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Meltdowns and Meltdowns and Meltdowns. Oh my!

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"Welcome to Meltdown City where the screams are loud and it just ain't pretty."

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Last weekend was epic, and not in a good way.
DJ began his series of autism safety swimming classes which he got through a scholarship.
I knew DJ would be ecstatic. So throughout the day, I prepared what I would take with me to keep Chloe (and Adriana) occupied while DJ completes his first lesson.  
The lesson brought about the biggest meltdown from both Chloe and DJ that I have ever experienced in all my time. Granted, they have meltdowns. But...
NOT. 
AT. 
THE. 
SAME. 
TIME. 
(This is where having two autistic children gets tricky).
Silly me.  I thought Chloe would be able to handle the fact that her big brother was frolicking in the water as she sat in the bleachers as a spectator. But as she gazed at that pool water longingly, I knew I was going to be in trouble when she uttered the words, "swimming pool."

Man, that gir…

Happy Autismversary!

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It was a day very similar to this one. Sunny, bright and crisp. I was pregnant with Chloe and my family and I were getting ready to join our neighbors in the backyard for a BBQ. But first a psychologist was going to evaluate DJ to see what was going on with his current developmental state.

4 years ago today, the words that rocked my world were told to me. "Your son is autistic."

I can still feel the pain of that day as if it were yesterday. It's a feeling that never goes away. Like many parents, all of my dreams for DJ flash forwarded and evaporated. I was left with only a darkness.


I remember sending an email to my family to let them know what was going on. And then, that was it.  I shut down.  Danny and I didn't discuss it. We were numb. To this day, I have no idea what he felt and all I could do was cry.

I didn't answer the phone calls from family and I didn't mention it at work.  I didn't know what it meant to now be a special needs family. It was j…

The Today Show experience

When Danny and I were asked to join the Today Show for a segment on autism awareness I thought, "Do I really need to answer that?" But then after I said yes, a panic within me ensued!
I'm no stranger to speaking in public. I've done many presentations, spoken to a room full of people, and built community within schools by speaking publicly. But this was different. This was our life for all the world to see. 
I'm not shy speaking about autism. One of the reasons I educate as many people as I can, is not for me, but for my children. Who among us wouldn't go above and beyond for them?  But lately, I've been feeling down.   We all have guilty feelings when we feel we aren't doing our best but it's just a pestering thought and our own self consciousness that makes us think that way. I knew that going to the show would open up the floodgates to my emotions but how could I say to my children to be fearless, when I was scared to death! But off I went, ch…

Many thanks! Too many to count!

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Being a mom of special needs children comes with great responsibility.  Your whole life changes and you have to relearn to parent if you already have a typically developed child, which in my case, I do!  You enter this pit of despair after the diagnosis and you become suffocated with IEP meetings, new terminologies, and therapists in and out of your life. Most of your personal life has to take a back seat in order for you, as a parent, to fully grasp the situation at hand. You feel like nothing will change, that you'll be unhappy and forever alone.

Thoughts like that could never be more wrong.  The following has shown me that I have an abundance of support from all walks of life and I've been too blind to see it.
In December, Daniel and Chloe participated in a photo shoot for a special needs issue of Parents Magazine that would come out in April 2014.  Like all of the children that participated, there was a chance that they would be on the cover! So, of course, I had to hope f…