The Special Guest
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The Special Guest

I welcome every opportunity I’m given to share our family’s autism journey and speak about all of ways in which Skyler amazes me. However, this past weekend, speaking at the autism conference felt significantly more important than any other talks I’ve given. My emotionally charged words and examples of Skyler’s courage and resilience were directed…

Party of Three

Party of Three

This is us. A forever, inseparable party of three. Weekends spent in perpetual motion, trying to keep our 20-year-old, autistic, nonverbal son entertained. Always on repeat, his mind and body requiring the same regimented plan for the day. Awakened at dawn due to urine-soaked bedding followed by a quick shower and demand for his favorite…

The Hug of My Life

The Hug of My Life

Twenty years… That’s how long I’ve waited for a simple hug from my son. You see, my 20-year-old son Skyler is on the severe end of the autism spectrum, is non-speaking, has global motor difficulties and suffers from Crohn’s disease. Frequently people ask me how I know that Skyler loves me or appreciates the great…

Muffins with Mom

Muffins with Mom

What an honor it was to spend the morning with Skyler. I truly can’t believe that 13 years have past between my first and what was likely my last “muffins with mom.” So many emotions are going through my mind as I look at the photos of then and now… Age 7 – Skyler was…

Just Keep Trying
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Just Keep Trying

Routines are an essential part of life for many on the spectrum and my son Skyler definitely demands consistency. I’ve spent this entire weekend parenting solo and essentially filling as Joshua Hellmann (aka Skyler’s favorite person) doing all the special things they normally do together while Josh is out of town running the Cleveland Marathon….

Enjoy Today

Enjoy Today

I’ve envisioned this moment many times over the years. What it would feel like to experience the high school graduation of my youngest child, Kendall, having not had the opportunity to enjoy this same moment with her older brother, Skyler two years earlier. Would I be overly emotional at the ceremony? Proud and elated for…

What is your plan?

What is your plan?

My son Skyler is on the severe end of the autism spectrum, is non-verbal and suffers from Crohn’s disease. He is one week away from turning 20-years-old and I’m not prepared. I recently sat down with Skyler’s case manager, who I absolutely adore, for our annual meeting to discuss the waiver service options and hours…

Letting Go

Letting Go

Letting go is hard! Particularly when being in complete control is my love language! You see, as much as I hope, pray & dream for my nonverbal, autistic 19-year-old son to be even minimally independent, caring for and managing his every need is all both of us have ever known. I know he is capable…