Acceptance

Managing Expectations - Making the Most Out of My Child's Autism Therapies - Emily's Puzzle - My son's autism therapies were more to teach me how to teach my son. EmilysPuzzle.com
Autism

Managing Expectations

Making the Most out of my Child's Autism Therapies Welcoming my autistic son’s therapists into our lives was bittersweet. I didn’t want my son to need therapists to help him do things that other kids his age did automatically.  I was grateful for their help,…
What's Wrong With Him - Answering the Tough Questions about my Autistic Son - Emily's Puzzle - emilyspuzzle.com
Autism

What’s Wrong With Him?

Answering the tough questions about my autistic son. Sometimes I forget that my sons have autism, until other children their age come over to play.  Then I'm quickly and sometimes harshly reminded of their differences. Little by little over the years our fenced in backyard…
How Far We've Come: Two Autism Diagnoses in Three Years - Emily's Puzzle - www.emilyspuzzle.com
Autism

How Far We’ve Come

Two Autism Diagnoses in Three Years

On April 19th we took our youngest son, Eli to the same doctor that had diagnosed his older brother with autism three years ago. This time it was Eli’s turn to be observed, asked a couple of questions and put through a series of play tasks before diagnosing him with a lifetime disability of autism spectrum disorder.
I'm a Good Mom Not a Great One - Emily's Puzzle - One mom's realization that all of her mommy motivation was out of survival, plain and simple. www.emilyspuzzle.com
Autism

I’m a Good Mom Not a Great One

I had a realization the other night while having dinner with a friend. Although I’m a good mom, I’m not a great one, a simple yet profound realization for me. All this time I thought that all of my mommy efforts, the hundreds of activities that I’ve done with my children were selfless acts of mommy love and that’s simply not true.
Underestimating Autism - Emily's Puzzle - Every time I start thinking we have this autism thing figured out, I get snapped back to reality quickly. www.emilyspuzzle.com
Autism

Underestimating Autism

As we were discharged from the hospital with our very sick little boy I couldn’t get the words, underestimating autism out of my head.  They just kept popping up amidst the fog that had entered my brain since we took our son to the ER the day before. Seeing my child in pain, putting him through painful tests without any preparation and not knowing how much he understood was heartbreaking. 
A Politician's Wife - Emily's Puzzle - Behind-the-scenes wife, supportive and jealous. Marriage, Love, and Encouragement. www.emilyspuzzle.com
Life's Lessons

A Politician’s Wife

In November, my husband’s campaign for local office ended in victory on election night.  Almost a year of talking politics, strategies and campaigning was finally over.  The best part was that he won!  I should have been elated, right?  We should be basking in the afterglow of a long and tiresome campaign season coming to an end.  Instead I felt tired and a little sad.  We had worked so hard and had been focused on Election Day for so long that when it finally passed, even with a successful win, I didn’t feel much like celebrating.
Parenting Paydays - emilyspuzzle.com - Sacrifices and rewards of parenting.
Parenting

Parenting Paydays

Let’s face it.  Parenting is hard.  H.A.R.D.  In the beginning, especially the first couple of months it is ALL work and very little reward.  Yes you have this beautiful child, this life that you created.  Your child is a miracle.  Your child is beautiful.  Your child is a screaming, needy, milk guzzling, bundle of poo that doesn’t care if you are tired, hungry, sad or happy.  His wants and needs come first...period.  Without as much as a word of thanks, or even a sly wink or head nod to acknowledge that he recognizes and appreciates the sacrifices you are making for him.
1 - And Then There Were Two - Emily's Puzzle - Autism in brothers, autism diagnosis, family, and acceptance.
Autism

And Then There Were Two

"So that’s that.” I thought as I hung up the phone with the doctor. She had just informed me that my “neurotypical” child, my youngest son, Eli was also on the spectrum.  His older brother, Owen was diagnosed with autism shortly after Eli was born.  This shouldn’t have come as a big surprise because I know the large part genetics plays in autism and I’ve been watching Eli for red flags since birth.  He first began showing signs of autism at  four months old. However, as his language took off, along with his ability to follow one and two step directions and engage socially with his peers, I dared to believe that he was neurotypical. Even then, my thoughts constantly bounced between “Is he?” and “Isn’t he?”  Still, hearing the words out loud came as a surprise and they stung a little.
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