Protecting Johnny’s Spirit: The Parenting Journey of an Autistic Child

When I first started my blog, I named it “Johnny’s Spirit” after my son’s nickname. While I’ve shared the story behind his nickname, I don’t believe I’ve ever explained why I chose that name for my blog. As a parent of an autistic child, one of my biggest concerns is protecting my son’s spirit. HisContinue reading “Protecting Johnny’s Spirit: The Parenting Journey of an Autistic Child”

Reflections on Acceptance, Understanding, and Making Space for Difference

Last night I laid in a full-size bed, inside a tent, under a train blanket, with my 8 year old son. He had just fallen asleep. Beforehand, we talked, sang, and laughed. He asked me to hug him tight, and I did as he fell asleep. Slowly releasing him before he completely drifted off. TightContinue reading “Reflections on Acceptance, Understanding, and Making Space for Difference”

When They Realize He’s Different

My son, Jesse, who has autism, and my typical nephew are both in first grade at the same school. They have a couple of classes together and lunch at the same time. Yesterday, my nephew told me that he tried to sing Jingle Bells during lunch, but Jesse wouldn’t let him. As soon as myContinue reading “When They Realize He’s Different”

When You’ve Lost Yourself in Motherhood

I stood alone on a dark bridge on a warm summer night. I listened to the creek below as it attempted to drown out the sound of my children and their cousin, playing several yards away. We were at an unfamiliar park for a small family gathering. I left my two kids with my husbandContinue reading “When You’ve Lost Yourself in Motherhood”

“When Are You Going To Get Over This?”

“When are you going to get over this?” My husband calmly asked, as I laid in our bed yet again crying.  I can’t remember what event involving our son preceded it; Another evaluation, an elopement, an awkward moment at a family gathering or school, maybe it was another long meltdown. Whichever it was, I wasContinue reading ““When Are You Going To Get Over This?””

The First Time I Heard Autism

Hot, sweaty, and out of breath in the middle of winter I sat in a full doctor’s office lobby. Due to construction, the area we were in held patients waiting for the pediatricians as well as those waiting for gynecologists. It was packed. My newly two year-old son would not hold still while we waited.Continue reading “The First Time I Heard Autism”