About Me

I am the proud mother of 6 children. 5 of our children have autism. We do not feel our world has ended, but just begun. We do not chelate, intervene biochemically, give shots of any kind, practice ABA, etc. We treat them as we treat any humanbeing. We treat them with kindness and respect and expect the same from them. They are exceptional children.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


I would like to thank the Anonymous commenters on my last post for giving me the idea for this post.
First, one of them questioned what made me an expert in Autism....DUH !!!!!
1). I am the mother of 5 Autistic Children.....2 Severe, 1 Aspergers and 2 PDD-NOS. At one time we had 4 severely autistic children. 2 of them are now labeled PDD-NOS.
2). I have been in the "business" of Autism for over 21 years...if you count the 5 years I spent working with them in a residential treatment center...
3). I have PROVEN results my methods of treating autistic children WORK. I have children that can cope in public situations without much trauma. I DO NOT let the excuse that these children have Autism deter away from the fact that they are indeed children who need to be parented.
4). I am now OFFICIALLY a paid lecturer with an Autism Conference under my belt and many more to come.
5). I KNOW Autism...inside and out. I can define it and I can describe it.

To become an expert, one must practice, practice, practice....been there, DONE that.
One must have a familiarity with the problems in this area...been there, DONE that.
It takes 10 years to develop an Expertise in a specific area...been there, DONE that.

An expertise takes time to develop..I have had much time in the area of Autism.
An expert sees the world differently from novices...that is without question.
Experts have skills that novices DO NOT...don't worry, you guys will get the skills required to raise your Autistic children. With maturity, your children will get better. You will learn that your children are amazing people, once you try to stop changing their dynamics.
Expertise is domain specific...

I started this post as a bit of a joke...but as I type on, I realize that it is not funny.
Anonymous cowards find it okay to come onto my blog and disagree with what I write. I am okay with disagreements, but not with people who are too "ashamed" or too "insecure" in themselves to face me for what they disagree with.

Some of you guys question the severity of my children's autism by what you saw on an hour show. With commercials, you had 45 minutes into my very "edited" life.
What you did not see are the hours it took to make sure Caitlin could handle the door-knock, the airplane ride, the limo, the hotels, the resort, the skiing, the ride back, the reveal and the move-in date....
You did not see the hours of time we spent with Kiernan to make sure he was happy and felt secure...
Obviously, we did this correctly.
Not with any medications, I might add.

You did not see Caitlin being told that if she could not handle the crowd, to tell the "amazing" producers and they would quiet the crowd. The crowd was told the same.

You also did not see the way our children were behaved in public. I have always gotten complements on their behaviors, but these children handled the Extreme situation like troopers. They did far beyond what we as parent's expected from them and everyone around us were amazed.

This took many years of working with therapists and teacher's, but boy did it pay off. This also is a testament to my husband and myself as parent's. We love these children with all that they are, including the Autism. If not for the autism, they would not be them.

Now, for the BIG question....
No, my husband has not been diagnosed with autism of any kind. We received alot of comments that people thought he might have autism also. You saw 5 minutes of a man who was interviewed on camera at a very special time. He was nervous. My husband is not the "media whore" I am. I love the camera, he hates it.
If he does have autism, it would not matter. He is a loving husband and father. He works 2 jobs to make sure we are taken care of. HE is the rock this house was built, but he is very unassuming and would like to stay that way.

So, to you naysayers who would like to challenge my EXPERTISE...think again......
To you who claim I pat myself on the back too much...OH WELL...I know I am a good mother and I know these children will excel in all points of life. They may have more hurdles to cross than other children, but that is what I am here for...to guide them over the hurdles.

My job, as their mother, is to make sure they are prepared for the life ahead of them. But, more important, my job is to make sure that life is prepared for them. By doing so, I must prepare Society for the O'Donnell children and others. If we expect Society to accept our children, we must teach our children how to adjust to their Society. This must work on both sides.
I gave birth to 6 children. The Autism label came after they were born. My job is to make sure they are well-adjusted and good people. That is not easy work, but I have been so rewarded by them. I believe Society will be rewarded by them also....stay tuned, they have alot to teach us.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


What is happening to the world of Autism?
There are so many fights going on right now in the world of Autism that if we do not get our act together, no one outside the world of Autism is going to take us seriously.

I am speaking at an Autism conference next week. I am speaking as a mother of 5 Autistic children. Not as a mother of 5 children with Autism. The reason for that....my 13 year old daughter Deirdre explained to me, in very simple terms (because that is what I need) that she wants to be known as a person who is Autistic.
The reason, you might ask......If she is an Autistic person, it is who she was born to be.
If she is a person with Autism, the Autism can be taken away.
That reasoning I can respect.

When I introduce my children, I do not introduce them as Autistic children. My children are individuals who happen to be autistic.
I am lucky, they do not misbehave in public..they learned very early that they would be removed from situations if they could not behave appropriately in public.
Even Caitlin and Kiernan know this.

Just because you have an Autistic child does not give them free reign to disturb others in a public situation. If that was the case, we could allow any person to disrupt any situation.
If you want your Autistic children to be taken seriously, you must take your Autistic child seriously.

How can we prepare our Autistic children for their future and being accepted by society if we allow them, as children, to act inappropriately in public?

Just because your child was given the diagnosis of Autism does not mean you have to stop parenting your child....