Ellen the underwear model.

Goodbye Diapers!

Potty training ranks pretty high up on my worst things about being a parent list. Potty training Cooper was a long process that had it’s own set of challenges and by the time we finally got things acceptably under control I was completely and utterly exhausted on the potty training front. Everyone told me girls are so much easier to potty train and several of my friends have little girls that are potty training prodigies so I was really, really hopeful. But alas, the stereotype did not hold true for us. Ellen did not self potty train at 18 months nor did she take to it naturally. Instead we found ourselves with an over three-year-old who seemed she might be in diapers forever. Last summer she expressed some interest in the subject, but anytime I tried to implement any sort of method she’d retreat or worse, fight back. I did my best to play it cool, but we were getting to a point where anytime the word potty was even mentioned in her general vicinity, she would fly into a fit of rage. She expressed absolutely no remorse when she urinated on the floor and no amount of sticker charts or bribery could sway her. We even said we would buy her a cat and while she talked endlessly about how she was going to get one, she seemed unmotivated to actually earn one. I’d pretty much given up, but kept trudging on through the screaming, the puddles, and the heaps of dirty laundry.

Ellen the underwear model.

Ellen the underwear model.

I’ve sort of grown accustomed to slogging through my parenting journey. Rarely do I get sudden flashes of inspiration on how to get my kids to sleep or eat or behave. It isn’t that there hasn’t been miracles, but they’re the slow, almost imperceptible kind. After months of trying to be optimistically patient and tapping everyone under the sun for advice, I finally surrendered myself to the slog of potty training, and stopped thinking about how many weeks or months or years we had left to go. Then last Monday happened. Ellen woke up and when I asked her to go potty she went to the bathroom without a shred of protest. I was flabbergasted to say the least. Nothing had changed in our approach; I was sure it was a fluke. A few hours later, I cautiously asked her if she needed to go potty. I braced myself for her usual tirade, so when she cheerily ran off to the bathroom I had to pinch myself. Then, later that afternoon she found me and said she needed to “poop in the potty” – something she had previously told me, in so many words, would only happen over her dead body. I tried not to get too excited about it as surely she was playing some sort of practical joke (she can be conniving like that), but it has now been more than a week and she has only had one accident! (We’re not counting nights yet, although she has been dry 6 out of 8.) I have no idea what spurred her sudden change of heart and I’m fully aware that she could regress, but I am just so happy for this bit of divine intervention that put a bit of spring back in my parenting step. I literally have thanked God every night for the last week. After five whole years (six years and eight months if you add up the time each of the kids individually spent in diapers) I’m finally able to put my hardworking cloth diapers away.* Hallelujah!

My two big kids taking the horses at the grocery store for a spin.

My two big kids taking the horses at the grocery store for a spin.

*In case you were wondering, according to my calculations I saved anywhere between $2,500-$4,500 on diapers depending on which brand you look at and saved around 17,000 diapers from ending up in the landfill.

Cooper Scissorhands

Ellen’s First Bad Haircut

StylistIt was bound to happen eventually. Cutting another child’s hair (or your own) seems to be a kid rite of passage. I blame the preschool for having that beauty salon center that Cooper took such an interest in. The real shocker here though, is that she let him do it. When I passed through the kitchen with the laundry basket and saw Cooper combing Ellen’s hair, I stopped in my tracks. Combing Ellen’s hair is always a decision I weigh carefully. Is freshly shampooed good enough for Sunday Best? Does her hair have few enough rat’s nests that no one will call child protective services in concern of negligent parenting? Whenever I attempt to comb her hair she simultaneously screams, writhes, and swats at me, but there she was sitting perfectly still while her brother gently combed her hair. What a tender moment, I thought, and snapped a picture before heading on my way.

Cooper Scissorhands

When I made another pass through the kitchen I wasn’t as awed. Panicked, I dropped the laundry basket and snatched the safety scissors out of Cooper’s hands. I almost cried looking at the precious locks spread woefully across the kitchen floor. I don’t particularly think of myself as being any more vain than the next person, but hair is definitely my weak spot.

Tiny French Braid

Neither of my kids were blessed with lush heads of hair. Cooper was practically bald until he was two and Ellen wasn’t much better off. I’ve had to be patient in the hair department and had finally arrived at the point where I could do things with her hair, even if they only lasted a few minutes.

Cropped

Ellen on the other hand, has no sense of vanity and felt absolutely no mortification. I got out the scissors, did a little snipping to blend in the two cropped spots, and trimmed up the back so it wouldn’t look so freakishly long in comparison. It will be awhile before I get to reattempt any cute hairdos, but it really is just hair. And as a bonus, I’m already used to people telling me I have such handsome boys . . .

"New" guest room.

The Unscheduled Basement Remodel

The day my parents came to visit, I noticed a smell in the basement when I was exercising. At first I couldn’t figure out what was causing the smell. The carpet didn’t feel wet so I opened windows and sprinkled baking soda over the carpet hoping it was just normal basement funk. Later that evening after vacuuming, it still smelled and I asked Noel for a second opinion. He agreed it smelled weird, but also couldn’t detect any wetness in the TV room. He proceeded into the guest bedroom and moved the table that sits under the window. When we saw that the spot the table legs had rested on was damp and moldy our hearts sank. We pulled back the carpet and discovered it had traveled the length of that room, under the wall and into the TV room. The carpet padding (most of it replaced from our 2013 trip to Funky Town) had done a really good job of soaking up the moisture which is why the problem was not immediately obvious. Since we had guests arriving within hours we did what damage control we could and then let the rooms sit torn apart for several days. Leaving the room for awhile actually turned out to be a good thing. The next week was another heavy rain week and we were able to figure out exactly how water was getting into the basement. Honestly, we feel a little bit stupid about the whole thing. As it turns out, the dirt in front of our house isn’t graded terribly well. That in itself is a problem, but we had also dug up some sprinkler lines in preparation for a sprinkler reconfiguration project and piled a bunch of dirt close to the house. The pile was perfectly positioned so that water from an insufficient downspout would hit it, head back towards the house and flood the window well. We were getting so much rain that the water was rising above the windowsills and leaking into the house.The very first thing we did was buy a downspout extender, move the pile of dirt, and regrade the dirt in front of the house. Yet another crazy downpour happened a few days later and the guest bedroom’s window well stayed nice and dry; the water didn’t even come near it. (The window well outside my sewing room, the other room that flooded in 2013, didn’t stay nice and dry, but I was vigilant and spent a clothes drenching 30 minutes bailing it out and digging trenches with my brother. We may have been soaked, but the sewing room stayed nice and dry.) 

The water path.

The wall all patched. My only regret was not taking a photo of the huge bubbles that bulged in the paint during our period of observation.

Once the mitigation had been taken care of, we turned to the damage itself. Even though we feel a bit sheepish about the whole thing, we’re pretty sure this has been happening for years and long before we were the homeowners since there were a few areas in the basement that had been touched up with bad paint color matches that align perfectly with the path of the water damage.

Goodbye Wood Paneling!As we inspected the damage, we became worried about the bottom of the wall that bordered the guest room and the TV room. Even though we didn’t really want to, we felt like we needed to pull the wood paneling off the wall in the TV room to check on the sheet rock. It added a lot more work, but we’re glad we did as the bottom of the wall was pretty saturated and not in great shape.

Cut out the damage. We opted to just cut out the bottom of the wall and replace it instead of replacing the whole wall. It did leave a detectable seam, but because one side was in a closet and the other is behind the treadmill we decided it was okay, at least for now.

Stretch that carpet.Once we’d taken care of all the structural stuff we started on the cosmetics. My brother and I laid the new carpet padding and then he and Noel re-stretched the carpet. (The carpet didn’t get too wet and dried out decently, so we didn’t feel an urgent need to replace it.) Luckily, Noel has a co-worker who is a slum landlord and let us borrow his carpet stretcher so we were able to save a little bit of money from bleeding out of our emergency fund.

PrimingThe final step of this project was painting. We considered paint matching the room for a minute, but ultimately decided to repaint it in a lighter color. (The subpar paint job and the nice touch the previous owners had added of painting over the outlet covers was also motivation.) We’ve lived in our house for four years now and this was the first room that we’ve painted. We were really impressed with Lowe’s paint matching technology to get us a color that matched the walls in the TV room, but were not as impressed with our paint matching ability when we tried to match the white trim with some cans of paint we inherited with the house. We tried every white and would think we had a match, but by the time the paint dried it was obvious the paint wasn’t actually a match. In the end, I just repainted all of the trim.

TV Room

The wall in the TV room post “remodel.”

"New" guest room.

Finished guest room.

Everything is put back together and functional again.The carpet has also been cleaned thanks to a friend who let me borrow her steam cleaner. We had everything up and ready for business by the time Vanessa Joy and Chris (Noel’s sister and her husband) came to visit over the Memorial Day weekend. You can see some “before” pics from this post, although I wish I had more that showed you all of the little details we upgraded like getting a cover for the cable wire that used to just snake into the room or installing curtain rods instead of literally stringing the curtains up with push pins. And please do laugh at the lawn chairs in the old basement tour, I did. In case you were wondering, we now have a real couch (secondhand of course) down there.

The aftermath of that storm. This one had Mitchell and I bailing out the window well of my sewing room. Thankfully nothing penetrated the house.

Please Don’t Take My Sunshine Away

This last month has been a time of almost constant rain. A desert girl at heart, I generally love rain. Growing up rain was novel and needed; any time it happened was a time to rejoice. At first I did just that. I reveled in the smell of rain and introduced my children to the beautiful sport of puddle jumping. As the weeks went on though, the skies grew darker, the sunny days turned into moments, the basement flooded, my four-year-old Target rain boots failed the waterproof test, and we floundered to know what to do indoors with a string of visitors. Every morning Noel and I would wake up, look out the window and beg the skies to “STOP raining!” Then we’d check the forecast and try not to cry when rain clouds paraded into the foreseeable future. We trudged on, checking the basement window wells to make sure they were dry, subduing our fears of dying in a hydroplaning car accident (maybe that was just me), watching the hourly forecast for an opportunity to dash out and mow the two foot tall lawn, and taking turns slogging through the rain on miserable runs that did little to rejuvenate the soul.

I generally consider myself to be slightly on the optimistic side of realistic, but I was beginning to feel genuinely blue. After a solid week of scattered showers with the occasional torrential downpour to spice things up, a literal ray of sunshine peaked out from behind the clouds. The kids ran outside to play and Noel and I sat in lawn chairs on the porch soaking up the sun Wall-E style. The sun only stayed for a half hour that evening and it would be a couple more days before the sun came out like that again, but it was enough to remind me that life wasn’t so bad and the skies won’t always be gray. The rain has finally eased up. The trails are passable enough for morning runs and we’re able to work in the yard without sinking into a mud bog. Despite what an unhappy month it was for me, I really am grateful for the rain – for how green it has made everything and for how much more I appreciate the sunshine.

This should be our purpose—to persevere and endure . . . as we make our way through sunshine and sorrow. Were it not for challenges to overcome and problems to solve, we would remain much as we are, with little or no progress.

– Thomas S. Monson “I Will Not Fail Thee, Nor Forsake Thee

Also, I have decided a move to Seattle might not be in my best interest. For those that were missing us, here is a gallery of photos that should catch you up on all our adventures this last month.

 

Chocolate with sprinkles!

Golden Birthday

I get pretty excited about birthdays, but especially excited about birthdays with special dates like a golden birthday or the time Noel had a birthday on 12/12/12. Needless to say, I’ve been looking forward to Cooper’s fifth day, probably since the day he was born. This is also the first year that Cooper has anticipated his birthday. Ever since Ellen’s birthday whenever the subject of birthdays comes up he would tell us, “My birthday’s next!” The Sunday before his birthday they sang to him at church and gave him a little gift. When we picked him up he beamed, held up all five fingers, and whispered “I’m five!” When I broke the news to him that it wasn’t actually his birthday he was pretty upset, but then when I showed him the calendar and talked about the next couple of days of birthday fun he brightened up.

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About a year ago I learned that the fire stations in our district do free tours if scheduled four weeks in advance and I put a reminder on my calendar to call and schedule the tour a month before Cooper’s birthday. Once the date was set I prayed there wouldn’t be a fire since fires would take precedence over the tour. (Then I felt bad and prayed no one would have to be involved with a fire as it seemed less selfish . . . ) We invited a handful of friends from church and preschool and started the party at the fire station. The firefighter that led our tour was really great with the kids. We had one of those small world moments when he noticed Cooper was wearing a CTR ring and told us that he too was LDS and used to attend meetings at our building when he lived in the area. After the boys had their fill of hoses and trucks, we headed back to our place for lunch. I let Cooper choose the menu and we ended up having Mac n’ Cheese and Churro Cupcakes.

The day after the party was Cooper’s actual birthday.

CincoHe woke up early and perched on top of the couch grinning over his presents, waiting for Noel to get back from a run so he could open them. Our schedule was pretty normal (school and speech therapy), but he was excited to take fruit kabobs to school, show off some of his new toys to his therapist, and have a “special” lunch at Costco.

That night we finished our fiesta with fish tacos and chocolate tres leches cake. I thought for sure he’d be completely worn out from all the excitement, but about an hour after bedtime I heard Woody announce, “There’s a snake in my boots!” and went into his room to find him huddled under the covers with several of his new toys.

Tres LechesBecause we hadn’t done enough celebrating, I took him to the zoo the next day where he got his free birthday ice cream cone and ride on the carousel. I was kind of glad when the birthday celebrations were finally over, but I really did love what a kick Cooper got out of everything. Even though mothering him sometimes stresses me out or makes me emotional, I’m truly blessed to be his mother.

Best Buds

A Little Boy’s Dream

All Aboard

My parents visited for a few days last week. Both of the kids loved having grandma and grandpa around, but I think their visit was especially heavenly for Cooper because we did so many of his favorite things.

Little Hiker

Posing for my mom.

They “chased” clouds and ended up hiking all the way to the top of the mesa near our house.

Grandpa kindly hauled Ellen around when she reached her limit. We’re working on increasing that limit . . .

Hammond's Tour

We toured Hammond’s Candy Factory and ate a bunch of reject candy.

Lightrail

Can you tell he’s excited?

Then on their last day we pulled out all the stops. We took the light rail into Denver. 2015-04-25 12.25.10Then we took a bus to the Denver Firefighter’s Museum where Cooper got to pretend to be a firefighter.

Driving the TruckHiking, touring a candy factory, riding on trains and buses, and dressing up like a firefighter – all with grandma and grandpa! I’m not really sure that kind of excitement can be topped.

Best Buds

While they visited, my mom also snapped some photos of us, which the kids did NOT categorize as fun. However, my mom’s skill transcended the bad moods to catch some really nice images. Funky Town Take 2

The only bad thing about their visit was that a few hours before they arrived we discovered that all the rain we’d been getting had taken our basement on another trip to Funkytown and the guest bedroom was not habitable. The kids however, were not sad at all that grandma and grandpa had to sleep in the living room as it made it easier to jump on them first thing in the morning. Thanks for visiting mom and dad!

cooper

A letter to My Firstborn

A few days before you were born.

The day before you were born.

When I went into labor with you I was completely at peace. Yes, you were technically preterm and yes, I’d never been through labor and knew considerably little about motherhood, but deep down in my budding momma heart I just knew that everything was going to be okay. I didn’t rush to the hospital or even wake your dad, but just spent a few quiet hours with you in the pre-dawn. The two of us peacefully laboring together before all the hubbub began. Today, even though I’m constantly trying to figure out ways to strengthen your perceived weaknesses in communication, I realize what a gift it is that the two of us can just sit and be. Words may never be your forte, but there is strength in quiet. As Susan Cain says, “There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”

Holding you for the first time.

Holding you for the first time.

You were so excited to come into this world, racing in weeks before your due date with a labor much quicker than most women’s first, but then at the last second it was like you panicked. All the Hippie books I’d read hinted at magical slip n’ slide birth moments, but with you it was two exhausting hours of sheer force exertion on my part before you finally made your appearance – your brand new head all scraped and bruised from our struggle. Five years later, you and I still have these moments where you freeze and I push you out into the world, but I’m learning to prod more gently and be more patient. It’s less agonizing for both of us.

Smitten

Your Grandma Cindy did a great job of photographing you, but if you look close you can see the scab and bruise on your head.

They didn’t let me hold you immediately because your premature nature posed risks to your health. I waited anxiously until the doctors determined what I already knew: that you were perfect. When they placed you tenderly into my arms your dad and I looked at each other, happy tears welling in our eyes, and felt more complete than we’d ever felt before.

grad family

Your timing was terrible. Your dad missed a final to be my side as we welcomed you into the world and you and I succumbed to a state of delirious exhaustion instead of attending his graduation. But what we didn’t realize at first, was that your timing was also perfect. Retrospect shows how family visits, job interviews, and a big move all fit perfectly into place around your little puzzle piece. You taught us, and are continually teaching us, that things don’t always happen the way you hope, but they happen in ways that are better for you in the long run.

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I was so worried about having a boy and what sort of roughness that would introduce into my life, but you’ve always had the sweetest spirit about you. You were the first child, grandchild, and nephew and you softened all of us. Your aunts, who didn’t particularly care for children, and your angsty teenage uncles all held you in gentle awe. Even my dad, your grandpa, the man who schooled me in the art of sarcasm, melted into a puddle of coochy coos at the sight of you. Everyone that meets you remarks on this gentle quality you have. It’s possibly one of your biggest vulnerabilities, but I also think it’s one of your biggest strengths.

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Now you are almost five. A full-fledged kid headed to kindergarten in the fall. I worry about you more than you will probably ever know. I worry that I’m not doing enough for you or that I’ve turned you into a science project with therapists for friends. I worry about whether other kids will be nice to you and how you’ll do in school. When I spiral into these worry cycles I’m overlooking something very important: how strong you are in your gentle way. Instead, I should think back on the day you were born and remember what I knew from the beginning, that in your own way, you are perfect and everything is going to be okay. I promise to try and remember that more often.

audrey3

Love,
Mom

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Easter 2015

We’ve had some pretty exciting Easters, and while this one definitely wouldn’t fall into that category, it was nice to have a low-key Easter this year.

Easter Buckets

On Easter morning, the kids came out to find their Easter buckets (yes, buckets). They were excited to get warm weather pajamas, a special gift (a book for Cooper and Hello Kitty silverware for Ellen) as well as a somewhat spiritual movie (and personal favorite) The Prince of Egypt.

Bucket Buddies

Cooper giving Ellen one of her eggs.

After reading the Easter story in their picture scriptures and eating a wholesome breakfast, we let them go hunt for eggs in the backyard. We put two different kinds of stickers on the eggs with one assigned to each of them, so they’d find an equal number of eggs. They were really good about only taking the eggs that belonged to them.

Bad squirrels The squirrels, however, were not good at this. We’d hidden the eggs about an hour before the kids started looking for them and the squirrels got into four of them. Everyone thinks they’re cute, but trust me, they’re really evil. Fortunately, most of the candy was stuff we’d reused from our church’s egg hunt and most of my homemade peanut butter cups were safely in the fridge.

After the kids each ate a few pieces of candy, it was time to watch General Conference.

2015-04-05 10.00.57The kids obviously didn’t have the attention span to watch all of the sessions in their entirety, but they did enjoy the music and they got excited when President Monson spoke.

2015-04-05 13.29.34In between sessions we had a picnic in the backyard and relaxed elbowed each other in the hammock.

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After all the sessions were over, we had a lovely ham dinner with shredded potato casserole, roasted carrots, and pound cake for dessert.

P4050062After dinner the kids tried to catch rabbits until we made them take baths and go to bed. (Much to the bunnies relief.) It was a rejuvenating weekend on all fronts.

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Nutella consumption linked with autism

autism_nutellaAfter an exhaustive meta analysis of many factors that could potentially be causing the spike in Autism rates in recent years, I have found the one factor that is alarmingly correlated: Nutella consumption. Well, specifically interest in Nutella as evidenced by Google searches, but I think it’s safe to say that increased Google searches of Nutella means increased consumption. My scientifically proven* hypothesis is that increased Nutella consumption during pregnancy causes an excess of sugar and hazelnut compounds in the bloodstream of the mother that pass on to the fetus and alter the chemistry of their developing brain. The full research study, co-authored with Dr. Mr. Andrew Wakefield, will be published soon** in the medical journal The Lancet.

 

*not using the actual scientific method

**not published at all

For actual interesting cutting edge research on autism, see this TED Talk.

 

LIUB_2013_soh

Light It Up Blue 2.0

Autism Speaks Light It Up Blue

It’s World Autism Awareness Day! Here’s an update of our experiences since my light it up blue post last year.

The last year by the numbers:

  • 2,000 miles driven for autism related therapies and appointments
  • 5 therapists worked with
  • 1 autism center quit
  • 2 IEP teams collaborated with
  • 1 therapy graduation (occupational therapy)
  • 1 gajillion forms filled out
  • 6 seasons of Parenthood watched

The past year has been a learning experience. We’ve learned that not all autism centers are created equal and that sometimes driving farther to see a better therapist is worth it. We’ve been touched by friends that volunteered their time to watch our kids so we could attend various meetings and classes. We’ve been grateful for good insurance and that we live in a state that has health insurance mandated autism treatment. We are slowly building our “village.”

National Autism Awareness

To many outsiders, we seem like a completely normal family since right now Cooper is often able to hide behind shyness and being young. When I tell people he as an ASD diagnosis half the people are surprised while the other half realize that was the thing they couldn’t quite put their finger on. We aren’t completely sure whether it will become more or less obvious that he’s on the spectrum as he gets older – only time will tell. Often, even we go long stretches where we forget he has a diagnosis, but it always has a way of sneaking up and slapping us in the face. Sometimes it happens when someone mistakes him for a younger child or when a friend posts about the hilarious thing their kid just did. And often it happens when I pick him up from preschool and other kids excitedly spout off paragraphs about what they did as I ask Cooper simple questions based off the cheat sheet his teachers give me every day. In those instances, it’s so easy to get discouraged and forget how much progress he’s made.

Probably one of the hardest moments of the year was when Cooper participated in his first Primary program. It’s one of the best Sundays of the year where the kids provide all the talks and music for our main church meeting. We knew this would be a challenge and were nervous about him being on display for everyone, but were optimistic. Cooper is familiar with many of the people in our church community and the Primary president, a family friend, would be helping him with his part so we really thought we might be able to pull it off. We practiced the part at home and Noel attended the two rehearsals. Additionally, we took him to the church when no one was there and let him practice talking into the microphone and saying his part to an empty room. When the big day came, we held our breath. Every kid (including the ones his age) said their part in the microphone and sang songs in the funny way kids do. Their parents beamed. When Cooper stepped up to the microphone he just stood there stiffly with a goofy grin on his face and scrunched up eyes. When they sang, he flapped his arms, picked his nose, and stared into space. Afterwards, people told me, “It was so cute the way he waved his arms up there!” “He’s shy, but with more practice he’ll get it!” They were all well meaning. I did my best to smile and not cry or yell, “You know he has autism, right?!?!” It could have been worse, it really could have, but still our heart ached that we couldn’t just blend in. And the hardest part?  He knows every word to those songs and probably had his part memorized.

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The kids have no idea what autism is or that Cooper has an ASD diagnosis. Right now, Cooper just thinks he has special adult friends with cool toys. Honestly, Ellen will probably figure it out before he does. One time when I took Cooper to speech, Ellen turned to him and said, “I’m going with [the therapist] and you’re going with mom, okay?” I told her that’s not how it works, that we come here for Cooper to see his speech therapist. She seemed fine with the answer, but it’s only a matter of time.

Even though there are hard and frustrating moments, sometimes autism can be funny. Ellen was being particularly saucy one day and I asked her, “Are you being a sassy pants?” She replied with, “I’m not being a sassy pants! Cooper’s a sassy pants!” Cooper, who was flying an airplane around the kitchen, paused, looked down at his pants and then looked at me with a puzzled expression. Clearly, his pants weren’t sassy. Through it all, he’s a genuinely sweet kid that’s actually quite intelligent. It’s just unlocking it that’s sometimes the challenge.

As a parent of a child with ASD, we often feel a huge responsibility. I know every parent worries about doing the right things to help their child succeed, but when you have a kid with a disability it’s so easy to feel that if you don’t try the right diet or therapy or eliminate the right chemicals from your lives, your child, and by extension you, will be a failure. It’s a challenge to figure out the balance of letting Cooper be himself (and being okay with it) and getting him the help he needs to thrive in this world. We have the luxury of his autism not being incredibly obvious, but with that comes the burden of figuring out how to share this fact with others. I personally struggle to know how and when to mention his autism, not because I’m embarrassed, but because on some level I feel like I’m betraying him, but at the same time I feel like I’m betraying him if I’m not open about it. I just don’t want the subject of autism to be his awkward life-long icebreaker; I want people to see him as Cooper first and foremost.

LIUB

Autism is a hot topic right now. While in some ways I’m glad it’s getting attention, sometimes the theories get tiring. As a parent of an ASD kid it can be frustrating to see your child turned into a statistic that gets thrown around whether it’s in scientific studies or stupid articles people share on Facebook. The next time you read an article about autism, just take a second to remember that people stand behind those numbers and that correlation doesn’t always equal causation. (Honestly, this is good practice for most statistics.) I don’t claim to be an autism expert, there’s a lot I’m still learning, but if you ever have a question I’d love for you to ask. Really.

They have a saying in the autism community that “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” Our experience is ours only. Some experiences are harder, some are easier, but for most of us, it’s a crazy combination of hard and easy.

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