Support for all members of special needs families

Learning & Growth

Siblings without Rivalry

Siblings without Rivalry

When we were growing up we had a 1978 Chevy Impala station wagon. It was pale yellow, huge, had rear wheel drive, and felt like sailing a boat over the road. We – my parents, brother, two sisters, and I – took many family road […]

Awareness Revisited

Awareness Revisited

Nigel had been saving up for a new video camera and was finally ready to buy it. Every week he sets aside money so he can buy Amazon gift cards, and then he can order items online that way, since he doesn’t have a debit […]

The Most Important Things I’ve Learned

The Most Important Things I’ve Learned

  There was the typical amount of squabbling in any big-sister/little-brother relationship. Most of the time we were close; occasionally somebody did something to somebody else and somebody else threatened to tell on somebody. At one point, around ages 5 and 7, an egregious deed […]

Why We Must Presume Competence

Why We Must Presume Competence

My son Nigel has long referred to his autism as his “difference.” If someone he knows is nice to him, he’ll say, “She understands my difference.” * Earlier this year I accompanied Nigel to his annual Individual Service Plan meeting with his service coordinator. We’ve […]

Lessons Learned on a Cruise

Lessons Learned on a Cruise

Pace yourself with the food and alcohol intake. Seriously. The pillows are actually very comfortable. There are some really funny cruise ship comedians! Don’t pay to have internet access. You will gain a new perspective on your life. I just got back from my first […]

Things I Learned from Divorce

Things I Learned from Divorce

Seventeen years ago this month, my divorce was finalized. I think more than anything else that’s happened in my life, all these years later, being divorced makes me feel like a failure. (The only thing that comes close is losing my house, which happened four […]

What We Can’t Say About Autism

What We Can’t Say About Autism

It used to be, eight years ago, parent bloggers could write – without experiencing any backlash – about the challenges of raising an autistic child. Soon, though, we were chastised for saying “autistic” – we were told to say “with autism.” We had to use […]

The Middle Ground of Middle Age

The Middle Ground of Middle Age

It was my birthday. After class, I changed my clothes and drove to the large chain drugstore where I worked. I went to the back area where the employee lockers were and stowed my purse and jacket and walked back to the time clock to […]

What Becomes of Six and a Half Pounds

What Becomes of Six and a Half Pounds

21 years ago I held this guy in my arms for the first time and was paralyzed by the thought of how much my life would change, having no idea that it would change even more than I had thought it could. This guy, who […]

Transition Check-In: The Three

Transition Check-In: The Three

It hit me today that I have reached the point where I don’t always know where Nigel is – and I’m okay with that. He is in a supported living program. He’s not in college or driving. But he turns 21 in two months, and […]