Archive for 2014

Hats Off to Tony Posnanski and the Woman and Child Who Sat at Table 9

Tony Posnanski may not know it yet but he will soon learn that he is a hero to many a family of a child with autism. And there are a lot of us out here. So often parents feel the sting of the judgment and criticism of others who just don’t know what we live with. Without even knowing what living with autism entails, he responded to a mom’s simple question with an act of compassion and kindness that many parents have not ever known. And to the mom at Table 9: Thanks for finding the courage to educate others about our kids and our challenges.

Take a look-see at the video interview and read his blog entry about how one mother and a noisy little girl with autism taught him about people and just doing the right thing.

Autism and Being “Age Appropriate”

The Issue

Years ago when I was starting my career in social work, I interviewed for a position in a continuing care center for the elderly. As the director showed me around the wing for those with dementia, she proudly informed me that, “We don’t let our residents have baby dolls or stuffed animals. We are age-appropriate”. “That’s odd”, I thought as I imagined seniors with Cabbage Patch dolls and teddy bears hidden under their beds until staff was gone for the day.

As a parent of a child with significant intellectual disability (ID) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), I have heard this refrain too. And just as it confused me then, it confuses me now. Let me explain . . . Read full post »

Making a Dent in Adult Services…

“Make a dent in the Universe” – Steve Jobs

We are at a watershed moment in the world of adults living with developmental disabilities. The virtual tsunami of young- adults who will be aging out of high school and into adulthood is a reality for thousands in the state. Families are navigating the unknown of this next chapter in their adults’ lives and sadly, resources and services are far and few between.

While some may see this as an obstacle, we see opportunity.

Through the new Seattle Children’s Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center, we have before us not only the tremendous opportunity to make a splash in the world of adults with developmental disabilities, but with the collaboration of many other wonderful organizations we are in the position to make a dent. Read full post »

Why Do Parents Do What They Do?

The Long Way HomeCarrie in the car

I’m driving my car-ride driven daughter around in the wee hours of a Sunday morning, the day that for most, is the laziest one of the week. “Lazy” is not a word we have the luxury of knowing.

A stream of consciousness runs through my sleep-deprived brain at mile 11 . . .

“What is the function of this behavior?” “Better remember to get gas or I won’t make it to work tomorrow.” “Did I turn off the coffee pot before we left?” “Will I be driving her around when I’m 64?” “Why does she do the things she does?”

And of course, “Why do we, her parents, do the things we do?” Read full post »

Autism and Lying

I bet you thought this blog would address kids with autism who lie. Nope. It’s about parents (of kids with autism) who lie. And I’ll be the first to come clean on this:

I am a lying liar who lies. . .

This realization came to me the day after Thanksgiving as I was sitting at the drive- through window of Starbucks with my daughter not-so-happily vocalizing in response to the interruption to her car ride. The barista asked me if we were on our way to holiday shop and somehow a feeble “yes, we are” came out of my mouth. Boldface lie. We were no more getting near a mall than Superman getting near Kryptonite. Read full post »