Autism Unexpected

Jean Winegardner never expected to parent an autistic child. She also never imagined the emotions, hardships and complete joy that would come with it.

Entries
  • On September 30, the provisions of the Combating Autism Act will sunset. Guest columnist Judith Ursitti writes about why it is essential for Congress to pass the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (CARA) and easy ways you can help.

    Tell Congress to Pass the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act

    On September 30, the provisions of the Combating Autism Act will sunset. Guest columnist Judith Ursitti writes about why it is essential for Congress to pass the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (CARA) and easy ways you can help. Published 11:04 p.m. September 18, 2011 - Comments

     
  • As kids head back to school, special needs parents have more to worry about than buying the right backpack and getting their children on the school bus. Here are some tips to make that first week go a little easier.

    Make back-to-school a success for your special needs child

    As kids head back to school, special needs parents have more to worry about than buying the right backpack and getting their children on the school bus. Here are some tips to make that first week go a little easier. Published 12:14 p.m. August 30, 2011 - Comments

     
  • Building on traditional social skills teaching, therapists are incorporating Michelle Garcia Winner's Social Thinking programs in their strategies for teaching social competence to kids with autism.

    Social thinking: Teaching the "why" of social skills

    Building on traditional social skills teaching, therapists are incorporating Michelle Garcia Winner's Social Thinking programs in their strategies for teaching social competence to kids with autism. Published 10:07 p.m. August 19, 2011 - Comments

     
  • Characters with autism are becoming more common on television. Ryan Cartwright, who plays Gary Bell on Syfy's new show

    He's not autistic, but he plays one on TV: Ryan Cartwright on Syfy's Alphas

    Characters with autism are becoming more common on television. Ryan Cartwright, who plays Gary Bell on Syfy's new show "Alphas," talks about how he helped create TV's newest autistic character. Published 4:03 p.m. August 2, 2011 - Comments

     
  • Balancing the needs of our typical children with those of our autistic kids is difficult. How can we make sure all our kids get what they need and form a strong sibling bond?

    Siblings and autism: How do we reconcile their needs?

    Balancing the needs of our typical children with those of our autistic kids is difficult. How can we make sure all our kids get what they need and form a strong sibling bond? Published 12:25 a.m. July 25, 2011 - Comments

     
  • You want to be supportive of your friend who has a child with autism but you don't know what to say. Here are some thoughts.

    What to say to parents of children with autism

    You want to be supportive of your friend who has a child with autism but you don't know what to say. Here are some thoughts. Published 2:20 p.m. July 13, 2011 - Comments

     
  • Autism acceptance is a big deal to those of us in the autism community. Sometimes, however, the biggest hurdle is accepting autism in our own children.

    Accepting autism in my own child

    Autism acceptance is a big deal to those of us in the autism community. Sometimes, however, the biggest hurdle is accepting autism in our own children. Published 11:20 p.m. July 5, 2011 - Comments

     
  • School is out. Now what? Guest columnist Marc Sickel has some ideas to add structure and fun to your summer.

    Summer fun for special needs families

    School is out. Now what? Guest columnist Marc Sickel has some ideas to add structure and fun to your summer. Published 12:07 p.m. June 29, 2011 - Comments

     
  • Sometimes autism parents feel alone out in the world. But even if you don't see us, we see you, and we want to say,

    Me too: Spotting autism while out and about

    Sometimes autism parents feel alone out in the world. But even if you don't see us, we see you, and we want to say, "Me too. I get it." Published 10:56 p.m. June 14, 2011 - Comments

     
  • So many of us autism moms are in need of some serious waterproof mascara. Here are some thoughts on why this is.

    Tears of an autism mom

    So many of us autism moms are in need of some serious waterproof mascara. Here are some thoughts on why this is. Published 2:54 p.m. June 9, 2011 - Comments

     
AUTHOR
Jean Winegardner

Jean Winegardner

When Jean had her first child in 2001, "autism" was about the scariest word she could think of. Six years later when her second child was diagnosed with PDD-NOS, a form of autism, she was just happy to have a ...

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When Jean had her first child in 2001, "autism" was about the scariest word she could think of. Six years later when her second child was diagnosed with PDD-NOS, a form of autism, she was just happy to have a word to help him get the services he needed. Her autism journey has been full of tears, laughter, love and at least one attorney.

Jean blogs about her life with her autistic son, Jack, on her blog, Stimeyland. Her two neurotypical children, Sam and Quinn (one older, one younger than Jack), make frequent appearances there as well. Also at Stimeyland? Jean's quirky sense of humor.

She also runs AutMont, an events calendar listing autism-related events in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Raising a child with special needs is hard for so many reasons, but after living with Jack, Jean wouldn't trade him for anything in the world. Come along with Jean as she experiences the joys that come with parenting a special kid.

You can email Jean anytime at stimeyland at gmail dot com or follow her on Twitter, where, as "Stimey," she offers her world view in snippets of 140 characters or less.

Contact Jean Winegardner

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