Category: Uncategorized

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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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 »

If Only The Telephone Book Had Photos...

If Only The Telephone Book Had Photos...
Last year, Audrey’s school put together a little yearbook with pictures of all of the students and teachers. Audrey became quite consumed by it and flipped through it constantly. There were only about 25 children in her school, so she quickly memorized everyone’s names. She wasn’t very familiar with the kids in other classrooms, and probably never... Read more »

Top 10 Halloween Pet Peeves

Top 10 Halloween Pet Peeves
OK, I know it’s only October 11, but I figure that I’ll have at least ten more by the end of the month. 10)  When the trickee-treatee holds out a basket for Audrey to choose a piece of candy.  I always forget to prime her for this option, so she stands there paralyzed with indecision... Read more »
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Where All My Autism Homies Be?

Where All My Autism Homies Be?
The CDC says that 1 in 110 children have autism, and the figure for boys is 1 in 70. So where are they all? It seems like I see 110 kids in just one trip to Target. On average, like 105 of them are screaming their heads off, but not because they’re autistic. Where all our... Read more »