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Mind Full or Mindful?

The Overstuffed Mind of Parents of Kids with Autism

When my mind gets overloaded and feels as if it will explode, I often imagine taking it off my shoulders and shaking it out the way I empty my overfilled backpack when trying to find my keys that have sunk to the bottom.

Ah, if only it were that easy.

Parents of kids with autism have minds full of stuff – the stuff of their crazy busy lives – that include so much more than the average human being. To mention just a very few of the things that simultaneously occupy the brain of said parent: therapy appointments, IEP meetings, prescription refills, data on behavior-to-hopefully-be-changed, field trips, social-skills-improving play-dates, grocery lists with the five things a persnickety kid will eat and mama/papa-needs-a-break camp applications.

And the list goes on and on. Read full post »

Autism Awareness Month Stories- Elly’s Story

In honor of Autism Awareness Month we invited our readers to share their stories with us. We are sharing the stories throughout the month of April. Today’s story is from 13-year-old Elly.

Autism is like a person knocking at your door, but instead of opening the door, you just listen to the knock. As it grows louder, and stronger you… grow more stressed, and upset. Every knock is an event involving autism that just breaks you, makes you cry, makes you hurt. The breaks between each knock are the happy times, laughing, forgetting autism is really there.

My twin brother, Trevor, has Autism.

I sometimes wish life had a remote. I would be able to rewind our birth, and backspace the Autism. It really hurts. Not having that sibling relationship. Sometimes it feels like nobody understands, what it’s like to feel alone. Read full post »

Autism Awareness Month Stories- Patty’s Story

In honor of Autism Awareness Month we invited our readers to share their stories with us. We are sharing the stories throughout the month of April. Today’s story is from Patty Pacelli. 

Teaching My Autistic Son to Ride a Bike

I’m sure some children with autism learn to ride a bicycle just as well as any other child, but my son Trevor had a hard time with it, and more significantly, had practically zero interest in learning. According to HowtoLearn.com, bicycle riding is usually more difficult for children with autism. 

His older sister started learning to ride a bike at about 5 years old, being pushed from behind on a tiny bicycle with training wheels. She had a tricycle before that. Trevor rode the tricycle a little bit, but just wasn’t interested in even trying a two-wheeler. He was too entranced by other things. He would play outside, but spent a lot of time squatting down on the ground, playing with blades of grass or dropping leaves into the storm drains on our cul-de-sac. He seemed happy and content to walk around and Read full post »

Autism Awareness Month Stories- Sara’s Story

In honor of Autism Awareness Month we invited our readers to share their stories with us. We are sharing the stories throughout the month of April. Today’s story is from Sara Bathum.

The Letters

It’s the letters. Particularly a set of capital letters about six inches high, an eighth of an inch thick, and made of balsa wood. It just so happens they match exactly the font on a series of alphabet videos he loves to watch on YouTube – one quirky, upbeat, 90-second song for each letter. He painted his letters to match. A is blue. A is always blue. B is red. B is always red. C is yellow. C is always yellow. And so it goes all the way to Z.

Happiness for my son is getting all the way to Z.

To say he has a fondness for letters would be a tremendous understatement. Something akin to saying California is a little thirsty these days or I wish I was more helpful to my boy. I wish I knew and understood more. Read full post »

Autism Awareness Month Stories- Emma’s Story

In honor of Autism Awareness Month we invited our readers to share their stories with us. We are sharing the stories throughout the month of April. Today’s story is from Emma.

My son just turned five. When he was born he was a pretty typical baby, though some things were obviously slow to develop – walking, talking, even teeth coming in, all seemed to lag. The baby books, the sleep books, the parenting books that I so firmly believed in philosophically seemed to have little impact on this headstrong little guy. I wondered why parenting felt so hard, as I rocked my infant in my sling. Was it just extended postpartum depression? Was it that I truly wasn’t cut out for motherhood? Why did I feel so bitter? It was different, more difficult, and since I’m a pretty strong person I knew I wasn’t just wimping out. 

By the time he was two we started to talk more explicitly about his delays, and we were comfortable with him being different. I did some research and started to feel scared about autism. At the time Read full post »