redrawing the map

We are constantly redrawing our map as there are new places to see and new pitfalls to avoid. Why redraw the map constantly? Think of it this way…if you were to embark on a new journey do you think it would be wiser to consult a map made by people hundreds or thousands of miles away, by looking at satellite photos years ago?…or do you think it would be more helpful to get your information from the locals…those who travel the roads every day their entire lives, who know that certain roads are impassable during a storm, or a tree has fallen in the way on another…the people who know every twist and turn because it affects them on a daily basis? Autistic people know this journey, other parents, drs, and therapists only know what they observe from the outside…and just as one guide could not possibly know an entire journey across the country, if you put enough together, each helping navigate their own piece of the journey, you can go a long way!

a diary of a mom

Editor’s note: Many of my autistic friends, especially women, were diagnosed as adults. There are myriad reasons for that, but they belong to another post. Nearly all of them were diagnosed with a patchwork of other conditions throughout childhood and into adulthood, none of which ever felt – or was – right. When the autism diagnosis came, it was, for many of them, revelatory. It was not, however, always so for their parents. This is for them. 

Oh, my Mama friend, I know.

Even though our experiences were different, I still know.

I know it’s hard to be hit with news that throws your world into a confusing, unsettling imbalance.

I know that it makes no sense at first, even while making all the sense in the world. I know that it’s far, far easier to imagine that life is still as you always thought it was than to…

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Paying Attention While Autistic

Helpful information 🙂

Autistic Academic

The first draft of this post started with the phrase, “When I was a kid….”  But that’s not entirely true.

When I was kid, and to this very day, when I go out in public with my mother I can count on at least one exasperated command to “pay attention!”  Usually, she’ll say it while she’s yanking me out of the way of some grocery cart or stroller I didn’t see coming; my failure was in paying adequate attention to my surroundings (and, presumably, embarrassing her).  Once in a while, though, it’ll be when we’re trying to find one another in a crowd, or in a grocery store.  “You were looking right at me!  Didn’t you hear me calling you?  Pay attention!”

I have never not been paying attention.

I have, this past week, been reading Olga Bogdashina’s Sensory Perceptual Issues in Autism and Asperger Syndrome*, in which…

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A Father’s Powerful & Extremely Personal Thoughts on Parenting

“And it has to stop. It is wrong. It is life-killing and soul-killing. And if you, as a parent, can’t see that this is the reality your children are living with every second of every day, you need to open your eyes and ears and heart.”

Emma's Hope Book

*This was what my wonderful husband, Richard wrote as a comment on my post the other day.  I asked him if I could make it a post all on its own.  He gave me permission…

“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”

There are plenty of difficulties in life. Parenting is hard, but “childering” is harder. Parents usually have some experience in navigating the complex social expectations of the world. Children must gain that experience with each passing day, hopefully with the guidance, support and unconditional love of parents who put their children’s needs ahead of their own.

But there are a lot of parents who aren’t like that. Mine for example. I was taught from birth that my obedience and subservience were more important than my own needs and desires, or personal considerations. When I didn’t do what I was told to do, or didn’t do it fast enough with a “good attitude”…

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