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.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Caitlin, our 17 year old, and myself were sitting in the dentist's office on Tuesday
morning. Caitlin was waiting patiently to have her teeth cleaned and one filling.
I had my notepad and was taking notes about all of my children's improvements
and also, what they need to improve on.
Caitlin was reading my notes and she suddenly blurts out..."I HAVE AUTISM".
I said, "yes, you do".
She shook her head up and down.
I asked her if she was okay with that...??
She said, "yes".

When Caitlin transitioned from Early Intervention to Elementary School and
an Early Childhood program, we had no idea what to ask for or even what to
do. Alot of educators had no idea what to do with an Autistic child in 1994, much
less the parent's.

Our first ARD (Admission, Review and Dismissal) was an eye-opener in what
we could ask for and/or what we could get the school system to agree with in the
education of our amazingly gifted daughter.
Fortunately for us and Caitlin, it did not take them very long to figure out that
just because she was not verbal, she was smarter than most of the people in
these ARD's...which they quickly agreed.

As Caitlin grew up and progressed, the more ARD's we had to attend. Now,
we attend up to 12 ARD's a year.
This year we have a transition ARD for our 5th grader going into Middle School.
That one will be a piece of cake.

On Friday, I was approached by a mother of a child who will also be transitioning
into the same Middle School as Erin.....this mother seems nervous about her son
attending Middle School. It is quite a shocker to go to the Middle School...so intimidating
because it is so much bigger.

Summitt Elementary, where our children are in the 5th grade, is a nurturing and loving
environment. Sometimes, Middle School is not.

Fortunately, I love the Middle School our children attend. The faculty and staff saw
the greatness in both of my older children who have attended there. They speak
highly of our children.

I asked this mother, who is not so sure of her transition ARD, if she would like me
to attend with her. She said, "are you sure"? "aren't you very busy"?
Never too busy to help another parent...isn't that what it is all about?

Is it not our duty as parent's with children with autism to reach out and help those
parent's who come after us....????
To support and help them?

My friends are sometimes amazed that I will hand out my phone number and email address
to people who approach me in public. People who just want someone to help them or just
to listen to them about their child with Autism.
I must get 10 to 20 calls a week from parent's who have a child with Autism and just
want someone to listen who has been there.

There is alot of anger out in the world of Autism.
Parent's angry that they have a child with Autism.
Parent's angry at other parent's for trivial things such as diet and
other interventions.
Parent's angry at their spouses for not "helping" enough.
Parent's angry at their friends for not understanding the complications
there are to raising a child with Autism.

I stepped away from the anger a while ago....it was not a good place
to be. I stopped being angry at the Autism and decided to focus on
the good that my children possess....man, do they possess alot of good.

I am often asked, "how do you do it"?
My answer, "I just do".
My children did not ask to be born. I chose to have every one of these
wonderful people. It is my job, as their mother, to make sure they succeed
and are accepted in this world.
I am very lucky, they are great kids.
I have been far more blessed to be in their presence and I know other's feel
the same when they meet my children.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I am so excited, I am almost speechless......ALMOST!

I have been invited to be a featured blogger on a new website.
It is http://www.trusera.com/.

Autism Diva was instrumental in getting me involved with this up-and-coming
company out of Seattle, WA. Thanks Diva....these people are amazing and
the blogs on this website are inspiring beyond words. The blogs you find are
written by persons who are positively writing about their trials and triumphs
with all kinds of diseases and disorders. You will be uplifted by the spirits of these

Please check out the site....if you want to join...let me know. I will send you
out an invite.

SUBJECT: Help Create Community for Autism

Come pioneer a new and better way for people to communicate online within the autism spectrum community. Become a charter member of Trusera, a free invitation-only network that's connecting people seeking real-world health information to others who've "been there."

Right now invitations are available only to a select group of people to join and share their valuable experience-driven knowledge on Trusera. It’d be great if you would join, too.

Come inspire others and help create a credible, relevant online resource for the autism spectrum community. Join Trusera now.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Okay, so I said some not so nice things about Jenny McCarthy. I felt the wording she
used to describe Autism were not what I would call "appropriate".
I know, I know...I have alot to learn sometimes about letting people have
their own feelings. It took me many years to be comfortable with Autism. We
worked very hard with our children, trying to figure out the best way to make
them happy, healthy, and just to be the best they could be.
Today, on Oprah, Oprah asked Jim Carrey how Evan was (Jenny McCarthy's son and
Jim Carrey's signifigant other)....at the end of the
conversation, Jim Carrey told Oprah he believed Autistic children are "here for
a reason"!

How very true that is.

I know why my children with Autism are here....they are here to teach me
unconditional love, patience, and kindness. They are teaching me to be non-

I had an aha! moment today.
I went to a MySpace page of another mother with an Autistic child. This beautiful
mother and I don't always see eye-to-eye, but man, I like her alot. She is young
and doing what we all should be doing...the best we know how to do.
Her quote on her MySpace is "Be kinder than necessary, you never know what someone else is going through"....

I lost my footing a few times in the past month....I let someone put me somewhere I
did not want to be. Shame on me for letting this person take control of my emotions, if
not for just a fleeting moment.
That will not happen again on my blog.
My blog is my place to share my feelings about my family...it will be that way from
now on.

Thank you to all who have defended me....I will remember that.
Thanks to those who have corrected me...I will take into consideration all comments.

My family has been so blessed in the past few years. We have been given opportunities
that we never could have afforded. I must remember that my children need a happy,
healthy mother. They have a reason to be here, and I am happy to be there for them.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Ever since I was a little girl, I always knew that I was going to be involved

in something bigger than myself.

As I was approaching 30, I was pregnant and unaware of what sort of mother

I was going to be. I have a great mother and she was always there as I was growing

up. My dad was a wonderful father and I always knew that I was loved. That I

knew was going to be passed on to my children.

As Caitlin grew, and we faced new challenges with her Autism, I never questioned

the reason for her existence. I just knew I had to be her warrior and her savior when

it came to getting her the services she deserved. We did not have to fight often, and

when we did, we came out ahead.

Our family continued to grow and with that came additional challenges. My husband

and myself never questioned why the children were Autistic, in fact, Autism was not

a big "issue" in our home. What we focused on was the fact that we had children to raise.

We took our children to restaurants, grocery stores, concerts, parks, Chuck E. Cheese,

bowling, skating, etc. We expected our children to behave in public. We were complemented

on our children's behaviors. We expected and still expect our children to behave.

Autism is not an excuse for bad behaviors. It is an excuse not to parent.

Today, I brought 2 of the kids to school late. We had dentist appointments. I was checking

in our office at school and the office administrator said to me, "I saw you on the news the other

night"..."you really do speak eloquently". I said, "Well, it is about time somebody noticed that".

She then told me that she believed that I will go far. She told me that I have a spark about

me that people listen to....she had me speechless.....which is hard to do.

I have spent the last year speaking at state conferences, local conferences, Autism workshops and I was even the MC at the Teacher Talent Show at school. I plan on continuing my

speaking engagements and telling the story of my family. There are many parent's out there

that are stumped on how to raise their children with Autism.

When asked, "how do you do it"?

I have one answer, "I never thought about it". I knew that I have given birth and these

children did not ask to be here. But, it is my responsibility to make sure that they do the

very best they can while I am here. I am to make sure they are treated the same when I

am no longer here.

I made a promise to each of my children when they were born that they could be whatever

they wanted to be. Instead of listening to people telling me what they cannot do, I taught the

children to show everyone what they could do.

Now, we have children in 10th grade honor roll, 8th grade honor roll, and 5th grade honor roll.

We have children who can sit quietly and behave in situations where it was once impossible for

them to accomplish this task. Through much hard work and effort on their parts, their teacher's

parts and parenting skills my husband and I have learned through the years, our children have

become role models in their community and their schools.

2008 has already proven to be a very busy year for us. I have been asked to be involved in alot

of new endeavors. Some I can talk about, some I cannot. I am excited and thrilled to be

involved in the Autism Community. I am honored beyond words that I can help promote

Autism in a positive light and we will begin our journey to take Autism away from the "gloom

and doom" category.

I will continue to blog here and I have been asked to take part of a new website:

www.trusera.com. I will have a blog there also about raising children with Autism. I am

excited beyond words.

Thanks to Diva for recommending me....I really do appreciate that.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Today, I spent 3 hours with a lovely reporter and cameraman at my house. Our show aired on ABC almost 1 year ago this week.
We talked about the changes that have come about since we received our home. We talked about how the kids have adjusted to the new home...wonderfully, by the way.
We talked about how this has literally changed our lives.
You have no idea, I said.

I went into detail about all of the outpouring of love and support we received since we received this home. All of the people who approach me and my husband in grocery stores, restaurants and malls to tell us how we "deserved" this home....we don't think that at all, by the way.
I also spoke about the way we are so grateful to the thousands of people and volunteers who gave up a week before Christmas to help our family get the best gift ever.

We have acquired many new friends through the Extreme Makeover journey. This past week, I was ridiculed, slurred, and called horrible names by people who have no idea who I am or anything about us. People who do not like me tried to make me feel as miserable as they are...TRIED TO....
But, it did not work.

I am proud to say that after 47 years of life, I have never been more secure or assure of myself. I am sorry that bothers some, but it is the truth. All I have to do is look around at my children and know that all of our hard work has paid off.
You see, even though these Anonymouses think that we do nothing for our children, they are dead wrong. We work very hard to make sure they are strong and have great character. That is important in this world.
We also make sure that our children have a network of people around them that love them and respect them.

I am so lucky to have the same people around me that have been in my life for many years. I have the pure luck of having friends from elementary school still in my life. Some of these people are like sisters to me (hello Vicki)....
I am very lucky to have the people who educate my children to love them like their own ( hello Mary).
I am lucky to have family members who are there for me when I need them.

People who know our family know that we are good people. They know we get by with alot of love and a whole lot more humor. They know that we adore our children and our children are loved and well cared for...anyone else out there in "cyberville" who does not know us personally and base their assumptions on what they see on television or read in a newspaper are sorely misguided in their ideas of what our family is really like.

I have spoken at a few conferences and have traveled out-of-state to meet with parent's with children with Autism. I have met many children and young adults with Autism....my heart holds a special place for every one of them.
I work at Sensory Integration Workshops with parent's, children, educators and families who are in some way connected with Autism. This has filled my life with much joy.

So, each night, as I tuck each of my children to bed, I know that they are being cared for and loved the best they can be. I know these children have been put on this Earth for a reason and I will make sure they can achieve all that they are meant to achieve.
They are my life. They are the reason I was put on this Earth and really,


Saturday, February 09, 2008


This is what I found in the comments on another blog site....
You can guess the blog, I won't promote it...

Dumb, meet Dumber..

dgdavis said...
Hi John,I just wanted to thank you for sticking up for me on the "Surviving my crazy Lies, oops I mean Life blog. Someone sent me a PM and I have to say it was quite funny! What was really humorous was that Elizabeth N. Kirby AKA Roo2/Winnie would post an address there that she thinks is mine.Only she forgets that I'm not hiding from anyone. I don't have a reason to conceal who I am. All she had to do was ask if she wanted to know. It's 713 Kendall Dr. Vestavia Hills, AL 53226! Maybe I could've saved her some searching time. Hahaha!I'm so glad to see that Jeanette is ignoring me. If she wouldn't lie so much maybe someone could believe what she says. I feel sorry for her kids having a "role model" that is such a liar. tsk tsk... And Amy with all her mommy guilt, how many husbands has she had now? 5 kids and I think they all have different fathers? Oh well, maybe they'll all take their own unsolicited advice and get some help,maybe they have a liars anonymous or something similar. But they can't be very "anonymous" with all the public lying they do. All I asked was to be left alone but for some reason (moth to a flame?) they keep revealing more foolishness with every "conversation" we have. Guess that must be why they are all friends, they share that masochistic I'm a bad girl, spank mething in common. Hahaha! Thanks again John and have a good weekend!
dgdavis said...
Well John, it appears I didn't need your
support on that ugly blog after all. It seems Jeanette is getting the spanking she needed from all her "admiring fan club." LOL!Talk about a glutton for punishment. Do you think it's too late for me to get her autograph? Oh darn! And Liz Kirby, (I'm sure she's no relation to David, just one of life's odd coincidences) sadly has Jeanette beat in the "pathetic" department. If she's so "worried" about protecting her internet identity and her son, (and other 2 children) it would be very wise of her to put a lid on her intractable obsession and leave well enough alone. I won't hesitate to reveal all the information I have about her kids if she insists on persisting with this sickness of hers. It would've been so easy to just leave me alone like I asked. Maybe a call to her husband Russell would be in order at the University of AL Birmingham. He's probably not busy with all that meaningless "research" going on. Yes, we all know the "intellectually superior" type with he self-impressing CV. Yawn. "Things" must be very boring for you, we can see why you need some extra excitement. But as difficult as it may be for you, it really is possible to live your life without being such a termagant and all the "drama." It is a small world after all. Pooh Pooh. I'll thank you in advance for doing a "spell check" for me. Hahaha!And you can consider yourself "warned."
Sat Feb 09, 11:48:00 AM EST
Foresam said...
Diane,I didn't know Jeanette was planning to kill two of her kids. It doesn't sound like she's celebrating the joy of autism like a true ND nitwit.
Sat Feb 09, 01:36:00 PM EST
dgdavis said...
Yes John, Just look at this comment from Jeanette's blog:"Patrick is helping me when he gets home from work and I cannot wait for school to startnext week....I need a nap.I have nursed 5 children from the brink of death during Christmas break...okay, that isan exaggeration...just bronchitis...Boo hoo, she can't wait for school to start? Mom of the year, eh? That's right lady, just pawn your kids off on everyone else. I don't think I know anyone else who has a 40 hours per week personal aid for their child. Caitlin has one though. And instead of counting her blessings, she's complaining. And what does she mean she "needs a nap?" What's that? Is there any other parent out there who has the luxury of taking a nap? I guess we should submit her name for sainthood right?And I see someone's been busy tattling to the FA at AS. The FA must be very sick of you by now Liz.And Amy, it's not really my concern that you can't keep a man happy. But don't project your anger onto me as if I have anything to do with it.But I'd be happy to slap you a few times, I'm sure you miss that. Maybe you could get along with a piece of rubber with two big balls on the end of it. What's that called? A dildo, I think or at least a vibrator. You seem to have an odd preoccupation with how much people weigh. Maybe a workout might help you, if you don't have a man around, a treadmill works wonders for releasing natural endorphins and you may be able to finally throw all that medication away you need to get through the day. An eliptical machine is also worth every penny. But no matter how big my butt is sweetie, it'll never be bigger than your mouth.
Sat Feb 09, 03:53:00 PM EST
Anonymous said...
Mom26 threatened to kill two of her kids? Scary! This from the woman who condemns anyone and everyone for doing any sort intervention and thinks she is the "perfect parent!" Being most of her kids don't even sound like they are on the spectrum you've really got to wonder about this woman.
Sat Feb 09, 06:32:00 PM EST
Anonymous said...
And poor Jeanette needs a nap. Don't we all! She's nothing but a lazy ass. Gets a free house and services for all of her kids (even the ones who don't sound autistic at all) is still complaining.
Sat Feb 09, 06:41:00 PM EST
Anonymous said...
Mom26 claims on her blog that she was at an Autism Workshop all day helping other parents. I can only imagine what her version of "help" is. She is probably telling parents that biomedical and intensive ABA are horrible and cruel and they should just accept their kids and they will grow up just fine. It is truly frightening that a person like this is out giving advice to parents who are new to autsim.
Sat Feb 09, 07:46:00 PM EST
Anonymous said...
Oh yes, John, mom26's threat to take out 2 of her kids & sterilize a third one was printed in the paper in Austin Tx.She wanted to prevent her daughter from producing any offspring, (they might be autistic) while she went on & had 6 of her own.If anyone needed to be sterilized, it's that stupid bitch. She got an Anon. reply to her blog regarding calling the authorities for her threats to her kids, (not to mention she gets really aggressive in her posts & that fury's gotts go somewhere) and she got all wadded up & started with "you aren't as anon. as you might think.....you're making threats.......blah...blah...""I love me life...as long as school's in session." What a fuckin' twat.
Sat Feb 09, 08:05:00 PM EST

What lovely talk from a mother of 2....no wonder she is so friggin mean.

Diane, I really do feel so sorry for you.
I hope you find the happiness you so are looking for in your life.

What have you done for Autism lately???
Oh, that's right, NOTHING.

Diane, be very careful who you sell your soul to.

Friday, February 08, 2008


Our oldest daughter, Caitlin, is 17 years old today.

My wish for Caitlin is that she continues to grow and mature into the
talented, amazing young woman she is destined to be. My wish is that
Caitlin will be the artist she so inspires to be.
Caitlin has told me of her desires to be a professional artist. We are
trying hard to get her dreams to become a reality. She has consistently
taken art classes at school and dreams of attending college, one day, to
pursue this dream.

17 years ago, when I gave birth to Caitlin, she filled a huge void in my life
that I never knew was there....I was filled with emotions that I never knew
were possible.
Caitlin taught me unconditional love, patience, caring, and most of all...Caitlin
taught me how to fight. Fight for her rights as a smart and talented individual.
She taught me to let people know just because she has Autism that she could
function in society both through the schools and through the community.
Caitlin showed everyone who ever doubted her that she could behave in school,
could eat in restaurants, could ride a bus, could attend concerts and field trips, could
sit in a movie theatre....all without a hitch.

Caitlin was the first child with Autism to attend Summitt Elementary. She was
their "test subject" I have been told. Because of Caitlin, other children with Autism
can now attend this elementary school.

As I sat in her annual meeting yesterday at High School (can you believe ?)....the
teacher's thanked me and my husband. They thanked us for our unwaivering ability
to insist that Caitlin attend regular ed classes. These teacher's were sceptical at first.
Yet, when Caitlin showed them "model" behaviors and wonderful grades, they all
said, "I wish all of our student's were like Caitlin".
Caitlin taught us how to parent. We are so grateful for that.
I responded back to the teacher's that Caitlin would not be anywhere near what
she is today without the many educators that have taught her and loved her. We
are thankful to them for giving her the opportunity to thrive.

No "pity parties" for Caitlin....just a big Birthday party for the remarkable young
17 year old she has become.

Happy Birthday Caitlin....

Monday, February 04, 2008


Flaming is the hostile and insulting interaction between Internet users. Flaming usually occurs in the social context of a discussion board, Internet Relay Chat (IRC) or even through e-mail. An Internet user typically generates a flame response to other posts or users posting on a site, and such a response is usually not constructive, does not clarify a discussion, and does not persuade others. Sometimes, flamers attempt to assert their authority, or establish a position of superiority over other users. Other times, a flamer is simply an individual who believes he or she carries the only valid opinion. This leads him or her to personally attack those who disagree. Occasionally, flamers wish to upset and offend other members of the forum, in which case they can be called "trolls". Most often however, flames are angry or insulting messages transmitted by people who have strong feelings about a subject.

I am being "harassed" online by a FLAMING IDIOT....
I will not reveal the place this is happening or the pathetic being doing this.
I just want to make a point.

When you go on a message board, it is generally to gather or reveal information.
That is all I ever wanted to do when I post on Autism Message Forum Boards...any
of them.

As of recently, a person, who is obviously unhappy with her menial little life has
chosen to harass me by provoking flame wars on a particular message board on
a well-known website.

I have chosen my blog to step up and say that I have chosen not to address this
person on that board, because frankly, I am BORED with this person.
I wish she will get the help she so desperately needs. First and foremost, for
her children...next, for her family, and last for herself.
I also hope she finds a dictionary...it is spelled DEFINITELY....see no A....

When I chose to go public with my amazing family, I was warned about being ridiculed
and having my family put into positions of being made fun of.
We chose to go forward in an effort to show families with children with Autism that
it is not all "GLOOM AND DOOM", but can be a very positive experience for every person
that is involved with your children.
We have had death threats, our mailbox blown up, hateful letters, hateful phone calls
and emails.
But all of this was worth the thousands of well-wishes and love sent to us from people
whom we have never met and never will.

No one can shut me up or shut me out. I just WILL NOT take a part of something that
reminds me of dealing with a "childhood bully".....GROW UP ALREADY....

Get up away from your computer. Go outside and get some fresh air...

Better yet...GET A THERAPIST!!!!!