In Honor of Autism Awareness Month: A Very Special Interview With Holland

In Honor of Autism Awareness Month: A Very Special Interview With Holland
Most special needs parents are familiar with the essay “Welcome to Holland”, which compares having a disabled child with planning a trip to Italy but landing in Holland instead. The premise is that Holland is a perfectly fine place too; not where you were planning on going, but you get used to it and even... Read more »

Why I'm Not Participating In The Great SOPA Strike

Why I'm Not Participating In The Great SOPA Strike
I’m not participating in the great SOPA internet strike today because I believe that artists should be paid for their work. And while this bill may be flawed (and as far as I can tell is already dead anyway), I’m certainly not going to strike over it because I think that the other side of... Read more »

The Downers Grove Christmas Tree Is Racist

Last year, I wrote a post called “The Downers Grove Christmas Tree Is Rubbish” which got me some attention here in town, led to my first paid writing gig and a profile of my blog in TribLocal, and garnered me riches and fame beyond my wildest dreams. Well, two out of three ain’t bad. I thought I... Read more »
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Christmas Form Letters That Should Have Been: 2006

Hey-O! 2006 y’all! What a festering pile of months that was, huh? Audrey finally started walking in January. Sure would have been nice if she could have pushed that up a month or six so that I would have had something to brag on in last year’s letter! Everything was cool for a couple of months,... Read more »

Christmas Form Letters That Should Have Been: 2005

Christmas Form Letters That Should Have Been: 2005
In 2005, Christmas came shortly on the heels of my grand epiphany that Audrey had autism. In my grieving, I must have been somehow even more determined to put up a face of normalcy, because I had an embarrassment of riches picture-wise. I was bound and determined to get a picture of her sitting on Santa’s... Read more »

Christmas Form Letters That Should Have Been

Christmas Form Letters That Should Have Been
Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to be taking a walk down memory lane through some of the more eventful Christmases of my life, namely those when I was pregnant, just after I’d had my daughter, and those leading up to her autism diagnosis in 2006. With the exception of the 2003 edition,... Read more »
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Survivor: Downers Grove

Survivor: Downers Grove
More than a year ago, I read that a special needs website was soliciting applications for a family to star in their own reality TV show. The show as described was meant to raise awareness of special needs children and the challenges that their parents face on a daily basis. I’ve not heard anything else about it since then,... Read more »

When Geeky Met Dweeby: Autism Rates Higher Near Technology Hubs?

When Geeky Met Dweeby: Autism Rates Higher Near Technology Hubs?
My daughter was born in Northern California, where my husband and I both worked for hi-tech companies before relocating back to Chicago. She was diagnosed with autism two years later by a neurologist who felt that autism was mostly a genetic disorder. His theory was that autism is an extreme mutation of a specific personality... Read more »

Robots As Autism Therapists? What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Robots As Autism Therapists? What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Robots as autism therapists are back in the news in this recent Los Angeles Times article about my buddy Bandit.  Researchers at the University of Southern California have been working for years on developing a robot for therapeutic use with children who have autism. I don’t know how to feel about this. The theory is... Read more »
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The Adventures of Large Ass and Small Child

The Adventures of Large Ass and Small Child
I never read a blog before I started writing one.  In retrospect, that may have been a mistake.  Because once I started reading them, I noticed that many bloggers use pseudonyms for themselves and/or their children.  Oops.  I freely use my real first and last name, and Audrey is my daughter’s real name.  She does... Read more »