A typical Sunday – On and off the spectrum how we spend a day off.

The noise that is coming from my backyard likely would send a childless couple into HUGE reconsideration as to whether children are in the cards or sanity is preferable.

I sit with a glass of wine in hand and smile to myself as I watch my four not so little anymore boys dressed as warriors pay together on the trampoline. They are rowdy, rough and righteous and I love watching them in action.


Their creativity is an endless fount once you detach them painfully from “technology” and force them into the sunshine. They blink, eyes squint as if a second old babe new to the world emerging from his mother. They pause to take in the cool fall breeze and feel the warmth of the late September sun then the ideas start to flow and “boyhood” unpauses and continues.

The best thing to see is how seamlessly my ASD child joins into the play and is one with his brothers. 4 boys playing boyishly. No distinction.


As a Mom we have certain fears we dare no speak and one of my big ones is being able to enjoy friends and family as much as I have in my life.Bonds. Ties. Commonality that bind us together and swell our hearts and grow our minds.

When I watch my boys frolick and laugh together I know all the hard times and hard work was worth it. While I used to not need a relaxing glass of wine at 4 pm on a Sunday, I know that the strife is just a stepping stone to great things. A hell, wine is an enjoyment. No shame in enjoying one now and then :)

Isn’t this why we had to kids to begin with?

I am sure there are a million little things that go on in that yard that I would frown upon but boys will be boys and that camaraderie is therapeutic and will teach my kids how to be good friends, good husbands, good lovers and good decent people. I can over look a few “boy things” and allow them a little freedom on a Sunday afternoon just to “be”.

While life on the spectrum is challenging and sometimes fitting in is more challenging, I love that my boys accept their brother for the amazing boy he is. After all, he accepts them “as is” Even his best friend and littlest brother Bishop who he wonders often “how he is ever going to turn out ok” :) That superior ASD attitude!

Tonight when I close my eyes and try to shut off my over active and constantly cluttered mom brain, I will know that my kids are ok and they will always have each other.

That is enough for me.

Lighting it up Blue for April- A month of blue do’s and awareness and a great life lesson.

So this is me –>IMG_20150317_173121

But for the most of the Month of April, this was me –>IMG_20150417_194834

I decided this year I would “LIGHT IT UP BLUE” to help spread  Autism awareness.

And spread the word I did!

I had a lot of trepidation over changing my hair, truth be told. Those who know me probably found this hard to believe as I typically don’t fit the norm of professional working Mom of 4 and I often look different anyhow.

But the truth was, it had been awhile since I drew different attention to myself and I was a little worried about it.

I really shouldn’t have been though.

People love blue hair it seems! I got compliments every place I went.

I took the time to explain that I had done it to support the April long “light it up” campaign and most people even seemed to know what that was. It was nice to share with others and a few with first hand knowledge were quick to smile in acknowledgement.

I did actually start my blue haired experience out in a town that everything is “A ok”

Sin City. Las Vegas, Nevada!!

Las Vegas welcomes all to its crazy town and I fit in perfectly. I even got in a few other peoples selfies because they loved the blue, or wanted to “hug a smurf”!

I have to tell you though, as much as I was accepted, there lay an underlying desire for me to “fit in”. I missed my blonde hair and no matter how much positivity came my way I really just felt unsettled.

As the month wore on I started to really feel it.

I wanted to be able to wear reds and pinks, shallow, but for someone that always dressed as she wanted and loved bright, cheery colours, it was a hardship being forced to match my clothing to my hair!

In the last week, I struggled with the fact I either needed to let the colour fade out and look a little “16 yr old punk rebel” or dye it again but have a harder time removing the stronger colour when the time came.

Yep. Vain. Shallow. Even a little petty.

I admit, I felt a decline in my confidence and I even felt less attractive.

So?? Who cares right?

I gave all this a ton of thought and after a long consideration I scolded myself for letting this get to me. And I then drew a comparison that might land me in a light hot water with some readers, but I think it is valid and a great life lesson to a mom with an ASD kid.

While I rocked my blue hair and was “different” then others I really felt a strong desire to be “normal”.

I immediately wondered if this is similar to the way someone on the spectrum might also feel, A strong pressure to be like everyone else.

I had really never felt this. I don’t often even care what others think but with a bright blue head of hair I suddenly felt very exposed and scrutinized.

Does my child feel this? A need to be like everyone else when he just can’t be? And please tell me I don’t make him feel this. I’d be ashamed of myself if I did.

See, I didn’t think I was any less because I had bright blue hair but I did feel like I stood out. And at times, like when my 5 year old decided to throw a fit in Mastermind while I had all four of my children out with me, I felt like I was being judged, and not in a kind way. Dressed in jeans and a rock t-shirt with blue hair and 4 kids, no Dad in sight, did people make presumptions about me? Is that any different than people making presumptions about our autistic kids when they act out of the norm?

The sad part of this whole experience is I knew I could change my hair back and life would continue on as it always had.

When our children feel like they don’t fit in, they feel different, they don’t feel accepted, they DON’T have the quick option to change back to a more comfortable experience.

My eyes opened a little wider this month.

I felt for the first time what my son might feel like when we forget to step into his shoes and see things from his eyes. When we ask that he just do things “our” way, with no respect or consideration for “his view or His way” When we just presume we are the right way and try to make him conform.

It was a $20 dye job and an hr of my time but the lesson was priceless.

Never make someone feel shameful for who they are. Be kind and be open minded. Different, not less.

I’ll never forget this lesson and I am glad I took the time to start the conversation.

I’m not sure that I will ever go “BLUE” again, but I can say I have a new respect for how bravely our children march through the world and refuse to feel “less”.

Becoming an individual -Watching my ASD kid bloom and grow

If there is anything I would fight to the death for it is my right to be my own person.


I am thankful to have parents that have stood back and allowed me to walk my own path, even if they stood brimming with trepidation and worry through much of my teenage years. I do believe that as I approach 40 they are proud of who I have become, as am I.

I will never be considered conservative or the “norm” but I do believe I ended up on this side of “normal” with a decent head on my shoulder, a brave soul and a loving heart full of kindness. That will do in my books.


As a Mom of 4, I try to allow my children some creative input in who they wish to be and although I sometimes am a little militant in what rules I feel must be followed, I have also allowed a lot of flexibility on some of the others.

As Lincoln turns 10 and starts to extend more into the world around him I try to let him choose how he wishes to make his mark on the world. He is a loving and humorous boy, full of curiosity and I try to embrace that and let him run with it as he chooses.

9When you have a child with special needs there is an overwhelming urge to protect them. I cannot even put into words the need. I would wager that it is comparable to a mother bear being faced with a group of hunters. The urge to protect is primal. There is no thought to it, just action.

My natural instinct when it comes to my autistic child is to protect. I want to keep him close, and dare I say it, there is that silent voice deep within me that whispers to me to “make him better”. I fight these instinct everyday for the greater good of my son. If I always protect and always baby him he will never be afforded the chance to be his own man, to see if he can go it alone.

So I must step back and wait. And watch. And hope.

I refuse to take away from him what I so desperately hold fast to. Individuality.

So, I go against my primal urge to protect and I give him freedom to explore, to decide how he wishes to interact with family and friends, with strangers. I sit back, forever ready to pounce into action if needed, and I allow him to grow.

I have been rewarded for this exercise in patience. I have been given a beautiful gift for my effort.

My son has blossomed into a lovely little boy. He is friendly and kindhearted to other children, with a special enjoyment of babies.

As we all know conversation is hard with a kid on the Spectrum. Eye contact is limited and interest sometimes focused solely on the childs likes and not the world going on around him. This is a heartwarming pic of my ASD cutie talking to his Aunt about his new baby cousin.

As we all know conversation is hard with a kid on the Spectrum. Eye contact is limited and interest sometimes focused solely on the childs likes and not the world going on around him. This is a heartwarming pic of my ASD cutie talking to his Aunt about his new baby cousin.

He is a fountain of knowledge who is always willing to share and comment on.

He is affectionate and loving. Even now, I am blessed to have him sneak into my room on a Sunday morning and tell it is time to snuggle. It is often these very mornings that I have bestowed on me something that is irreplaceable. A conversation.

When he was little, conversations just didn’t happen. Eve though he spoke well, and often, it was always one sided or just me giving direction and he answering. Although I understood why, it often broken my heart.

I knew though, in time, it would come. Just like in time, he would find himself. He would find the boy he wanted to be and that would be something the world would be thankful for.

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I am proud of all my children. They are wonderful boys with great personalities but I am especially proud of my first born for never letting anything change him. He is a diamond and he will sparkle for the world to take notice.


10 years on the spectrum. Finding a sense of Self as an ASD Mom.

If I were to be honest, I feel more confident, sexy and sure of myself at 39 then I ever have.

Sometimes people ask me how I do it. Actually, they ask a lot.

I smile, “I just do. I am thankful, I haven’t ever known any other way”


This is me.

I am a working Mom of 4 boys, my eldest having Autism. I commute 4 hrs a day, work 7 in the city and then come home to make dinner, clean the house and love my kids, not in that particular order.

In 39 years I have made myself.

I have grown a style, created a persona and nurtured a sense of humor and kind heart.

My patience has learned to sail us all on the sea of life that at times is tumultuous and frightening, and others serene and calming.

I have protected my sense of whimsy and encouraged my moxy.

I am bold and pure and true to myself. I let it all hang out, I am a library book, free to peruse and ponder and maybe settle in for a read with the promise of a giggle, a smirk and an adventure.

I have been an ASD parent for 10 years now and with every struggle and challenge I have found independence.In each road block I have found a new appreciation, determination and alternate path worthy of considering.

Yes, oh hell yes! I am confident.

Don’t think for a minute I haven’t earned every once of that. I OWN it.

We all have that choice and it starts from diagnosis.

You can lay down and let Autism beat you or can accept it, find a strategy and evolve with it. Evolution is mandatory, if you do not change and grow with it then you are letting it beat you right from the gates.

Every day I choose to be an individual. I am a mom of an autistic child but I am also many other things. A friend, a lover, a companion, a co-worker, a daughter, a sister,a confidante, a partner in crime (the playful fun kind of course), a secret sharer, an admirer, a shoulder to lean on, a free spirit, a voice of reason, a giggling lunatic who can’t catch her breath and laugh till she cries.

Autism will not define my child and I’ll be damned if it defines me.

I may not be able to decide how my child grows, thinks or reacts to the world but I can make HIS world wonderful.

I can let him be himself and show him it is ok to be different by being unique myself.

I can walk the walk I ask him to, I can be bold and extraordinary, I can stand out, draw attention and be forward. I can smile at strangers, I can hold doors for others, I can stand out in the crowd. Best of all I can do it with pride as I ask him to do.

IMG_20150110_205156IMG_20150126_20201522229IMG_20150126_201927IMG_20150118_1106284If you are new to Autism and you are reading this, please, know it will get more comfortable. Autism is like a new pair of shoes. They can be restricting at first, unknown, make you feel awkward and unsure but with time you will grow to feel as ease, learn how to dress them up, show them off and dance the night away in them!

Do yourself a favor and learn to allow yourself the same privileges as your child. Find something each and everyday that makes you feel alive, lets you shine and define you as YOU.

The best example you can give your child is living as you wish for them to. Afford yourself the same opportunities and remember to enjoy each and everyday for the true blessing it is.

A rainbow would never be beautiful if the storm that precedes it didn’t rage. Take everything life gives you and learn from it. Grow from it.

Write your own story. Do not let other people dictate it. You have every much a choice in how your tale reveals itself. Make your own happily ever after.

With ten years on the spectrum under my belt I feel like I can do anything, be anyone and appreciate each day for all beauty and wonder. (yes, even the not so great ones!)

Every night I get to place a soft kiss on my beautiful children. I get to feel the love we foster together in our home. A home of acceptance and support. One of belief in one another.

I have someone who doesn’t care if my ass may be more than ample, or I am not conventionally beautiful. I know I am admired for the woman I have grown to be, that my children think I am pretty awesome and people are happy to be in my company (ok, maybe not on the grumpiest of days, but for the most part)

Sure, life isn’t easy but anything worth anything isn’t.

Autism has not made me, I have made me. My life just includes a little ASD amongst the fab, the great, the mystical, magical obnoxiously awesome and I am tickled to be part of it all.

And quite seriously, I am humbled by it.

And, as always, I am blessed to be part of it.

Writing this blog has helped me share the emotion of Autism, and if I am honest I often cry when I re-read these posts. It’s not because I am sad more because I am proud of all the accomplishments my son has made. The cohesion my family has displayed. The adversity we have faced and the barriers we have removed. My heart at times is overflowing with gratitude and love.

Happy Birthday Lincoln.

I am so very proud of the amazing boy you have become. I am in love with your crooked smile and questioning eyes. I love your belly laugh and warm hugs.

Thank you for being my son and making me feel like the luckiest Mom in the world.

Well HELLO, 2015!

“Hi Mom, here’s 2015!”

I felt his not-so-little anymore body press between me and the little mini Dachshund we have who was snoozing beside me.

“Well Hello!! 2015.” I murmur and smile to myself.

My almost 10 yr old Autistic son was not on the band wagon last night to see 2014 off. We celebrated quietly at home, rather as quietly as a house full of boys allows, and as we hugged and kissed each other with wishes of a good 2015 he broke into tears.

“I don’t want 2014 to go away, it was a good year. Why does it have to die?”

Here we go again….

The same thing happened, this same afternoon as I took down the ornaments off the tree which inevitably leads to the tree being placed at the curb for recycle pick up.

Christmas tree 2014

As we have learned about of sensitive son, he is jammed full of emotions, and each are tied strongly to the object which symbolizes the holiday. I have had issues with a larger than expected reaction to the shedding of objects before but as time passes I seem to forget how intense it can be.

As I gently undressed the tree I explained that if we did not end Christmas then we could not begin his January birthday, Valentines Day or Spring which leads to a busy and adventurous summer.

While we love to celebrate and enjoy our friends and family, Christmas lives in our hearts all year round and we must not be sad to pack up the ornaments and decorations because we are never truly without the memories and we should live our daily lives with that happiness in our hearts to gift to others.

He listened and continued crying but eventually asked to help.which I agreed. This was a very mature response for a 9 year old.

He unraveled the ribbon, took down the bows and packed them up with the Santas and angels and then told me “it was a good tree, the best” and nodded at the bare tree as if to confirm to himself that his words were correct.

He then surprised me by telling me he was going to go ask his brothers (who were as always, wrestling bare-chested in the other room and quite oblivious to what was going on with the tree) if they would like to have a moment with the tree before we removed it from the house.

It was very funeral-like and his demeanor was soft and  brimming with condolence. THe children humored him and came to briefly stand by the tree and listen to Lincolns eulogy “It was a really great tree, we are going to miss it” and he seemed at peace at once and even assisted with holding the door as I dragged, yanked, swore, bitched and pulled the tree out the front door with a “pop” and struggled with the big monster down the walk ,to a final victory once I plopped it at the curb.

Boys watching "A Christmas Story" Christmas Eve 2014

The tears at midnight were similar so we treated it similarly. “The sun has made a full rotation around the Earth, it is the Earths birthday now it is a year older! 2015 brings opportunities for a new Christmas, a new summer and 365 new days of fun!”

“but I am so sad! I don’t want 2014 to go!”

“It will never go LIncoln, it is a part of us, our history”

We back and forthed a lot, lots of big dramatic tears (I think Autistics would make excellent actors or actresses) and finally 2014 was laid to rest with such fine years as 2000. 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and of course the artist former know as Prince’s favorite and the one we always to  party like …”1999″.

Maybe it was just he doesn’t accept change well, maybe it is that the fear of the unknown is a little unnerving to us all but he chose to vocalise it, as my ASD kids tends to do when others do not, but I felt that his reaction to the dying year and the one just moments old, still innocent and free of prejudgment and still holding excitement and awe, was pretty prolific and he was very astute to feel such way.

This morning he woke up with well wishes and hope for a fantastic 2015 as did I.

Enjoying his Zoomer Dino Christmas morning

Enjoying his Zoomer Dino Christmas morning

TO my friends and families on the spectrum, may you find peace and hope in 2015 for better days and understanding.

May you enjoy your child ‘as is’ for he or she is beautiful and perfect just the way they are.

May your love and devotion guide you through the inevitable ups and down of life, may you see all of said ups and downs as lessons and step stones to a better tomorrow, not punishment.

LIfe is yours for the taking, life is full of mystery and it is yours to take goodness from every day.

Autism is a part of you, you are a part of it. Be one, be wonderful.

Thank you for following me in 2014, can’t wait to see what 2015 holds!

Welcome 2015.


Amanda and Family :)

I alone- Parenting and ASD

When you have a child on the spectrum your whole perspective of people and the world around you changes.

I can’t speak for every parent of a child with ASD but I can speak for me and I know I have been changed permanently and I would like to think it is for the better.

When I stop and think about my son and I think about long-term how things will play out I start to feel like I need to ‘do more’ Not just for my son, but for the community I live in, people who also have loved ones on the spectrum, for the neighbors and friends, for not just my country but humanity. I want to help, because I know all too well how scary and isolating it is to be in a league of my own.

Yes, Autism effects hundreds of thousands of people, 1 in 68 children and even more staggering 1 in 42 boys.

For as many people in the community I live in that share in the experience of having a child with Autism it always amazes me how easy it is to fall into a habit of keeping to yourself, in fear of inconveniencing others, or worse, not being understood, accepted or just plain too much effort to want to be around.

I know, this sounds horrible, but horrible or not, it is a truth.

The reality is many people fear difference.

Many people are uncomfortable with any straying from ‘normal’. They don’t want to see the meltdowns, the stressful face-offs when you are trying to get through a moment or experience the stimming (Self-stimulatory behavior, also known as stimming and self-stimulation, is the repetition of physical movements, sounds, or repetitive movement of objects common in individuals with developmental disabilities, but most prevalent in people with autistic spectrum disorders.) it’s just too odd, too uncomfortable. It’s as though Autism is contagious and no one wants to catch it.

I’ve always tried to be positive, to make the most of things and bravely face my life as it is and make the very most of what I have been blessed with but at times I must say I am not only disappointed but disheartened with the lack of thoughtfulness and support we are given from people who call us friends and family.

I often wonder if it is because its too much effort to be supportive or maybe I just don’t warrant it.

I find it hard to believe that people who are close to my family do not see how hard we work to keep things going, to raise our family, to advocate for our children and make ends meet.

It is not lost on me that the last trip I took with my partner was almost 8 long years ago and that we almost always go out without one another. It is so rare that we go out of the house without the kids that friends have stopped offer the invite.

During the tough times, as our relationship faltered, it was also left for us to piece it back together ourselves, there was no one to help us find time to work on things, we either did it or let things go to the wayside.

So we worked harder.

I’m not writing this to complain, but merely to give you all a open and honest view of how it is sometimes in a ASD family.

Sometimes it is ugly. It is raw and difficult.

Sometimes it feels like no one understands. Sometimes it feels like you are alone. And a lot of times you are.

Despite this, search for the light.

Look deep within yourself and know your love and determination will eventually prevail.

Take deep breaths. Take lots of deep breaths.

Remember that it will get better.

Celebrate the small things.

The smiles and giggles of being silly together. The hug or kind word your child may share. The pat on the back of someone who sees how hard you work.

Be kind to others. No one truly has a perfect life. We all have dragons to slay, we all have obstacles to overcome and we all need to know our effort is acknowledged, even if we struggle to stay afloat.

Help where you can.

It is a reoccurring theme that everyone feels “they don’t have time” for things but sometimes helping is as easy as a quick comment on facebook saying “good job” or “I understand”.

We don’t always get to choose what gifts we are given in life…but they are all gifts. Treat them as such.

And remember, gifts are easily shared.


Childhood friendship- Being one of the group ASD kids need friendship too!

Growing up my parents always embraced our friends and our house was always open to them. I was always proud of this point and knew my home  was a 2nd home to many kids…my parents, 2nd parents.


This to me was endearing and it taught me a lot about what is important in life.

We didn’t have the best of everything, nor did we have luxury items like the newest game console, trampolines or cool climbing sets but we were pretty well off and my parents were hardworking, good moraled people whom kids felt comfortable around and could be themselves.

This made our house popular for visits and hangouts.

Lately, I have noticed more children knocking on the door and more times than not, I come home to a friend visiting. I am happy to see my own children feel comfortable hanging with Mom and just as my own friends know my door if always open and the kettle always hot, my boys friends seem to know they are always welcome in our home.


I am glad for these things….after all, this is what makes a house a home.

This morning while I was steam cleaning up stairs still in my pj’s I heard something I don’t often hear in my house…a little girls voice. Lincolns very kind and thought friend Abby had stopped by. I apologized for my pj’s and she came in and the boys got busy keeping her occupied. They were smitten and happy to have a new friend to visit with. I decided the giggles and happy voices were worth putting aside work that could be done later and offered to take them out for a nature walk.

She has always been a great friend to my ASD kid always patient and considerate, never judging. His differences are accepted ‘as is’ and she embraces his as he is and even better, likes him because of it.


How lucky is a child who has such amazing friends.

He is blessed that has friends. They make us smile and hearts glow.