Getting Out

I had two opportunities this past week to get my son out of his regular hermit-like existence and do something fun with a group. We’ve been fairly isolated for a while, but as his stress has begun to settle somewhat, I want to give him a chance to reconnect with activities that he used to really love before anxiety got the better of him.

I’m learning to find a balance between promoting these social activities and giving him a real choice whether or not to participate. I’m not going to force him to go, but I still want him to get past his automatic first “No” response and think about giving it a try. Read More

Deck the Halls

My husband and I were brought up in different decorating traditions. His mother always put up their (artificial) Christmas tree and all the decorations on Thanksgiving weekend, and within a day or two after Christmas, everything was put away. My mother’s house was usually decorated sometime in mid-December, but the (real) tree itself was not trimmed until Christmas Eve. We kept our decorations up until Epiphany on January 6th (the traditional 12 days of Christmas). Yes, we were usually the last on the block to pack it all up.

As a married couple, we gradually created our own tradition that splits the difference, decorating in early December and taking it all down around New Year’s. (The artificial vs. real tree is still up for debate).


Regardless of the timing, we both want our house to look festive this time of year. But this can be challenging when the third member of our household really doesn’t like change. Our son used to enjoy the lights and atmosphere of Christmas, and the box of familiar holiday toys, books, music, and movies that appears along with the tinsel and ornaments. Not to mention the promise of never-ending cookies. Read More

Safe Passage, Revisited

I’ve made a new commitment to post regularly on this blog. 

It helps me to reflect on this whole “parenting a young man with autism” thing and to try to put into words what life is like around here. It doesn’t have to be pretty or perfectly phrased. It just needs to be written and posted.

I know this commitment will be hard to meet some weeks. When my son is having a rough time, I don’t feel much like writing. Or I suppose it’s more that I don’t feel much like sharing. 

But I’m hoping that even when it’s been “one of those weeks,” as it has, I’ll still find a way to keep this blog active. 

Today, it’s appropriate to focus on gratitude with the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, and with that, I’m grateful that I wrote this post five years ago so I can cheat a little bit and re-post it. 

A lot has changed in five years (from 13 to 18, wow, yes, there are changes), but the feelings described in this post remain true. Five years on, it’s more important than ever that we have family, friends, teachers, and others who support my son in the ways they do.  Read More