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All I Have to Say

Kristen Spina kristenspina.wordpress.com I’ve spent the first few days of Autism Awareness month blogging about nothing important. I should say, deliberately blogging about nothing important. The problem I’m having is that with all this focused attention, all eyes on us, so to speak, I’m having a hard time putting words to what I feel, what I think about autism in our lives. One of the things I know is that I can’t speak for anyone other than myself. I can’t speak for my son, for my husband, for our families or friends, or for any of you who walk a similar path. As I read other blogs and listen to some of what the media is saying, I am overwhelmed by the diversity of thought and opinion. The polar extremes of the spectrum itself. I am reminded that the inherent challenges of autism have to do with perception — from…

April Is Autism Story Sharing Month on TPGA

April is Autism Awareness month. And every day during the month of April, TPGA would like to share an autism perspective: yours. As members of the autism community, we know that awareness is only a first step. Increased awareness brings opportunities to share our experiences and strive for what people with autism deserve: understanding, and acceptance. If you’d like to participate, please send us a short essay on one thing you want readers to know about autism — as it relates to you.  Share what you’ve experienced or witnessed. Tell readers about a formative experience; something joyful, or a brief moment of despair. Share your hopes, dreams, past, or future. Anecdotes laced with humor — however dark though not mean-spirited — are especially appreciated. You are welcome to submit a previously published item, or one you’d like to republish elsewhere. And if you feel self-conscious about your writing, please know…

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Interview: Sharon DaVanport of the Autism Women’s Network

Sharon daVanport is the executive director of the Autism Women’s Network and the host of the AWN Radio Show. She’s a mom to four children — one of whom has Asperger’s — and she is a tireless advocate for women and children, particularly those whose lives have been touched by domestic violence. She is also an adult who has Asperger’s Syndrome. TPGA contributor and BlogHer contributing editor Mir Kamin was lucky enough to spend some time chatting with Sharon for Autism Awareness Month. Can you tell me about how/when you were diagnosed with Asperger’s? I always like to remind people that even though I was diagnosed as an adult, it didn’t mean I became autistic as an adult. But it explains so much, everything really, so well, now that I know.  My 17-year-old son was diagnosed with Asperger’s in kindergarten. His therapist later said she knew about me right from…

Autism Is Not Invisible Anymore

Lou Tecpanecatl ourlifewithdiego.blogspot.com Christmas is supposed to mean a day of relaxation and family meals. But last year, we decided to visit my parents in Ohio, and we booked a flight on Christmas Day. We knew in advance that flying with our older son, Diego, was going to be stressful because he might feel the need to get out of his seat to walk around and we were not sure how he would handle the airport crowd. We arrived well in advance of our departure in order to check our luggage and to make sure the kids had a chance to eat. Things were going relatively well until we got to the security checkpoint. I was in charge of keeping Diego from getting out of line and running somewhere else. My wife and I frantically unloaded the stroller and removed the baby’s jacket and shoes (he was six months old…