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…

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…

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…

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….

A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind

Understanding the inner workings of the body and mind is extremely difficult, but as the parent caregiver of a non-speaking young adult diagnosed with autism and Ulcerative Colitis, I feel like the last 19 years have been an endless game of charades. Although there are plentiful books on the subject, the early phase of motherhood…

I’m Tired

I’m Tired

I’m in a funk – a particularly dark head space that is centered around jealousy. I would normally suffer in silence and be ashamed to openly admit my truth, but I think it’s important to be honest and share because I suspect I’m not alone. We’ve come so far in many ways with Skyler’s communication…