Feeling Pain

Feeling Pain

In my opinion, one of the most challenging aspects of Skyler’s nonverbal autism over the past 21 years is his inability to fully articulate his feelings. Whether he’s suffering from physical or mental anguish, we are never exactly sure what the true root of the issue may be and thus how to properly help him…

Desperate for Respite
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Desperate for Respite

Last week I attended the annual fundraising gala for the incredible nonprofit organization that employs me as my 21-year-old, nonverbal autistic son Skyler’s SLP (supported living provider). Throughout his lifetime, we have never successfully secured respite services thus, we’ve never experienced a break from caregiving. Aside from occasionally relying on the kindness of friends or…

Normal is Boring

Normal is Boring

While there is no stable, universally understood concept of “normal,” most of us are raised to believe that to be fully embraced into societal norms our lives must follow a similar cycle to this – graduate from high school then college, secure a high paying job in a chosen career, get married, start a family,…

Adoption

Adoption

Any man can be a father, but it takes someone truly special to be a dad. A dad extends his hands, time and heart to love the child through anything. The bond between my husband, Josh and my autistic adult son, Skyler is like nothing I’ve ever seen. Many people jokingly call Josh “the Skyler…

Family

Family

In life, you are presented with two types of family – the one you’re born into and the one you build. My entire childhood was plagued with abuse and trauma, so as an adult, all I desperately wanted was to break that cycle and create a ‘normal’ and loving family of my own. One that…

Proving Your Worth
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Proving Your Worth

Today was a tough day. In fact, one I’ve somehow been able to avoid for 17 years. My nonverbal, severely autistic adult son had to undergo an IQ test / Psychological Assessment in order to ‘prove’ his continued need for services provided by the Medicaid waiver. Because we all know kids outgrow autism and don’t…

Beauty in the Journey
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Beauty in the Journey

I have a confession to make… I lack the ability to sit still and am a hoarder of all things pertaining to my kids. Whether it’s the adorable creations crafted by their own little hands or papers pertaining to each of their individual experiences with education (IEPs, report cards, therapy notes, A+ essays, science projects,…

Waving the White Flag

Waving the White Flag

At the risk of receiving a boatload of backlash for being negative, I’m going to be completely honest. While I make every effort to share the good and difficult parts about being a lifelong caregiver to my adult son with severe, nonverbal autism, sometimes the tough times stick around longer than I’d like and make…

The Voice Of A Sibling

The Voice Of A Sibling

Much of my life and the majority of my social media posts revolve around managing the unpredictability of severe, nonverbal autism and its impact on Skyler’s life. As his full-time parent caregiver and the parent of a neurotypical child as well, I feel it’s important to also share how this extremely challenging diagnosis affects the…