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Thursday, April 3, 2014

life with autism

you're going to see a lot of talk about autism around here this month. one of the big parts of autism awareness month is to increase awareness so i'm using this little space to do that.
i don't really know why, but i don't talk about my job a lot. maybe it's because my job is hard to explain and even harder to understand. i'm a child development specialist in early intervention. that means i work with kids from birth-age 3 with developmental delays and disabilities. autism is one of those. 

another day i will talk about autism and the classic characteristics and the fact that it's a spectrum disorder meaning there's a huge range. today i want to give a little glimpse into life with autism.

autism doesn't sleep (often literally. children with autism often have disordered sleep=frequent and lengthy night wakings)
autism is frustrating (kids and parents are both frustrated with lack of communication)
autism is literal and logical
autism is avoidance (of people, of food, of places, etc.)
autism is progress
autism is hope
autism is patience
autism is love

people often tell me my job must be challenging but very rewarding. autism is challenging but so very rewarding. my heart breaks and melts all at the same time. i love my job! i love the children with autism i get to work with. i love their families. they are such a shining example of strength. so for these and so many reasons, i am wearing blue all month, hosting a blue nail polish swap (sign up on instagram), and lighting it up blue.

if you have any questions about autism, feel free to ask.



  1. I think it is awesome that you are so supportive of the cause!! I'll admit that I didn't know much about Autism and Asberger's until I watched Parenthood :P

    1. Amberly, same with me. I didn't know a lot about it until Parenthood, which came out about the same time I started taking my teacher training classes at BYU, which talked a lot about different disorders.
      My mom actually worked at a preschool where half the kids were above-level socially, academically, etc and where "mentors" to the other half who all had certain kinds of challenges, disabilities, or delays.

  2. Oh wow. I had no idea that's what you did for a living. It definitely sounds like a challenging/rewarding type job. Keep it up! Would love to hear more about it. :)

  3. I just had a thought. Are a lot of your readers moms? Maybe they would be interested in you highlighting different developmental milestones every so often with ideas on how to facilitate that skill. As an ex child development specialist (can I still claim that title? All of the info is still in my brain somewhere!) I'm guessing lots of moms would be interested in learning from your amazing knowledge and experience.

  4. I love this. I have several of my students on the spectrum and it is challenging and rewarding to work with them. Right now I have a student we're pretty sure has autism but hasn't been tested or referred so we're working on getting him the support that he needs and it's cool to see how it's helping him already. Go Autism Awareness!


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