My Dear Friend Jaclynnette: A Tribute

I don’t want to write this. And yet, I must. My heart cries out in longing for the friend I lost. I think to myself that writing about her will help the healing and grieving process. There’s something about expressing everything I feel by translating it into words that somewhat bandages the wounds. But the

Be Brave and Take Family Pictures


I don’t know about you, but my Pinterest feed is currently filled with adorable fall family pictures and ideas for a photo shoot. October and November are great months to grab your camera (or a photographer), coordinate your entire family’s outfits, and plan an afternoon in some quiet location where the visitors are few and

Category: Autism | Tags:

Guilt and Competition


  My son Samuel was diagnosed with autism at 28 months old. He was mostly non-verbal, except for when he scripted his favorite movie lines or spelled out letters he saw on signs. He had no meaningful communication and he screamed a lot. He repeatedly banged his head on the floor when he had meltdowns.

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The Special-Needs Scrim


The sanctuary was dark. The air was thick with grief, tension, and anticipation of what we all knew was coming next. But nothing prepared me for what my eyes were about to behold. I was watching our church’s Easter pageant from the middle of the large auditorium. We had just witnessed the Passion of Jesus

Remembering the Christmas Diagnosis


Seven years ago today, I took Samuel to the Kansas City Regional Center to meet with a psychologist for autism testing “just to rule it out.” Instead, we left with an official diagnosis of moderate/severe classic autism. He was constantly scripting with no meaningful language, playing “inappropriately” with toys (focused on spinning wheels   instead of

Category: Autism | Tags: ,

How Spilled Milk Leads My Son with Autism to the Cross

Sam chocolate milk

We were so close. All that was left was to get his drink before going to bed. Tale as old as time: Brother 1 gets mad at brother 2 and responds inappropriately and unkindly. Mom steps in and deals with each of them, explaining what was wrong, the right that should have been done, and

Category: Autism

She Just Sees Sam

Mom and Sam ice cream1

I was really hopeful after such a great day yesterday. It had been a full Saturday for Sam. He went to a new soccer group (his very first!), got his hair cut, and had an ice cream date with me. It was one thing after another, and that’s a lot to process. He had a

Category: Autism, Grief

Just for Today


Today, my son still has autism. Every day for the rest of his life, he will have autism. But today, or rather right now, I don’t want to dwell on the difficulties autism brings and will bring when he comes home from school at the end of the day. I don’t want to wish autism away,

Category: Autism

On Respite and Guilt

Sam baked cookies!

This past week, Samuel spent a few days at my parents’ house without his brothers. We dropped him off on Wednesday, came back on Saturday for our monthly family dinner, and took him back home with us Saturday night. On Thursday, my oldest son Ben was invited to Six Flags for the day with a

Category: Autism | Tags: ,

Praying Through the Storm of Autism


“Mom, the clouds are dark. I think there’s going to be a tornado.” “No, Sam. There’s no tornado.” “I think the sky is turning green,” he said, his pitch rising, and eyes frantically searching the sky for clues. “I’m afraid there’s going to be a tornado!” “Samuel. Look at my eyes,” I said quietly. “There

Category: Autism, Peace