Jean Winegardner never expected to parent an autistic child. She also never imagined the emotions, hardships and complete joy that would come with it.
Although they attend the school, it can be hard for special education families to feel like a part of the school community. Making after-school activities inclusive is one way to help them belong. Published 11:12 p.m. February 9, 2011 - Comments
The American Psychiatric Association has released their DSM-5 proposed criteria for autism spectrum disorder. Does eliminating subtypes such as Asperger's make autism diagnoses more precise, or does it rob individuals of their self-identity? Published 10:32 a.m. January 29, 2011 - Comments
On the day Andrew Wakefield's autism-vaccine study was declared "an elaborate fraud," Dr. Paul Offit spoke at the National Press Club about why the anti-vaccine movement threatens all of us. Published 1:03 p.m. January 7, 2011 - Comments
It can be hard to see improvements in your child during day-to-day life. After reflecting on 2010 as a whole, our autism mom sees huge changes in her son. Published 8:56 a.m. December 31, 2010 - Comments
Some caregivers of developmentally disabled children haven't gone out for fun for years. The National Children's Center aims to change that with its "Respitality" program. Published 10:25 p.m. December 15, 2010 - Comments
Guest columnist Shannon Des Roches Rosa tells the story of her son Leo and how winning an iPad in a raffle changed his life. Here are some of his experiences — and his favorite apps. Published 10:46 p.m. December 5, 2010 - Comments
It's hard enough to decide when to tell friends and acquaintances that your child is autistic. Even harder is deciding when—and how—to tell your child himself. Published 5:53 p.m. November 21, 2010 - Comments
Civilian parents of children with autism fight for services, treatments and stability. Their military counterparts do the same, while struggling with frequent moves, long deployments and a country at war. Published 2:36 p.m. November 8, 2010 - Comments
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 ...Read More
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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.