Friday, January 23, 2009

We're Now Using GoodSearch as Our Personal Search Engine

Here's a new easy way to raise money for your favorite cause. Just start using Yahoo! powered as your search engine and they'll donate a penny to your favorite cause every time you do a search!

In addition, do all of your shopping through their online shopping mall,, where you can shop at more than 900 top online retailers and a percentage of your purchases will go to the charity or school of your choice. You pay the same price as you normally would, but a donation goes to your cause!

Here's the web site — You can also read about GoodSearch in the NY Times, Oprah Magazine, CNN, ABC News and the Wall Street Journal.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Autism Radio Interview and Buying Copies of "Same Child, Different Day"

Just two short notes for now:

~ 1) I had a radio interview today to talk about Same Child, Different Day. When the stream is up on the host's website, I'll post the link and details from the show. But for now, you can click here to get more info about the host Anne Barbano and "Living the Autism Maze", and check out the eclectic little commercial-free Vermont community radio station here: 105.9 = The Radiator.

~ 2) I've posted a place in the sidebar where you can buy copies of Same Child, Different Day through PayPal.

~ Jon

Monday, January 12, 2009

Now That You Have an Autism Diagnosis

At the point you're told your loved one is autistic, your first reaction is likely extreme fear, absolute confusion, uncontrollable anger or overwhelming guilt. More likely, you're feeling each of these simultaneously, along with emotions I have yet to, can't or prefer not to mention. Once you're able to get a handle on what you are feeling (we'll talk about that in an upcoming chapter), it will be important to think about your (and more specifically your child's) needs.

The Same Child, Different Day chapter entitled "Now That You Have a Diagnosis" shares a brief but practical road map of sorts, a kind of information booth with suggestions about where to start looking for services. I didn't go into great detail about any of the services available, as you'll likely want to start looking for assistance at your state level. But you are provided with key phrases to use in your search, information about local (voluntary) autism databases and a story about a single-mother friend who took the time to make sure her son is protected when she can't be available.

As always, if you want someone to talk to who's on the front lines, (we aren't doctors or professionals; just loving parents) please contact me. You can also email if you'd like to order booklets for your group or organization.

We wish you all the best.


(Next chapter: "Now, About Those Lifestyle Changes")

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Denis Leary's Autism Comments

I'm taking a little diversion from talking about the booklet so I can share with you a concern. There's been a little gap since my last post because I've been working on an article for Associated Content, and the subject matter may interest you.

Apparently, Denis Leary of Rescue Me, and the voice of the saber-tooth tiger Diego in the Ice Age movies, has released a new book (Why We Suck: A Feel-Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid), and it's causing some stir. Most specifically, Chapter 6 entitled "Autism Schmautism" has raised the ire of the autism community, and autism advocates like Jenny McCarthy and Holly Robinson Peete.

Since the October, 2008 release of quotes from his book, Leary has said the quotes were taken out of context but has apologized. Sort of. I won't get into the commentary here, but you can read my article over at Associated Content.

There. I feel better now.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Autism Realities

There's no one way to deal with, understand or treat autism. In the second chapter "The Realities", I try to show that this affliction is only a part of your child. We don't believe that autism is their definition any more than big feet or blonde hair would be. Is your daughter a red-haired girl, or is she really just a girl who happens to have red hair? You may not think there's a difference, but when it comes down to it, hair color is just one aspect. She probably has some odd quirks too, but you wouldn't call her "our odd daughter" (alright, maybe you would; I don't know you). But really: I hope you can see what I mean.

Regardless, you will find people who look at Autistics (big "A") as a culture; a group of neuro-diversity advocates who strive to encourage society to accept them or their family members for who they are. These are generally higher functioning autistics who do not seek treatment or a cure; rather, they live for inclusion of autistics the way they are. That's not to in any way say this group is wrong. Instead, this is another facet of the condition for you to research and consider.

In this chapter the anecdote "Same Child, Different Day" explains how we came to the decision that, not only is Nolan the same child he was the day before his diagnosis, but that we were not going to treat him differently either. As the last sentence of the short story says: "We refuse to let his condition cripple him and decided not long ago that he will graduate from high school; in that way, he's no different from his siblings."

One thing though: we didn't want this booklet to be clinical or dry. On the contrary; I try to keep you entertained throughout. But as with any good self-help manual, it's nice to have a glossary of terms; something to explain some of the concepts you just might come in contact with. What a coincidence: I included that here as well!

In the most formal part of the booklet, I have listed a few definitions for many terms you may encounter. From ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) to Thiomersal (or Thimerisal), there are explanations to nearly 30 of these concepts, and I hope they shed some light.

In fact, I hope you find that the entire booklet sheds some light for you. But if you still have questions or to order bulk copies, please email me.