Monthly Archives: April 2020

Normal is Fluid

Conversations About Autism

After sixty plus years of life, I have recently recognized that life is fluid and ever transforming. Throughout my life, my normal has constantly changed.

Maybe this indefiniteness of life goes all the way back to Eden, when the pluck of an apple altered things dramatically for Adam and Eve.

Merriam Webster Dictionary defines the word normal as an adjective, as a noun, and as a geographical name. (Normal, Illinois sounds like a town from a Hallmark movie, don’t you think?)

I’ve considered some changes to “regular patterns” that occur naturally.

A child beginning preschool can be a big event for a family. They settle into a new routine. Schedules are arranged to provide transportation to or from school. Then, the child turns five. Now a bus may pick up the boy or girl to go to kindergarten or maybe before or after school care becomes part of the routine…

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Coming to Terms with Social Distancing

Conversations About Autism

We all experience social distancing differently.

Each person has different emotions. It’s also true for me that my own feelings change from day to day, sometimes from minute to minute.

We have been under stay-at-home orders here for four weeks. In some ways, it seems more like eight weeks or maybe even three months.

This is a partial story of my journey through this period of isolation. It begins with some challenges for me. It ends with today, when I feel in control of whatever aspects of my life I can control. I am feeling grateful instead of fearful.

Years ago, when I read Now Discover Your Strengths and took the accompanying assessment, I was not surprised to discover that my top strength was Learner.

I am always reading and learning. It is not surprising that I turned to reading about the psychological, emotional, and spiritual effects of our current…

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Avoiding Waste During Covid-19

Conversations About Autism

Growing up, I frequently heard such idioms or proverbs as “Waste not, want not” and “Eat all of your food. There are starving people in the world.” As the years went on, these mottos were no longer the standards by which I lived my life.

As I am avoiding stores, I am trying not to make light of those old standards.

I’ve been lucky. I’ve never really wanted for anything. My home is not extremely big, but it is comfortable. I’ve never wanted anything fancier. The same is true of my car. I’ve been able to buy what I need, when I need it.

Because of my compromised immune system, I now avoid going into stores. The last time I went into a store was the crazy morning at the grocery store I describe here. I found myself smack dab in the center of a large crowd. That was…

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Autism Awareness Day 2020

Conversations About Autism

Sneek Peek– Chapter 1

For Autism Awareness Day, I am sharing the introductory narrative to Chapter 1 in my book, Conversations About Autism.

The first chapter is titled Autism Awareness: What do families want you to know?


Autism awareness first requires a little understanding about what autism actually is. Awareness, however, involves so much more than that. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in fifty-nine children has autism. With that many children on the spectrum, every one of us has probably encountered at least one child or adult with autism, whether or not we know it! While you may not have recognized that the behaviors you observed were symptoms of autism, you probably noticed something unique about that person.

An online search of the question, “What is autism?” might be helpful, but some simple background information might be enough to help you…

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