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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Writer/Curator/Founder of The Autism Acceptance Project. Contributing Author to Between Interruptions: Thirty Women Tell the Truth About Motherhood, and Concepts of Normality by Wendy Lawson, and soon to be published Gravity Pulls You In. Writing my own book. Lecturer on autism and the media and parenting. Current graduate student Critical Disability Studies and most importantly, mother of Adam -- a new and emerging writer.

“There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope.” -- Baruch Spinoza

Thursday, January 31, 2008


What A Difference A Year Makes

Adam in summer 2007

Adam admiring a boat December 2007

Adam swimming with life jacket early summer 2007

Adam swimming without life jacket end of 2007.

What have you learned in a year? What has happened in a year?

It's what I come to think of when I look at recent photos of Adam and realize that nearly 6 years have gone by since his birth, a little more than four since he was diagnosed with autism.

I have had a lot to learn and a lot to say since then. It's exciting to feel as at home and at peace with life as we know it, and I often think about those early days (maybe some of you are experiencing them right now), when we possessed a lot of fear and our days were obsessed with trying to make Adam less autistic.

Long gone are those days useless days of fear as he succeeds as an autistic person. I can't say I'm a proud autistic person, but I'm certainly the proud mom of one.

Anyone want to write about what a difference a year has made for you?


Blogger Casdok said...

Lovely photos. Such a lot can happen in a year, and does.
I am also a proud mum :)

11:51 AM  
Blogger Club 166 said...

Two years ago we had to withdraw Buddy Boy out of school before they expelled him for "behaviors".

One year ago we were finishing a long year of legal wrangling, and had secured a suitable school placement for him. The year went OK, but both the school and we were "on edge" for much of the year, with us struggling to get them to see the positives.

This year has been our best yet. Buddy Boy is mostly included in a typical classroom with appropriate support. He has the best teacher in the whole school, who loves him. And he is thriving.


12:15 PM  
Blogger S said...

Toiletting, toiletting and more toiletting..... my 6yr old will tell you that he spends WAY too much time on the toilet... and he's right.

We now have regular success at home and at school. We are hoping to extend it to public settings.

It is all routine. He cannot tell us he has to go.

A year ago... we had no success.

A year ago... he could barely communicate using pecs. Now he reads, spells, does math with counters but is learning to use numbers, speaks without the pecs for his daily needs...

What a difference a year makes.

Sheri - fw2

1:07 PM  
Blogger kyra said...

such beautiful photos! that adam is beautiful!

i love the topic. i have a lot of looking back and forward to do. fluffy turns 7 in two days. but most of all, i like looking at right here. right now!

3:57 PM  
Blogger r.b. said...

Thank you for bringing up the fear from the old days...if there is anything I regret, it's that. But how do you tell a young mother that???? I suppose we all go through it.

I don't know...I'd have to think of the year thing. I know EVERY DAY gets better, our relationship gets sweeter, and I love Ben more unconditionally. Even with all the mistakes I've made, at 14, he is a damn good kid.

Okay, I've got it. His feet went from a size 10 to a size 12; his hands are huge, rather than the same size as mine; and he is TALLER than his Mama.

5:32 PM  
Blogger aspiemom said...

So much has happened in a year. For ME and him.

I found support and cannot believe the difference it made in my life.

He did a piano recital and jumped off a diving board. And played drums w/5th grade band.

So very much has happened!

9:58 PM  
Blogger kristina said...

Lovely and true.

12:59 AM  
Blogger Veiled Glory said...

Yes, what a difference a year makes! This time last year, I thought I was just a lazy, disorganized, late-bloomer with weird interests. Now I know there is reason for all of it: Autism. And I am happy about it!

Years of negativity have rolled off my shoulders and I have renewed hope in my future. Thanks to everyone who works hard for Autism Acceptance!


10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great place to be! Who would have thought what things we have come through in a year. Let's celebrate those moments and reflect upon just "being in the moment", every moment because you don't measure life in coffee spoons.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Navi said...

Great photos.

Tristan still needs a life jacket, he swims like a fish but is too cautious to really relax enough to float on his own... though he did tread water once when jumping in the deep end for the fraction of a second before his father jumped in after him (never seen that man move that fast before)

1:51 PM  
Blogger LAA and Family said...

I think if there is any mark I want to make in the community of parents with autistic children, it is to remove the fear when they first get that diagnosis. It is very discouraging to see and hear that fear so much in "mainstream" media accounts of autism (the talk shows, news headlines, radio ads).

You have inspired a posting for me (coming soon). I just passed my one year anniversary of blogging so talking about where we have come in a year is a very timely topic.

9:43 AM  

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