Archive for the ‘Personal Stories’ Category

Making It Through Loss and Pain When You Have Autism Is a Challenge

I am writing this piece to let any autistic individuals know that, when life throws challenges, you can make it through the pain. You may hurt, feel like your life has turned upside down, and you may feel lost. Taking on painful challenges can make you stronger. Individuals with autism can conquer...

The Regular Tiger: A Father Deals With His Son’s Obsessions

A little past 10 on a Tuesday night my 16-year-old son Alex jackknifes up in his bed, throws down his blanket, looks at me, raises his arm and moans, “Tiger.” “I don’t have it, Alex. Did you have it in here?” Does he mean the $5, four-inch tiger or the $4, four-inch one with his...

Remember the Kayak

Carrie Cariello and her husband, Joe, live in New Hampshire. The have five children; four boys and one girl. Their second son, Jack, has autism. (No, their daughter, Rose, is not the youngest. The youngest is Henry, a child born nine months after the urologist canceled Joe’s...

Epic Scenes from a Barbershop

Yesterday afternoon I poked my head into the family room where Jack, Charlie, and Henry were sprawled watching Scooby Doo, and announced we were going for haircuts. “No!” they shouted in unison. “No haircuts!” I told them we’d stop at the school book fair first, and jollied them out...

What is Normal?

Nearly every day someone asks me something like, “When did you know that Jack wasn’t normal?” And then they stop themselves, stammer a bit, and apologize for saying normal. Their faces turn all red and they look away and stare at their feet. “I mean, you know, what’s normal, there is no...

What Color is Monday?

“What color do you see for Monday?” my son Jack asked as I heaved a chicken into the oven. “What?” I said distractedly, turning from the oven to slice some potatoes at the counter. It was late afternoon one day last fall, and I was preparing dinner and managing the demands of homework...

The Lighter Side of the Spectrum – A Mother’s View Dear President

Dear Mr. President,   My name is Jack and I am eight years old. I love cars, license plates, and radios. My mother says I’m obsessed with these things. All I know is I like to ask every single person I meet what kind of car they drive and how many radios they have. I hear my mother...

Jack’s Birthday

Every year I write each of my children a letter on their birthday and keep it in a small journal. These letters describe the person they are at that particular age; their likes and dislikes, favorite activities, and overall temperament. This letter is to my autistic son, Jack, as he celebrates his...

The Lighter Side of the Spectrum: A Mom’s View – Our Story

People often ask me how I knew something was wrong with Jack, and how old he was when we noticed warning signs. Obviously autism unfolds differently for each individual; some demonstrate symptoms very early on, while others grow and interact normally until a particular age and then they seemingly...

The Lighter Side of the Spectrum: A Mom’s View – Angels

As a mother of an autistic boy, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet all kinds of extraordinary people who have touched our lives. In addition to the beautiful network of supportive teachers, family, and friends, I’ve encountered many people – sometimes strangers – who share their compassion...