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Social Skills

Divorce and Autism: They don’t have to go hand in hand. A father’s struggle to heal his son, his family and beat the odds

Let me introduce myself. I’m Emerson Donnell. Born and raised in New Jersey I waited until my 40’s to have a child. Little did I know I was a perfect match, a statistical poster of the typical parent who sires an autistic child, (an older white male living in New Jersey, the state with the highest incidence of autism.) And little did I know after the birth of my son Emerson that my wife Jen and I were being railroaded right into the next widely accepted statistic. Supposedly over 80% of marriages that sire an autistic child end in divorce. Some even say it’s more like 85%.


The world of teenage boys is a minefield.

My guy travelled to his Grandma to spend Christmas with my husband's family. He has been pretty psyched about the prospect of seeing the young friends around his age who usually come to these gatherings, and who might also be bringing the latest PSP or Wii games to help make the trauma of full-contact family gatherings more bearable. And though his scheduled routines get screwed up in a new place and new routine, there is usually someone there who knows how he is, and can get him calmed if he is getting upset by teasing or too much roughhousing.

Can Your Child, With Sensory Issues, Learn to Tolerate Holiday Gatherings and Parties?

I love the article below! I think it points out nicely that we, as parents, need to respect and sympathize with our sensory-sensitive children. The fact is, that regardless of how hard it is on us, it's a million times harder on them. It's our responsibility to protect them, respect them, and help them help themselves. It's our responsibility to teach the world about what they are going through, and to understand and honor them. They deserve that! And I think it's selfish to try to make them fit into our "box" of what constitutes "normal" behavior.

A Safe Place in this Universe

Today I had the pleasure of meeting a very opinionated father at the playground. He watched as my daughter avoided other children, hid behind me, and yelled if someone tried to play with her. He politely but assertively told me that I should just "throw her to the wolves.” "She’d be okay," he insisted. He suggested that "throwing her to the wolves" might just force her to be more accepting of other kids and make her become more social.

I politely listened, and then I responded:

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