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Will You #LightItUpBlue For Autism Awareness?

Throughout the month of April, take notice when you drive through a neighborhood and see the shine of blue light bulbs. Without a doubt, you’ll see one at my house. Since April is World Autism Month, I’ve decided to let my front porch shine with support for autism awareness–and I hope you do too! Autism refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism…

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#RealityDad: Learning Challenges and Deciding to Get Tested

It began with a meeting to discuss Darcy’s “challenges”, a euphemism for the word “deficits” that was used when I was a boy. I’ve always hated both. The former reeks of some sort of 1984 Newspeak and the latter is rife with potentially detrimental consequences. Regardless of my thoughts neither word is one a parent wants to hear in context with one’s child. My daughter Darcy, all of six and in first grade, had been performing below grade level for some time and in many ways the meeting wasn’t a…

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Confidence in the Classroom: Can He Do It?

We stare each other down for what seems like an eternity but in reality is all of thirty seconds. I try so hard not to look away or even blink. Something inside of me is screaming that he can do it and I wait. His answer is quiet at first and then when repeated gets louder as if he just found some new confidence. Then it became my turn to react. The question was how? Any expression to his response would give it all away. The fact that the answer…

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Dear Mom and Dad (A Letter from Your ADHD Kid)

Hey, mom and dad. It’s your kid here, and I have something important to say. I know I’m only eleven, and you always say I shouldn’t tell other people what to do, but, mom and dad, pleeaaaaase listen up, just for a couple minutes. The first day of school is coming up in a few weeks. We’ve already been doing things to make it a good year. You’ve adjusted my IEP at the end of last year and requested that I get the teacher who also has a son with…

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My Biggest Lie

I held the little pills in my hand and I broke. I’d lost the fight and was now battling a new war. With his small, trusting face looking at me, I told the biggest lie of my life, “This is safe. You will be fine. I promise.” Everything in my being screamed at me—“Liar! Horrible mother! Failure!” The day I gave my son drugs for his ADHD, was one of the hardest days of my life. I had fought against holding one of those pills in my palm for a…

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