Showing posts from April, 2013

My Au-some Autism Playlist

“Music expresses that which cannot be said, and on which it is impossible to be silent. ” – Victor Hugo We all find ways of coping with the challenges of Spectrum life.  I run, I write.  I pray a lot.  Music is also pretty high on my list. When the love I feel for my children  – the joy, the fears, the admiration, the protectiveness – builds up inside me to the point that it is inexpressible with mere words, I turn to music.  Maybe it’s a sad song that mirrors my fears, or a rousing anthem that spurs me toward my next goal.  Maybe it's one of those angry songs that rails at the inequities in life.  But if a song grabs my heart, it's because it has expressed something that mere words cannot. These are those songs – it’s my Au-some Autism Playlist.  While they don’t all, word for word, match every emotion I have felt during the past six years since we were diagnosed, they do represent a nice spectrum of feelings that, to me, represent what’s most important in thi

Out of Left Field

What’s wrong with this desk? If you are quickly finding room for ascetic improvements, back up a minute.  I’m asking a simpler question:  If you need to take a test and you walk into a classroom full of these desks, are you going to pull out your #2 pencil or are you going to tell the instructor you have a problem? Roughly ten percent of us are going to ask for a different desk – the one in the picture does not work with our neurology. No worries, right?  Left-handedness is no big deal.  Schools usually have accommodations for Lefties – many desks are universal these days.  Sure, we’re going to leave the test with a big smear of lead across the side of our hands, but no one is going to point at us, stare at us or whisper about our neuro-differences. But that wasn’t always the case.  It was not so long ago that Lefties were treated severely by educators and even parents until they “learned” to use the “correct” hand.  My grandmother was spanked by a school teacher and

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: Raising Kids on the Spectrum

“I can remember the frustration of not being able to talk.  I knew what I wanted to say, but I could not get the words out,  so I would just scream.”  —Temple Grandin How can you be heard if you can't speak?  How can you tell your story if people don't understand your language?  How will the neurotypical world know what living on the spectrum is really like from day to day, if we don't show them? From the day my son was diagnosed with Autism, one of my biggest concerns was whether people would take the time to understand him.  So when C hicken Soup for the Soul announced last year that they were publishing a book of personal stories about kids with Autism and Asperger's, I knew I wanted to be part of it. CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: Raising Kids on the Spectrum hits bookstore shelves today, marking the sixth annual World Autism Awareness Day and the beginning of Autism Awareness Month.  My story, "The Art of Hope," can be found on page 4