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
  • 13-year-old Nat Jones expresses himself through his art, now on display in a cafe in his home town. Photo: Tom Jones

    Spotlight on: Autistic artist Nat Jones

    13-year-old Nat Jones expresses himself through his art, now on display in a cafe in his home town. Published 12:39 a.m. June 1, 2011 - Comments

     
  • Guest poster MOM-NOS lays out the facts about post-traumatic stress disorder and how it affects autism families.

    Autism and PTSD

    Guest poster MOM-NOS lays out the facts about post-traumatic stress disorder and how it affects autism families. Published 12:31 a.m. May 23, 2011 - Comments

     
  • A new study shows that the adult autism rate is the same as that of children. Does this mean that there is an increase in autism diagnoses but not an increase in the number of people with autism?

    Is there an autism epidemic?

    A new study shows that the adult autism rate is the same as that of children. Does this mean that there is an increase in autism diagnoses but not an increase in the number of people with autism? Published 12:34 p.m. May 6, 2011 - Comments

     
  • Social skills groups teach my son with autism so much about how to interact with others, but nothing beats the 24-hour-a-day social skills lessons taught by his brothers.

    Teaching Social Skills at Home

    Social skills groups teach my son with autism so much about how to interact with others, but nothing beats the 24-hour-a-day social skills lessons taught by his brothers. Published 11:55 a.m. April 26, 2011 - Comments

     
  • Lucy, our 10-year-old guest columnist with autism, and her mother tell us about her Sensory Dysfunction—and how they cope with it.

    Dear Lucy: Sensory challenges and me

    Lucy, our 10-year-old guest columnist with autism, and her mother tell us about her Sensory Dysfunction—and how they cope with it. Published 1:58 p.m. April 10, 2011 - Comments

     
  • World Autism Awareness Day is April 2nd. Here's why it matters.

    Does autism awareness day matter?

    World Autism Awareness Day is April 2nd. Here's why it matters. Published 11:45 a.m. March 30, 2011 - Comments

     
  • Current statistics say that 1 in 110 children has autism. What is the responsibility of mainstream parenting magazines to publish information about the disorder?

    Parents magazine vs. the autism community?

    Current statistics say that 1 in 110 children has autism. What is the responsibility of mainstream parenting magazines to publish information about the disorder? Published 11:36 a.m. March 25, 2011 - Comments

     
  • From

    Autism on television: How real is it?

    From "American Idol" to "Parenthood," real-life people and characters with autism are popping up all over television. How much do these portrayals tell us about what it is really like to live with autism? Published 11:19 a.m. March 18, 2011 - Comments

     
  • Sometimes children on the autism spectrum are as vastly different from each other as they are different from typical kids. Mark Osteen's

    Book review: 'One of Us: A Family's Life with Autism'

    Sometimes children on the autism spectrum are as vastly different from each other as they are different from typical kids. Mark Osteen's "One of Us" details life with a child severely affected by autism. Published 8:51 a.m. March 10, 2011 - Comments

     
  • Introducing Lucy, our new 10-year-old guest columnist at Autism Unexpected. Join the conversation and discover a young autism perspective through her new, interactive column.

    Dear Lucy: A child's exploration of her autism

    Introducing Lucy, our new 10-year-old guest columnist at Autism Unexpected. Join the conversation and discover a young autism perspective through her new, interactive column. Published 9:53 p.m. February 27, 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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