INCLUDEnyc BLOG

Growing up alongside Jack

I realized right then and there that I never had publicly said the names of Jack’s medical diagnoses out loud in front of a group of people. It was too painful to ever talk about, and I must admit, I buried this part of our story a long long time ago.

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The messenger and the message

The message is difficult. The role of the messenger is delicate. I want to help. I know what they have yet to know. How do we share what we learn? What form does it take? Where and how do we tell others? When we discover solutions that work for our child, we cannot be surprised if we feel compelled to share.

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BEST BIRTHDAY EVER: Disney vacation tips for parents with young children with autism

Naturally, since [my son] was soon to turn 3, this momma thought, “Let’s go to Disney World;” but then I stopped to question, “Is Disney World autism-friendly? What about the plane ride? Do children with autism get special accommodations?”

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WE ARE NOT ALONE

One essential thing I learned is that asking for help is not a sign of weakness. If anything, it is a sign of strength. We often feel the pressure of being a perfect parent—pretending we are coping effectively—but we need to talk about the stresses and strain. It is okay not to find it easy. And I didn’t. 

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I’m no hero; I’m just a mom

As a mother I don't necessarily want my children in a different class, or to have to go to annual IEP meetings for each of them. But I respond and say they are my children, and in my eyes they are perfect, and as a mother I will always do my best to make sure they get the appropriate help and the education they deserve.

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JACK ATTACK: The Harder Truth About Disabilities and Cures

What I do know — and know more so now than ever as a result of the current political climate — is that I never would want to change who Jack is: a beautiful person with a soul full of organic sunshine, joy, happiness, and pure, simple love.

And during the next few years, we as a community may need to advocate in ways we never have before to protect the educational and civil rights of people like Jack, and of all people with disabilities.

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My work at INCLUDEnyc: The bridge that connects us

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It Takes a Village: How total strangers helped me and my son survive travel meltdowns

Julian was in tears and I was experiencing a full blown migraine. The trains were packed with people and Julian was overstimulated to the point that he was in full tantrum and needed his “Mami” to console him. 

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Julian’s voice: Sometimes you need a little help

I read his reports numerous times and I couldn’t understand why he was denied for services that I felt he needed. How could it be possible that at such a young age, the world was already failing him when I, as his mother, knew he needed help?  

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