulator experience. He really wanted to try it, but when he got there and got outfitted and received the instructions, he got nervous. He did it, got into the simulator with the instructor, and (sort of) got into the sky diving position. He later said he wasn’t comfortable at all. The … [Read more...]