“The Lighter Side of the Spectrum – a Mom’s View” – A Vulnerable Child

When my son Jack was about four years old, I lost him in the mall. I was pulling a sweater on over my clothes to see if it would fit, and in the three seconds it took for me to poke my head through the fabric, he was gone. One minute, he was there, standing right in front of me with his overalls...

“The Lighter Side of the Spectrum – a Mom’s View” – Did You Know?

You may not know this, but a couple of months ago I un-friended you on Facebook. I mean, we weren’t exactly friends in the regular sense. We never met for coffee or talked on the phone or texted each other. We don’t even live in the same state, and I haven’t seen you in over ten...

“The Lighter Side of the Spectrum – a Mom’s View” I Know Why He Has Autism

Hi, my name is Carrie Cariello. I am forty-two years old. I am married to a man named Joe and we have five children. Twelve years ago, I gave birth to a baby boy with a neurological disorder called autism. It impacts the way he eats, sleeps, talks, and thinks. He is considered special needs,...

“The Lighter Side of the Spectrum – a Mom’s View” The Music Within His Body

There’s something on my mind lately; a knot I’ve been trying to untangle. I thought maybe we could talk about it. Stimming. You know, stimming? The way my 12-year old son Jack jumps and hops and grunts at least, oh, I don’t know, fifty times a day? Stimming is short for self-stimulation,...

“The Lighter Side of the Spectrum – a Mom’s View” This Boy Jack

It’s August now. The days are still long and hot and humid, but there is a tinge of autumn in the air, especially at night. Most of you are starting to think about school again. You are reading over your supply list for seventh grade and wondering if your new teacher is nice or strict. I...

“The Lighter Side of the Spectrum – a Mom’s View” Because of You

I almost lost my marriage because of you. It was the year my son named Jack was born, and you were born right along with him. At first, we had no idea. He was just a squirming chubby baby who didn’t sleep too well and hated to be swaddled and cried a little more than we expected. Slowly, you...

“The Lighter Side of the Spectrum – a Mom’s View” Will He Live on His Own?

Rarely a week goes by when I don’t wonder if my son, Jack, will ever be able to live on his own. I mean, that’s what kids do, right? They keep you up at night and drink all your milk and leave their wet, muddy boots all over the kitchen floor and cost you a bajillion dollars and then, at some...

Dear World, From Someone with Autism

Editor’s Note: I wrote this from my son Jack’s perspective, based on conversations and observations of him in Disney and in life.   Dear World,   Last week my family went to Disney. We went to the one in Florida, not California. The one in California is called Disney Land and it...

The Ultimate Question: Would I Change Him?

My kids went back to school this week, and in preparation for my son Jack’s move to 6th grade, I took out the folder. You know, the folder. The one that holds every single piece of paper and prescription and description, dating back to the day he was officially diagnosed in November of 2006....

Who Should Take the Blame for Autism?

Last week, I saw yet another article that claimed to solve the mystery of autism. This time, it was gestational diabetes in the mother. It’s always something, isn’t it? Either autism is because of advanced paternal or maternal age, or the dot-com era, or people who eat gluten. the article...