Tag Archives: month

Celebrating Grandparents (Particularly Those in Special-Needs Families!)

20 Sep

September is National Grandparents Month, and I’m overwhelmed once more thinking how much my parents have done for my family, particularly my 15-year-old daughter with autism.  My mother flew from California to join us for Paige’s neurology appointment in the spring of 2000, the horrible one during which she received the definitive autism diagnosis.  A year later, my parents moved here from the Silicon Valley to support us.  Five years after that, when I gave birth to Paige’s baby brother, my mom came over every school morning before 7 a.m. to watch Chip so I could get Paige off to school.

My dad’s no slacker, either.  He’s provided boundless financial and emotional support—neither of which I can imagine doing without.  He has bonded with our neurotypical son, Chip, to the extent that they have LEGO playdates, go see movies together and just talk.

All grandparents who choose to involve themselves (in a thoughtful, encouraging way) in the lives of their children’s kids deserve high praise.  It can be tricky sometimes with a disabled child, especially one like my own who is non-verbal.

In honor of National Grandparents Month, Autism Speaks (the nationwide nonprofit founded by grandparents of a child with autism) has created A Grandparent’s Guide to Autism.  This family support tool kit is designed to help guide and encourage grandparents to establish positive and successful relationships with their grandchildren and the rest of their families.

Click here to read A Grandparent’s Guide to Autism or visit Grandparents Autism Network at www.ganinfo.org.

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Autism Awareness Month: Upcoming Event!

12 Apr

One of the most challenging aspects of having a child with autism is the isolation. Before and many years after my now-teenage daughter was diagnosed with PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder, the medical term for autism), I would feel uncomfortable around other parents and their children, excruciatingly aware of the differences between Paige and typical kids.  I am not the most social chick at the outset; anxiety over my daughter only amplified my introverted tendencies.

But that was then.  Five years ago, I started writing columns about Paige for The Dallas Morning News.  The overwhelming response (a lady in Germany emailed me to thank me after one piece hit the web!) gradually lured me out of my shell.  And the support of friends, teachers, colleagues, and even strangers has helped me immeasurably, too.  Which in turn helps Paige.

In that spirit, I would encourage any parents with children on the spectrum to check out an event my friend and More than Mothers contributor Leigh Attaway Wilcox is co-chairing.  Her son, Ethan, has Asperger’s, and Leigh is a tireless advocate on his behalf.  She inspires me in countless ways.

Here are the details:

In honor of Autism Awareness Month – April 2011
The Autism Trust USA
Warrior Parents of Dallas
& the National Autism Association of North Texas
Warmly Welcome:
Dr. Andrew Wakefield
&
Rupert Isaacson & Kristin Neff
For a FREE Presentation and Book Signing on
April 28th, 2011 at 7pm
Angelika Film Center
7205 Bishop Road, Suite E6, Plano, TX, 75024

Learn more about the ongoing outreach and offerings of the National Autism Association of North Texas (NAA-NT) & Warrior Parents of Dallas & discover how Pay It Forward will work as a catalyst to forward progress for The Autism Trust USA.

Dr. Wakefield will discuss the Primate Project and Rupert Isaacson and Kristin Neff will share about life with their son, Rowan, who lives with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

For more visit theautismtrust.com or naa-nt.org. For updates, look for our event page on Facebook by clicking here.

Pinwheels for Prevention – National Prevent Child Abuse Month

6 Apr

April is National Prevent Child Abuse month.  Prevent Child Abuse America has launched a campaign called Pinwheels for Prevention to promote awareness about child abuse prevention.  The pinwheel represents their efforts to change the way our nation thinks about prevention, focusing on community activities and public policies that prioritize prevention right from the start to make sure child abuse and neglect never occur.

You can help by proudly displaying a pinwheel in your yard!  The kids love them!

For more information about the campaign, click here:  www.pinwheelsforprevention.org.

November is National Adoption Awareness Month

3 Nov

November is National Adoption Awareness Month.  All adoption issues are important, but this special day spotlights children placed in foster care being adopted.  Texas Adoption Day will be held on Saturday, November 20th.  It is expected that at least 77 children and 45 families will be involved in finalizing adoptions in Tarrant County alone this year!

If you have ever considered adoption, and would like more information, check out these websites:

www.national-adoption-month.adoption.com

www.dfps.state.tx.us/Child_Protection/services.asp

www.covenantkids.org

Also, for a list of children in Texas who are currently placed in foster care, but are legally free for adoption, please see the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services’ website TARE registry at: www.dfps.state.tx.us/Adoption_and_Foster_Care and click on “View Waiting Children” at the bottom.  There are thousands of children in foster care, here in Texas, who have been victims of abuse and/or neglect that are just waiting for their “forever families.”

If you are a foster/adoptive parent or are someone who has been adopted and/or in foster care and would like to share your story, please submit it to jen@morethanmothers.com.  We would love to hear from you!

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