When You Need Rainbows and Unicorns

It has been a hard couple of months. My daughter got disappointing results on the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test, despite having been in occupational therapy for four years. According to her most recent scope, she probably has some other food allergies lurking, causing reactions in her GI tract. We're having to go through medical review again so she can continue her immunoglobulin replacement therapy for [...]

The Calm in the Storm

Parenting a child with special needs is drama. Constant, never-ending drama. Occasionally, you’ll get what feels like a break. It’s not the calm after the storm. That indicates that the storm has ended. I guess it’s more like being in the eye of a hurricane, when everything is calm and still, but only briefly, before the storm rages all around you again. You can look [...]

Two Generation of Autism – Similarities and Differences

Someone once asked me to define the similarities and differences between the Hubs and our 7yo. On the surface, the differences are huge- due to the fact that one has 25+ years of trying to fit in socially and being (seriously. lack of better term) beaten into social submission. So I wrote a ginormous list, but only chose a few to share with you since [...]

The-More-Than-Valentine's-Day- Valentine

If you are like me, you woke up the day or two after Christmas deciding you needed to run to the store for something but when you enter the store, instead of being greeted by red and green and a major amount of glitter, you are greeted with RED, WHITE and PINK! Yes, in the mere 48 hours that it takes most of us to rejoin the [...]

An Interview with a Parent Navigating Two Generations of Autism

If you missed last month’s post in this series, you can click here, or join me for a short recap: • An Interview with a parent navigating Two Generations of Autism, Michelle Christiansen. So, what’s like living with two generations of Autism? Um… it’s not easy, that’s for sure. But it’s our life. Slowly, gradually, we’ve adjusted and it seems like we’re constantly adjusting, but [...]

Mom Guilt Moment

I experienced a huge “mom-guilt trip” the other day. Our 7yo (Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism Spectrum) (J) and 5yo(A) both had a field trip to a community theater production. At the same time. On the same day. Hubs couldn’t chaperone, but I could, so I did. And I went A’s Kindergarten class, instead of our son’s first grade class(even though he sometimes needs some [...]

Two Generations of Autism – The Beginning

The Beginning of a new Writing Series on Special Happens.... I am Michelle. I started blogging with Special Happens as a form of therapy for myself-discovering how to cope and raise a child on the autism spectrum.  I believe in sharing stories, circumstances and how we handled them with each other-because we all have something to learn from each other. I also believe that no [...]

Employers and Special Needs Families

Every parent who works outside the home knows the challenges they face when their child wakes up sick on a scheduled work day.  A 2012 study by the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital found that 50% of parents with children under the age of 6 reported difficulty making arrangements other than missing work when their child was ill.  In addition to the challenges [...]

By | 2013-10-16T09:00:01+00:00 October 16th, 2013|Categories: Family, Parenting|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Turning Off the Blue Light for Alex Spourdalakis

In recent years the diagnosis of autism has skyrocketed.  Children range from mildly effected with some stimming, sensory over load and issues in the area of speech and communication.  This level earned the name pervasive developmental disorder, kind of a mild touch of autism if you will. There is a middle ground, and then there is what the rest of us know as autism, a [...]

Misunderstood – When Child Protective Services is Called

My phone rang late one afternoon, the voice on the other end breathless and worried, “Cheryl I need you to come talk to the police, they are calling CPS on Kate again, some neighbor saw Mark outside without any pants on. I just pulled up in my driveway and saw the cops in here, can you come quickly? Thanks.”  The phone went dead before I [...]

Special Mom's on Mother's Day

They love unconditionally, they encourage, support and guide us through life and are always there to pick us up when we fall, or to wipe away tears when that boy or girl breaks our hearts for the first time.  Mothers of children with special needs and all moms are inspirational; they are fighters, they are warriors, and sometimes they have to show just how warrior [...]

By | 2013-05-11T09:00:19+00:00 May 11th, 2013|Categories: Family, Holidays, Parenting, Relationships|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Today I am a Special Needs Mother, and It's Hard

For the record, I consider myself just a Mom.  I don't look at my situation with John and say, "I am a special needs Mom."  Handicapped? no, my son is not handicapped, that title is reserved for individuals in much worse mental and physical shape than John.  Today, however reality slapped me in the face, yes I am a special needs Mother, like it or [...]

Autism – A Need-To-Know Basis?

I am surprised by the number of parents who ask me if it is wise to tell their children that they have autism or should they wait until the child is older, like in high school to tell them. I think one of the main reasons this question even comes up is because of a parent's concern that the child will feel more out-casted bearing [...]

By | 2013-05-09T09:00:18+00:00 May 9th, 2013|Categories: Autism / Asperger’s, Family, Medical / Therapies, Parenting, Relationships|2 Comments

I (Nearly) Missed The Most Normal Special Need Ever

When raising a child with multiple special needs, we'd all like to think we're observant parents. But I've found that while managing high-intensity conditions in my kids, it's easy to miss the most "normal" childhood issues. In the wake of bipolar meltdowns, panic attacks, sensory processing challenges and behaviors driven by Reactive Attachment Disorder, I've missed a few doosies over the years: Seasonal allergies. My [...]

A View in the Mirror : I Covet Your Child

It is so much easier for me to look back at where we have been in life, than to live it the first twenty years.  Back then there were minutes I did not think we would survive one more day.  I would worry about teen years and young adulthood, unsure of what lie ahead and what we would face.  I can smile now when I [...]

By | 2013-04-30T09:00:15+00:00 April 30th, 2013|Categories: A View in the Mirror, Family, Parenting, Relationships, Series|Tags: |0 Comments

A View in the Mirror: Posted Property and My Heart Too

For as long as I have lived in my current home, I have had the privilege to walk, roam, explore and enjoy acres of woods all around me.  I have fond memories of my boys and long winding walks along the ravine, near ponds and in the middle of newly cut roads, still little more than wide dirt paths. The woods was always a place [...]

By | 2013-02-28T07:00:39+00:00 February 28th, 2013|Categories: A View in the Mirror, Family, Parenting, Relationships, Series|Tags: , , |2 Comments

A Parent's Guilt Comes With Special Needs

For so long the guilt I felt was an enormous burden that no one could seem to understand. Sometimes I would give it voice, only to have it quickly silenced with words of encouragement and sayings that made sense in the reality of looking at things from a far away place. But always in my head, they lingered, my thought’s whispers that what happened to [...]

By | 2013-02-18T07:00:33+00:00 February 18th, 2013|Categories: Family, Parenting, Relationships|Tags: , , , , , , , , |18 Comments

Relationship Worries With Special Needs and Neurotypical Children

I am the proud mommy of 2 beautiful children—my daughter is a beautiful, outgoing, and smart pre-teen while my son is a gorgeous, smart, and funny 6 year old.  He’s on the spectrum, she’s not.  Being a mommy though trumps the spectrum or having even a neurotypical child in that I have my hopes, dreams, and worries about both of their futures and the relationships [...]

Taking Action and Separating My Boy from Video Games… at least for now

I’m pissed off.  Angry, with a fire lit beneath me.  And it’s my own fault. As parents we make mistakes.  We make choices, calculated guesses after weighing a number of factors, that seem important at the time of the decision.  We live with consequences, secretly crossing our fingers behind our backs hoping what we decided was right.  Well, what I decided was wrong.  And the [...]

By | 2013-01-17T07:00:21+00:00 January 17th, 2013|Categories: Family, Parenting, Siblings|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

You Can't be Martha Stewart in a Duck Dynasty Family

I was young once, I had plans. I knew exactly what my life was going to be like as an adult. I would never wear blue jeans; I would have an endless supply of pumps, smart dresses and pearls.  I would have a hold on each holiday so well that Southern Living would have my phone number on speed dial so they could call me [...]

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