Into the Woods Living Deliberately

just notes from jennyalice

Jennifer Byde Myers

Jennifer Byde Myers
SF Bay Area, California, US
February 03
Jennifer Byde Myers is a writer, editor and parent of a child with autism. She has been writing since 2003 at, chronicling her family’s journey from diagnosis to daily living with her son’s special needs. She is a founder and editor of The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism. Her writing has been featured at, Dandelion, and in several books including My Baby Rides the Short Bus. Jennifer has been interviewed on NPR, most recently on Forum with Michael Krasny, and is a Must-Read Mom. She lives on the San Francisco peninsula with her supportive husband, two wily children and a dog named Gus. Follow her on Twitter at @jennyalice



APRIL 12, 2012 6:30AM

Autism: Around and About and Aware

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We are on week two of spring break around here, and my lovely pre-teen son is taking nicely to sleeping in until 9:30am (thank you to Sage who is getting my girl to kindergarten this week!) While it usually feels a little frantic and unstructured during spring break, this year feels like some mostly calm time I've been able to spend with each of my kids, and around visits to the movies, day trips and the museum,  I've been keeping myself busy.

It's Autism Awareness month. Since we are well aware of autism in this circle we have moved on to Autism Acceptance month instead. Thinking Person's Guide to Autism has a great "Slice of Life" series where we have given the same set of questions to autistics all over the spectrum. These are people in your neighborhood, in your classrooms. They work in the cube next to you, and skateboard at your local park. They are individuals, not statistics. Those 1 in 88s and 1 in 54s and all of that data that's been flying about? 'Those people' have always been with us, but we are getting better at spotting autism earlier, which will hopefully get everyone the support needed to be a happy, healthy, valued, and productive part of society. I know that "awareness" is still important because there are people that are ignorant, misinformed, or disinterested...even my spell check does not recognize 'autistics' as a word, and we have a long way to go, but we are focusing on acceptance around here.

I have another post up at Dandelion. I'm a regular contributor there,  or at least I am when I can get my act together. Dandelion is a great resource for Bay Area parents, and is not just autism focused.  I write there about three times a month. They have a very active events calendar, and happily take new events, so if you have a special needs benefit, auction, speaker series, or sibling group, head to their calendar and ask to have it added.

Last month asked me to write an article about Learn the Signs, Act Early campaign that the CDC has put together. It can be very emotional when you think your child is developing differently than other kids, but the important thing to do is keep your head on and check-in with a professional who can complete an evaluation of your child's development. With good information you can get your child every support he or she needs. I have more to say on this, and some good tips that I figured out when we were still figuring out our boy when he was very young.

The wonderful Ellen Seidman, who writes Love That Max turned over her column this month to celebrate Autism Awareness/Acceptance. Shannon wrote a lovely post about Parenting Autism in the iPad and Internet Era.
Ellen asked me so great questions, including what are three things I want other people to know about my kid. My number one answer was: “Just because he can’t talk doesn’t mean he can’t hear you. Kind words, mean words, he hears all of it. With my son, and with any person with disabilities we should start with, “Hello.”” You can read the entire post here. 
I'd like to thank Ellen for hosting us in her column. I feel lucky to have her on "my team."

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