• 18+,  autism,  family,  life skills,  motherhood,  post high school,  siblings and autism

    Two of Us

    We’re still here, and I know it’s been a while. The last two months have been long. We’ve had a wicked winter. I think it’s been the coldest since we’ve moved here–almost 14 years ago. Between January and February, we’ve had 5 snow days and one late start. The stomach flu ran its course through our family in mid-February, starting with Steve, and hitting every single member of our family every 48 hours like clockwork. Then, after a short reprieve, Steve, W, and I came down with a head cold that lasted for a week and a half. We took all the COVID tests. Nope, no COVID. And then there’s…

  • 18+,  autism,  COVID life,  family,  motherhood,  siblings and autism

    Determined as the Universe

    2021 sure put up a fight before disappearing into history. In fact it was downright argumentative. Pugnacious. Scrappy. It felt like we were battling the 10 plagues of Egypt trying to get my mom home after she came to visit over Christmas. Bitter cold and blizzard winds cancelled my mom’s flight out on December 27. The soonest we could rebook her Denver flight was for New Year’s Eve. The day before her rescheduled flight–out of nowhere–wildfires on the outskirts of Denver ravaged nearby Louisville and Superior with 115 mph winds and an oncoming winter storm. We watched American and United cancel flight after flight to destinations all over the US…

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  • 18+,  IEP,  post high school,  post secondary autism

    A Glossary of Agencies and Services

    Thursday of last week we met J’s case manager at Developmental Disabilities (Human Services, state of North Dakota) for his yearly check in. And as we chatted, I asked his case manager all the questions—again. It’s been about 18 years since I’ve been first introduced to all of the options and programming for individuals with special needs, and it feels like it was much simpler. Most of the programming J received was through the public school system. He was shuffled into early intervention education even before his preschool years, and he’s rode the public school programming all the way up until graduation. After graduation, we’re learning it all over again.…

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  • 18+,  autism,  IEP,  learning strategies,  special education,  strategies

    The Post High School IEP

    A few weeks ago we sat down with J’s new team to discuss his IEP. I had thought long and hard for weeks what we wanted J’s new goals to look like, but I couldn’t come up with anything. For the last 12 years J’s IEP has been some iteration of getting J to stay and focus in a classroom or how to accommodate class and homework assignments. But now J’s classroom no longer looks like an academic one. And to be honest, I’m still learning myself what his new school situation looks like, and to be honest, I’m kind of IEPed out. I’m all out of ideas. We were…

  • 18+,  autism,  empathy,  middle school,  motherhood,  strategies

    How to help

    In early July, just a day or two after we had gotten back to Fargo from a visit with my mom, J and I were at the 4-way stop on the corner of 25th Ave N and 10th Street N when a car suddenly rear-ended us–twice. Then, just as I looked up in the rearview mirror, the silver sedan gunned it in reverse about half a block. I got out of the car (which probably wasn’t the smartest idea) and started motioning and yelling at the driver to pull over so we could exchange information. I knew in my gut she wasn’t coming back, so I memorized the crap out…

  • 18+,  anxiety,  autism,  home strategies,  strategies

    New Stories

    Confession: I don’t feel qualified to do this kind of parenting. I don’t know if I’ve ever been really qualified to do any kind of parenting–but this phase in life is just strange. I’m not sure how to help J navigate the “neurotypical emerging adult world” because “neurotypical adult world” isn’t made for people who don’t fit the “neurotypical world.” I’ve also been around long enough to know that the “neurotypical world” is kind of a sham: you graduate high school, you go to university, you get a job, you get married, you buy a house, you have kids, you retire. What “neurotypical world” doesn’t tell you is that you…

  • 18+,  autism,  milestones,  post high school


    I thought watching J’s friends go off to college would be the hardest part of the new school year. I’m not saying watching J’s friends spread their wings isn’t hard–it definitely is. Watching J’s emotional ups and downs the half hour before J and C ran their last run together before C went out to college definitely pulled on this momma’s heart strings a bit. J will ask every once in a while when it’s his turn for college and then tells me he wants to go too. When I ask him what his plans are for going to college, J responds a little sadly and very truthfully, “I don’t…