Moms write book about autism with humor and wisdom

Two mothers with four autistic children between them have written a book on the humorous side of parenting a child with autism. Sandy Hallett and Nikki Wisor’s How our Children With Autism Raised Us As Parents; The Ninety-Nine Jobs Needed to Raise Kids With Autism includes 99 jobs a parent needs – two of the jobs are barber and plumber!

Raising children with autism can be challenging, but a local woman teamed up with a friend to write a book that is helping parents worldwide.

So far the book has been sold to people on three continents. Sandy Hallett and her husband live in Seneca County. They have a nine year old son with autism. Her best friend has three children with autism and together they’ve written a humorous account of their lives with the kids.

It’s called How Our Children with Autism Raised us as Parents; The 99 jobs needed to raise children with autism.

via Local mom teams with friend; writes book on autism |

Down syndrome mom answers questions

In an effort to raise awareness and understanding of Down syndrome, Krista answered some questions about Down syndrome for visitors to her blog, One Beautiful Life. We will share two here and suggest you follow the link to her blog to see her other thoughtful answers. (We love her answer on how to explain Down syndrome to children.)

Claire asked: I guess what I want to ask is, how can I (and my family) support you and other families that have a child with DS? What can we do to help? How can we get involved in raising awareness?

And then Christine asked: What can we do to support families who have someone with DS? And are there unintentional things we might ask or say that are offensive or unsupportive?

Okay Claire and Christine, I am going to let you in on a little DS secret. When somebody says to me, “Oh, I knew someone with Down Syndrome and they were just so sweet and joyful.” (and it happens often) I diplomatically smile and nod but really I want to say, “That may or may not be true and quite frankly, I have bigger plans for my daughter than being sweet- that’s what tootsies rolls are for.” So how can you help? Treat people with DS with all the same respect and intellect that you would treat anyone else. They all may appear to have the same cover, but the book contents are completely different. Did you know that some individuals with DS are married, have jobs and live completely independent lives? Practically speaking, if you know a family with a child with DS, rest and understanding is huge. We are investing 24/7 like other parents but in much more intentional ways – surgeries, therapy, exercises, speech, ot, physio, the list goes on. Those around us need to know it is a major part of our lives and it isn’t going away so we need to talk about it….a lot and we need time to rest.

Financially speaking there are many ways. The CDSS acts as Canada’s number one voice for individuals with DS. They fight for inclusion, equal opportunities and advocacy. Local organizations like Ups and Downs, provide community and education to families in their areas, and an organization like PREP focuses on education, speech and occupational therapy for kids with DS. All of which need financial support. Another way, is Reece’s Rainbow. DS kids need families to love them! And give them the support they need, but most of these kids are institutionalized by the age of 4. You can sponsor a child, which adds to the grant available to the parents that adopt them. See their Angel Tree on the side of my blog.

via One Beautiful Life: Answers.

Mothers of children with autism pay price in workplace

VANCOUVER, Wash.—Mothers of children with autism see their careers disproportionally affected as they confront greater demands on their time, inflexible workplaces and increased medical costs, according to a new study by researchers at Washington State University Vancouver.

The study, based on a survey of 326 families in Washington and Oregon, found that slightly more than half the women worked fewer hours to accommodate the needs of their child and three out of five had not taken a job because of their child’s autism. To care for the child, one-quarter had taken a leave of absence and nearly as many had not taken a promotion. Nearly 60 percent had suffered financial problems in the past year.

via WSU researchers find mothers of children with autism pay price in workplace.

A mother gives roots, wings to an autistic son

A Mother’s Day commentary by William C. Kashatus for The Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre, Penn. Kashatus and his wife, Jackie, have three sons, including one with autism.

On Mother’s Day it is important to remember the women who have given us “roots” and “wings.” The “roots” come from the protective and loving environment a mother nurtures in the home so that her children will one day have the “wings” to set out on their own.

Of all the mothers we celebrate today, those with autistic children are among the most special because they are blessed with a remarkable reserve of selflessness. I know this from personal experience, since my wife, Jackie, is one of those special mothers. We are the parents of three sons: two teenagers and an autistic 9-year-old, named Ben.

via A mother gives roots, wings to an autistic son Commentary William C. Kashatus | The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Parenting an Autistic Adult

When we talk about autism (which we are doing often during Autism Awareness Month), we tend to talk about children and ways that their parents can help. But children grow, and the parents of autistic children become parents of autistic adults, a role that is less defined and less discussed. In a guest blog today, Laura Shumaker, author of “A Regular Guy:Growing Up With Autism,” describes one weekend with her grown son Matthew, navigating the changing rules one interaction at a time.

via Parenting an Autistic Adult – Motherlode Blog –

A possible early glimpse of autism’s impact on older siblings

Researchers looking at families with an autistic child say they don’t yet know whether the impacts are the result of having an autistic child in the family or if they might be part of a broader genetic predisposition.

A new study suggests a trend toward developing hyperactivity among typically developing elementary-school-aged siblings of autistic preschoolers and supports the notion that mothers of young, autistic children experience more depression and stress than mothers with typically developing children.

While the impact on older siblings was not statistically significant, the trend may indicate the presence of symptoms associated with broader observable autism characteristics seen in previous studies, says Laura Lee McIntyre, a professor and director of the University of Oregon’s school psychology program.The study was published in the March issue of the journal Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities.

Previous research projects have netted mixed findings, but many suggest that families dealing with autism — especially brothers and sisters of an autistic child — also experience symptoms similar to autism: widespread abnormalities of social interactions, communication and behavior.

via A possible early glimpse of autism’s impact on older siblings.

Mothers and children with Down syndrome photo slideshow

The Mommy Life blogger Barbara (a Montessori teacher and mother of 12) has a nice slideshow of photos of moms and their children with Down syndrome. As of this posting, there were 110 very sweet photos – click on the link and check it out!

On Mothers Day 2007, I published a photo album of pictures of mothers with children with Down syndrome.

They say every picture tells a story, and I figured these pictures would tell the story better than the thousands of words I’ve written in an effort to eliminate the fear of Down syndrome and to share the joy and love these special individuals bring to the lives of their families and their communities.

via Mommy Life: Photos: Mothers and children with Down syndrome.