May 29, 2010


"Ryder has opened the gate!" yelled Mason, our nine year old son.

These words struck me not because he opened the gate and was about to get into trouble, but because Ryder really did open the gate. He opened the gate and let Autism into our life.

We were so clueless before. Autism has made me grow so much. I feel like I am an entirely different person now. Everything has more meaning. Life is not shallow like it used to be.

I am grateful for the little things and wished that time could stand still. I appreciate the moments that capture our hearts. The quick smirk Ryder makes when he thinks no one is looking. The squeal from his lips and insistent clapping when he learns something new. The wonder in his eyes as he watches a bubble bounce around in the wind.

I am also grateful for the knowledge that I have gained. It has given me depth. I actually do have an opinion now, because of experience. Maybe this comes with age, too.

Autism has brought a sense of purpose into my life. I can help others now.

I appreciate moments to myself like now; when the house is quiet and I can do whatever I want. Until the rat race begins in 4 point 3 seconds

May 24, 2010


I recently came across a great site that sells fun items for kids on the spectrum. It's called National Autism Resources and they also have a blog that is awesome, too. They have sensory integration products, books to help with potty training, and tips for sleeping issues.

And if you are tired of your child chewing everything into oblivion, try the P's and Q's or the chewy tubes. Ryder loved those! .

Here is their statement:

National Autism Resources was born from a dream to make the world a little easier for people living on the spectrum and their family members. We strive to empower our community by providing excellent information, helpful links, and affordable books, games, toys and therapy products for people on the spectrum.

So mosey on over and have yourself a look-see. These would make great gifts, too!

(By the way, Ryder loves the Chewy Tube as evidenced by the photo above, which you can purchase at National Autism Resources.) :)

May 6, 2010


Take a look at this Arthur clip on PBS. It's a cartoon explaining Asperger's Syndrome to kids. It wouldn't hurt adults either, I don't think. :)

May 4, 2010


My 20 year class reunion is fast approaching. Did I go to my 10th reunion? No. Did I go to my own graduation? Yes. Was I seated in cap and gown among my fellow classmates? No. I remained hidden from view at the top of the gymnasium on a bleacher, dressed in civilian clothes. I had graduated early and did not want to walk among my peers. High school was hell for me.

Recently I became reacquainted with a friend (thanks, Facebook) whom I knew in high school and with whom shared my same disgust for the bullying that took place there. We were both bullied. She dropped out of school in 10th grade, (later getting her GED), and I dropped out of life. After years of anxiety, depression, and being bullied, I was hospitalized during my senior year. I just couldn't take it anymore. High school culture was killing me.

I don't blame anyone in particular. In fact, I feel sorry for the bullies. High school is a rough time for all teenagers. We were all so full of teenage angst and not mature enough yet to handle our feelings of inadequacy, belonging, emotions, etc.

I wouldn't go back if someone paid me. And believe me, money is quite a motivating factor right about now.

How I wish I was different back then. That was the 80's. Prozac was brand new. I wonder how high school life would be now that I am on Zoloft? Would it be much different? Would I be able to tell that bully to stop copying off my paper instead of just sitting there? Would I be able to raise my hand in class to answer a question? Would I be spared the silent panic attack that came during Mr. Yazzi's science class? My anxiety has always been on the forefront and has kept me from living life to its fullest. But it's also comfortable. Or is that my anxiety talking?

Being bullied was the little seed that was planted deep within my soul and grew to this compassionate tree much like a weeping willow. I bend when the wind blows; but my roots have found their strength in experience. To the kids that like to bully: come play in my branches, or my children's branches, but always remember, I make a nice whip.



Ernie and Oscar learn they like different things-great for kids on the Spectrum!