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
  • 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.

    Accommodations matter: Making after-school activities inclusive

    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?

    Revised DSM criteria for autism raise questions

    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

     
  • We get our kids evaluated because that information is important. But, jeez, do the reports have to be so painful to read?

    Neuro-psych reports make for difficult reading

    We get our kids evaluated because that information is important. But, jeez, do the reports have to be so painful to read? Published 4:27 p.m. January 14, 2011 - Comments

     
  • On the day Andrew Wakefield's autism-vaccine study was declared

    Paul Offit and the anti-vaccine movement

    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.

    Our year in autism

    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

     
  • Teacher gifts make up a big chunk of this autism mom's holiday budget—but they are well worth it.

    Teacher gifts from autism families: More than the norm

    Teacher gifts make up a big chunk of this autism mom's holiday budget—but they are well worth it. Published 10:48 a.m. December 20, 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

    NCC's Respitality offers caregivers a night on the town

    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.

    IPads: Near-miracles for kids with autism

    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.

    My 7-year-old knows he has autism

    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.

    Military families and autism: A battle on two fronts

    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

     
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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