Tuesday night was a big TV night for many of us who have children with autism. NBC’s Parenthood, which has tackled the topic of autism spectrum disorders since one of its characters, Max, was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome back in season one, did a great job creating anticipation with promos for the episode where Adam and Christina Braverman would finally tell their son about his diagnosis. (I was personally equally interested in seeing Crosby get his rump kicked after cheating on fiance Jasmine.)
Before discussing how some reveal the news to a child, I have to make a couple of quick points about the show itself. Not to be a critic but it was a little surprising to us that Max’s character hadn’t before now figured out, at the very least, what autism is… at most, that he, in fact, has it. Consider this: Continue reading
After writing about California Governor Jerry Brown’s budget cuts that could completely destroy services provided through regional centers throughout the state, I was taken to task — accused of putting children with autism above adults and other potentially-debilitating disabilities.
To that, I say that my post had nothing to do with disability as a whole. In fact, I agree that those who qualify should receive assistance when their disability prevents them from being able to function enough to provide for or care for themselves and/or their families. But I am only one person and a war cannot be won by fighting every battle at the same time. Considering what’s on the table to be cut, this battle is urgent and I will not apologize for standing on the front lines for my family and other families on a similar journey. Here are some important facts to consider…
I sat by the bay, sipping tea as the kids set out to discover uncharted territory. We were spending time with an old friend and her family on a recent trip to San Francisco. Funny how visits like that always leave me feeling contemplative, triggering memories of a life that seems so long ago and catching up on the selves we sometimes barely recognize in the midst of homework, activities and running a household.
We laughed as we reminisced about our days of working in television together. I swear if I closed my eyes and blocked out the sound of the playing kids, I could almost remember the girls we were — enthusiastic about the future, filled with curiosity, wondering how it all would go. She and I had taken different paths since those days, but Facebook and our respective blogs were helpful in keeping us connected through the years. Before she even spoke, I knew about her family adventures and how they had lived for almost two years on a beautiful boat docked at a northern California marina. And I didn’t have to go into too much detail about life as a minivan-driving suburban wife, she had kept up with my world as well.
But it was only a few minutes in to our three hour visit that I realized that while we had kept in touch, there was so much that was never conveyed online or through holiday cards. Because while I have been known to share the long road to finally bringing our daughter home and those fearful nights my son spent fighting asthma in the ICU, I’ve never really come out and talked directly about one of our biggest struggles — our family’s autism. Continue reading