Thursday, April 30, 2015

I'm feeling really guilty. After weeks of debating whether to allow my youngest son to go on the class field trip to the zoo, I ultimately decided against it. The thought of a potential meltdown miles away from home causes me a lot of anxiety. I very much want my children to be included as much as possible with their peers,  but the mommy in me can't help being overprotective. #autismmom

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

If we spent our time being grateful for the things that we have, we wouldn't notice the things we don't have.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

With 1 in 68 children diagnosed with #autism,  the biggest issue we, as parents and caregivers, are facing now is what happens when our children #ageout of the system? My children are young, but I am still very much aware of the implications as they become older. The fact that this is even a concern speaks to the priorities we have in society today. We spend billions on so many other things but families with children and adults with autism are worried about the financial implications of the #agingout dilemma. This is a situation that will quickly move beyond a "crisis" and become an out of control disaster if  viable solutions aren't created in the form of financial aid, job programs, housing options and medical assistance.

Monday, April 27, 2015

It is easy to stand in a crowd. It takes courage to stand alone ~African proverb
Whatever you believe in, do not be afraid to speak out even if it means no one else will voice their support. Take action even if no one else will follow you into battle. What's most important is that you live your life's purpose without reservation or regret. Have the strength to find your purpose and start living it!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

An autism diagnosis for your child is not the end of the world.  It just means that you have to restructure your ideas about what is "normal." My children have given me a new vision of life filled with unique sounds, thoughts and conversations that bring both laughter and tears. When my oldest son was first diagnosed, someone told me that I didn't know how truly blessed I was. I didn't understand it then, but I certainly do now. I was chosen to be an #autismmom!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I rise...
~Dr. Maya Angelou
I LOVE the weekend!  My idea of a great time is lying in bed, watching TV and knowing that my children are content.

Being a #singleparent has its moments of challenge, but I must say that I am happily single. This is a time of reflection;  a time to focus on what I want to do in life: making a difference for my children and so many others who have autism and being an advocate for #autismawareness and #autismacceptance. For the 1st time in my life I truly believe that I am on the right path, fulfilling my purpose #purposedrivenlife #autismmom

Friday, April 24, 2015

TGIF...this mom is worn out! Haven't had a week this rough in a while but it's worth it if it produces better outcomes for my children.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

My alter ego in the face of adversity!
Yesterday was not so great. I can't imagine how hard things are for the average parent of a child with a disability. I'm a special education teacher who is also a parent of children with a disability and I'm often overwhelmed! But today is a new day. Time to put on the armor and prepare to fight the battle for my children no matter how big or small #prepared2fight #parentpower

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

In our society, "disabled" means a person doesn't fit someone else's idea of what is "normal." Labels (disabled, low performing, underachieving, etc.) would cease to exist if we as a society reconstructed our definition of what is normal #truthNlife #disablethelabels

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Not every parent who doesn't participate in their child's special education is unconcerned. Many parents are too intimidated to become involved because of their own lack of education, lack of communication between school and home, or the complicated jargon used in the IEP. If you are a parent who wants to take part in your child's IEP process but find the"language" too technical, here are a few things to consider:

  • Invite an advocate to attend the IEP meeting. Organizations like the Autism Society may be able to help.
  • Search the Internet for parent-friendly information that will help you interpret some of the main components of the IEP.
  • Take a friend or relative along. Two sets of ears are often better than one.
  • Have your own data and work samples to include. 
  • Make sure your concerns are recorded.
  • Fight for what you believe. While the teacher and specialists have the experience, you are knowledgeable about your child and have the right to object to or agree with anything during the process.
Remember, you are a member of the team! Make your voice heard,  no matter how small or insignificant you may think it is.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Parents of children with disabilities should remain actively involved in their children's education. If your child is struggling in the classroom,  don't be afraid to ask questions. Contact an advocate to discuss your concerns and get advice about strategies that can be used to help your child succeed in the classroom. If your child is failing even with his (or her) IEP in place,  this raises a red flag about the type of academic support he is getting and whether the IEP is appropriately meeting his needs. #parentsarepartners

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Not looking forward to tomorrow...Monday morning transitions are the worse, especially for my youngest son. By the time I make it to work, I'm completely out of energy!!!! #countdown2meltdown

Saturday, April 18, 2015

One thing is for with children on the autism spectrum is NEVER boring!!!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Each one of us has the ability to make things happen. We cannot allow fear to paralyze us and dim our light. Whatever your passion or whatever your cause,  decide today to set the world on fire!
#autismawareness #whatsyourcause

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The most important thing for me is that my children know that I will never stop fighting for them. As parents of children with disabilities, we fight battles and wars daily just so that our children are given their proper place in a society that still insists we are all separate but equal.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

1 in 68 children have been diagnosed with autism. While it is necessary to research the causes of autism, we must allocate more of our efforts toward identifying and creating resources so that our children are able to experience successful outcomes in life. We need to devote more research towards how children with autism transition into adults with autism and how their transitions are impacting their families or caregivers emotionally, physically and financially. There is a pink elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge, placing families and society at risk of a crisis in years to come regarding the long-term care of individuals with autism.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did - that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that - a parent's heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.  

                                                                                                                       ~ Debra Ginsberg

Monday, April 13, 2015

Autism is a characteristic much like the color of your hair, your eyes and the tone of your skin but it does not define your life or create your destiny.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet...

Saturday, April 11, 2015

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.
                              ~Booker T. Washington

Supporting families of children and adults with disabilities is critical. It isn't enough to research the causes of disabilities but we must also look at short and long term needs of these individuals to find ways to improve their overall quality of life.

Friday, April 10, 2015

I never want my children to view autism as a crutch. I want them to see it as a stepping stone towards greatness.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Mommy Wish List

  • Healthy, happy children
  • At least one peaceful night of sleep...uninterrupted
  • A live-in maid to cook, clean, wash dishes and do the laundry
  • One tantrum-free morning
  • A vacation to Mexico...or anywhere for that matter
  • Unlimited supply of red velvet cupcakes
  • Gift certificate for a massage
  • Unlimited energy so that I'm not too tired at the end of the day to play with my boys!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

There are days when I just don't have the strength to be Wonder Woman...this will not be one of those days!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I just found this great blog at I think it's very important for parents and educators to share their experiences in order to support and motivate others.
Kindness is the language which the
deaf can hear and the blind can see.

                    ~Mark Twain

Monday, April 6, 2015

Being a parent comes with it's own challenges. Being the parent of children with disabilities can be even more difficult with the choices you have to make on their behalf, the battles you must fight on a daily basis in the name of fairness and equality, the guilt and anxiety over every decision or action. Sometimes you just have to tell yourself it's okay to make mistakes or take some me time in order to preserve your own sanity.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

I am definitely not looking forward to Monday morning. Having a week off from school and work was wonderful but the transition back into our normal routine is going to be challenging. Even after a two-day weekend, my youngest son struggles to get himself "together" so I can only imagine what tomorrow is going to bring. Praying for a small miracle!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

To measure the success of our societies, we should examine how well those with different disabilities, including persons with autism, are integrated as full and valued members.
                                ~Ban Ki-moon

Friday, April 3, 2015

In honor of Autism Awareness Month,  I have dedicated myself to writing one blog a day for the month of April. A year ago I refused to even acknowledge a month dedicated to autism because I live with autism 12 months, 365 days a year. However, I came to realize that it is important for all of us impacted by autism to speak out and give real world perspectives on how we manage our day-to-day lives.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

I am lighting it up blue (#LIUB) not because I support any particular organization or cause, but to bring the focus to autism for my sons and countless others. I DO believe that "awareness" and "acceptance" should go hand-in-hand through evidence-based research and advocacy.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Autism Awareness is about advocating for more research about the causes of autism, but also:
 *the long term impact autism has on individuals and their families.
* identifying resources for individuals with autism in academic and community settings.
* pushing for more healthcare coverage for related services, such as speech, occupational and physical therapy.
* short and lon term affects related to the bullying of children with autism in the school setting.
* mandating more professional development concerning autism for teachers and other personnel.