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.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


At the end of this week, we are having our annual ARD (Admissions, Review and Dismissal) meeting for our 10-year-old son Patrick. He is being withdrawn from Special Education
Services that he has been in since he was 3-years old. HE NO LONGER QUALIFIES FOR SERVICES. Does that mean he is cured? I don't think so.
Of course, you won't see this story in Age of Autism. Why? you ask....!!!!
Because, we did not ever put Patrick, or any of our children in a position to be seen in any way that would diminish who they are.
You see, we have never put a number on our children to as how much a percentage they are not "typical". We do not justify their being as a percentage.
You see, Patrick is 100% who he is supposed to be....he is 100% Patrick.

Kiernan, who is severely autistic, will be 9 years old in March. He has not progressed quite as rapidly as Patrick. Yet, is he less of a percentage than Patrick....???
Kiernan is much loved amongst his NT peers. Fully inclusioned and making all A's on his report card. Still non-verbal in a verbal world...but man, he holds his own!!!
He holds court in class and the kids and teacher's love him.
Nope, he is 100% Kiernan. Kiernan is 100% of who he is supposed to be....

Caitlin will graduate with her class this June. She has earned enough credits and with really hard work, has maintained a A-B average. She is well-loved and respected at her very large, PUBLIC high school. She did not have to hide behind a school that only deals with autism. She braved the "neurotypical" world and is winning.
Will this be a feature article in AoA?....Doubtful!!!
Is Caitlin still Autistic...you bet!!!
She is 100% Caitlin and 100% who she is supposed to be.

Deirdre is maintaining her A average in 10th grade. Continuing to prosper amongst her peers. She struggles to understand why the teenagers around her are so uncouth and so immature. Deirdre is loved and accepted by our church. So much so, that when she travels with them, they know she does not like to sleep with other people in her bed, so they accomadate her bedding. They know her food quirks, and plan meal times around foods she will also enjoy.
Will you read about this in AoA....heck no...!!!
Deirdre is 100% Deirdre and 100% of who she is supposed to be!

Erin, who outshines and hovers over her classmates not only in height (13 years old and 5 ft. 10 inches), but in her ability to maintain an A-average since elementary school. Erin, who has very little patience for people who don't know as much as she does (including her dear Mother), but is willing to teach you what you do not know.
Erin, who has come so far since she was a poop-smearing, screaming little toddler...Erin, who the educators thought would be our most challenging child....Erin, who is now fully-inclusioned among her Neurotypical peers and soaring far past their mundaneness.
Erin, who is not worried one little bit about what fashions are out there, how to put on makeup correctly or who is going to ask her out. She has her friends and they adore her.
Where is her feature story on A0A...???
Erin is 100 % who she is supposed to be and she will remind you of that, lest you forget !!!

And Meaghan...who turned 12-years old last week. Who has all of the angst a 12-year old girl should have. It is hard to worry about the latest styles of clothes, the correct way to apply blush and what boy is the cutest !!!
Meaghan, who has more drama in her life than most soap-operas on television.
This we witnessed last weekend, when Meaghan had her 5 closest friends over for a slumber party.....12-year-old drama is quite frightening if you are not accustomed to it.
But, after a successful make-up session and face-art done by the talented Helen Hutka...all the girls united and had a lovely time.
Meaghan is a hard-working, loving child. She has a heart of gold and cares deeply for her siblings. She is adored by them all and it shows when she walks in the room.
Meaghan is 100% Meaghan...she is 100% who she is supposed to be.

Does this mean we do not think our children can accomplish more....HECK NO!!!
Our childrens futures are limitless.
Because we say they are 100% does not mean they will not improve more or shine any less.
This means that we do not look upon these wonderful people as less than they are. They are not a number to us. They are our children.
Patrick and myself do not feel the necessity to gauge their progress, just because they have Autism. We pride ourselves in their accomplishments and bask in their glory. They were meant to be here, and they were meant to be our children.

They are 100% perfection....


Fighting for my Children said...

I love it. Children are children not their autism.

KWombles said...

Beautiful! Awesome. :-) Yippee. You blogged. Don't make us wait so long! It was worth the wait, though!

r.b. said...

I like the title of this post. I think you're on to something!

mommy~dearest said...

And 100% adorable! Thank you for the uplifting post. You really have something to be proud of there, Mom. :)

Sue said...

Well, those authorities are just 100% wrong! Good luck with what ever you do to support Patrick next :)

Moms of ASD Children said...

I love your story! Best one I've read so far. Thanks! We are well on our way to being "another success story" and I'm thrilled. Exhausted and proud too but thrilled.. I say almost daily, he is expected to lose his diagnosis and if that's controversial, I don't care. We too do OT, speech and send him to an asd preschool. WE love PLAY therapy but otherwise it's just him busting his butt. started at 18 mos old 3 yrs old now and they need to invent a new word for "drastic" because it doesn't even touch the amount of progress he has made. thanks for sharing you story!
ours is on momsofasdchildren.com if your curious

Jeanne said...

You go girl! I've got a 20 year old with severe autism, non-verbal, and cp! She works so hard every day and with such a sunny personality. Thanks for telling it like it REALLY is. One damn hard day after the next : )

beatrizkd said...

I have never blogged about anything ever but when I read your story, it touch me deeply. Being a mother of autism has it's many challenges but much more awards. I love you story and I agree 100%. My high fuctioning 8 yr old lives a normal and active life thanks to early intervention and speech. He is social in his own way and is loved by all who meet him. Thank you for telling your story! It was very uplifting.

Anonymous said...

I have a son(Zack)who has very high functioning Aspergers. He is now a Junior at the University of Maine(Orono). You absolutely right about the genetic component. Autism and Aspergers as well as OCD runs in my husbands family.Dyslexia runs in my family. As a special education teacher, I was perhaps better equipt to help Zack. He attended school from Kindergarden trough the fourth grade. I home schooled him from the fourth grade through eight grade. He attended a puplic high school and graduated with honors. He still has problems educating the buracracy of the university system, they like to keep everyone marching in step which Zack does not do. He likes to take the courses that interest him not the courses he's supposed to take to graduate. Socially, he is very awkward but is able to maintain several friendships he has had since grade school. I worry about him but know I have to let him fly under his own power. Perhaps someday he will help humanity in some profound way.

20 from WI said...

Hi, i just read the article on AOL, with your interview with them, and i just wanted to say that you are a very great person and mother. The world needs more people like you! Your children are very lucky to have you, and you are very lucky too because it sounds like you have 6 very amazing children.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jeanette,
When I read your headline I was ready to fight. After the first paragraph we are friends for life. I babysit for a living. 3 of the children had autism. Well their parents did. After getting to know them I noticed many things that affected their autism. One was habit. I answer back, can't help it. If someone is talking, I answer them. The more I did the more they were drawn up. I know you know what I mean. So, you know my number one. Great, I was only able to convince one parent. Number two, has to do with number two. Diet diet diet. So much fiber is missing from people's diets today. How awful for my sweetheart to have to have someone change his poopy diaper at 10 years old. Boy I wouldn't be happy interacting. Keeping his colon empty allowed for it to shrink back to the state where he once again had nerve sensation and thus control.
That said, You will have to try this before you believe me, but you will be amazed at how much better your kids will do if you get their weight down to the thin side of normal. You will just have to deal with them unhappy with you for limiting them. It will help. Now you will think I'm nuts but you have to increase their, gosh, I don't know the term for it. They will benefit from Greasy salty French fries and candy bars for hyper kids. Try it.
This next one it seems you do know, at least a few of your kids know. Autism does not equal less intelligence. So many kids get diagnossed and then nothing is expected of them. I actually got yelled at by a parent that I didn't do his son's homework for him......I figured out he was giving me last weeks answers. Pretty heavy 6th grade science, but he threw it at me as answers to math so I would give up and let him play on the computer. Except he had to read to play his favorite game. He had his parents totally duped that he couldn't even come close to reading. Little smarty pants. Mean horiible Cathy wouldn't let him play or do anything til he did his homework and did it right. Yes I made him erase the BS he'd put down. Yes he cried and yelled at me. Oh it was hard, but guess what. He only did one page of homework that day, he did it in time to play his game(he wasn't allowed on the computer at home) and he did it right and by himself. His Dad knew this and we worked well for his benefit. Too bad his Mom had custody and embraced the "Poor me, he's retarded". I gotta work.
I hope that some of this helps you in your path to parent your children. I hope you get more exposure and hope to the mom's who have givin up. Love always, Cathy

Anonymous said...

I think it was irresponsible to have 6 kids in this over populated world. On top of that, ones that will not be able to "pay their way".

Anonymous said...

You are an inspiration! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for speaking the TRUTH.

Dak's Mom said...

Hello -- I have just found your blog and find your perspective refreshing. Although I am not completely on board with your opinion, I have to admit that you definitely qualify to speak your truth and your mind!

I am a mother of only 1 who does struggle with Autism however I admit it is society choosing to dictate who he should be that is the biggest challenge!

My Dakota is 23 and the light of my life. He unfortuately didnt get the benefit of traditional school -- not for me trying - but just the mentality of the schools in California-- That is no excuse.
I have worked with him every day since he has been here and I believe that he is precious just the way he is. I am so proud of him.

I have also started a blog which is different to yours; essentially I think we share many views yet I think I have a little more bitchiness about society and the frustration I experience dealing with Autism. Basically many of the other parents I have encountered are clueless and many are in denial-- particularly the Dads seem to have more trouble than the Moms so I started my blog just to let them know they are not alone. Its OK to feel what they want but be proactive for their child who is a Human Being first and Autism is just a part of who their children are.

I look forward to following your blog and I hope that perhaps you might be able to take a look at mine sometime -- ha ha I was going to say when you have a minute!!!!

Anyway Thank you for all you do and mostly for the way you take care of your babies!!!


Anonymous said...

Im only twelve years old but i was on aol and i was bored so i read this. I may not know much but i do know that what your saying is right. I know what its like to be a kid and i know that i wouldnt want to be stuck in a room have a special diet and being poked and prodded all the time i would want to have a normal life! just like your providing for your kids.!!! good job :)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The twelve year old is right.! good job.

Anonymous said...

I think you are amazing and you give us all hope. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Yes, everybody is good the way they are. This is what my 8 year old boy told me. To help and protect us however from chemicals that are sprayed in the air everybody, and thus also autistic children needs support. One of the supports is AIM.
When I did not have money last year to renew for AIM, my boys asked me to put them back on asap. And for autistic children it is for free!

Anonymous said...

Well done! The world needs more people like you. I do not have a child with autism but I have dealt with one. I used to babysit for this little boy off and on from three months old until he was about three. He was diagnosed with autism. I broke my heart because he had youn mother who didnt take the time of day for him. When he was two she brought them to my house to watch again and said she couldnt potty train him because he had autism. I two short weeks we had him almost fully potty trained and then she stopped coming around.We seen them again about a year later and he was still in diapers. I asked her why and she said the doctors say he wouldnt know how to train until he was older because he was autistic. That is a bunch of bull. All a child needs is someone to take time for them. I am glad there are people like you in this world. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I can finally say I've read something about Autism that was refreshing!
My youngest son is considered to have severe Autism and is non-verbal, I have older children not on the spectrum at all. I love and accept him for who HE is, just like my other children. I've felt SO much pressure since his diagnosis 3 years ago, feeling if I didn't do this or that I am failing my child (diets, chelation). I attempted the GFCF diet, what a joke. How unfair for my baby to see us all eating normal food while he cries? I kept telling myself it was for his benefit, I saw NO change in him after 3 months and put him back on regular food.
Thank you so much for educating people on what REAL Autism is.. I will continue to follow you, a real mother who knows what she's talking about!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

i thank its sad u would keep having children knowing they are going to have this over and over and over again ur a awlful parent to make these children go through this what kind of monster r u? makes me sick!

Anonymous said...

Good for you Jeanette! Anything that causes "learning disabilities" of any kind should be researched. But we're busy raising a lovely, unique little boy who we couldn't be more proud of. When do we stop trying to change them and simply relish who they are? I know alot of 'normal' people who could benefit from an autistic characteristic or two. All our best to you all.

mike said...

You hit it on the head. That is what I've said for the last 20 years. Not everyone is lucky enough to be a parent to those we call"Autistic". I doubt we even know 5% of what we call autism to mean . I know these wonderful kids are eons and light years ahead of us. Just accept their love and you will be blessed.

hockeymom277 said...

I am a mother of 3 children ... and can not believe how lucky your children are !You are a wonderful WOMEN and mother ! You never gave up on your children .. Even when it would be easier to give up then to fight .You and your husband made sure that ALL your children had the same quality of life like my children and many others ... You both are amazing people and your cildren are true gifts to us all ... What a story ! WOW

Meg, teacher, Illinois said...

Thank you for your refreshing approach to child rearing in a family with many unique personalities. I, also, do not believe in all the strange therapies for children diagnosed on the very broad autistic spectrum. You are fortunate that you have advocated for your children in your county and public school system. I know that you are aware of the cost of such services on the tax payers. May your children grow to their full potential and rely less on social services as they mature. I especially applaud your efforts in expecting your children to behave appropriately when in public.

Gail.E said...

What a wonderful point in your interview. Do we want our kids to act appropriately at home or in society? Tough choices to have to make but we make them every day.

brenrn5 said...

I just read, your AOL interview, and I applaud you. I'm a mother of 5 children, my youngest is autistic, I feel like a bad mother for not keeping him on a gluten free diet...he hated the food on that diet, I just hope and pray he will get better with the therapies he receives in school. thank you for being an inspiration and letting us know it's ok to not put our children through those tortuous treatments...GOD BLESS

Anonymous said...

Im a 35 year old Model who hasnt had kids because of selfishness and fear. I came across your site through AOL news. I just wanted to say, that your life and like those of every woman with the same challenges and experiences are a great slap to my face, I just needed to say it hurts, and I wanted to THANK YOU. You're not just teaching your kids to be the best they can be, you teach many others...even a 35 year old bimbo from Las Vegas.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. You rock.

awill1223 said...


You are an inspiration to all. I agree and the vaccinations and med treatments. I know parents want answers as to what "cause" their childrens autism but ... there are not definitive answers and probably will not be in our lifetime. Once a parent learns to accept, which they need to do quickly, the sooner they can help their child. It is not an easy road, but I would not give it up for anything. Just love your children and accept them for who they are.

April - mother of Jacob 14 who has autism

Anonymous said...

I read the article on AOL and I need to say, THANK YOU!! I am the proud mother of a wonderful 23 year old young man who has autism. Chris is a darling guy who is now very high functioning, verbal and independent. As a 3 year old when diagnosed with autism, the "experts" gave us little hope but we worked hard or I should say Chris worked hard. We were frank with him about his brain being wired differently and that he would have to find a way to adhere to societal expectations because they would never give him a break because he was a "poor little autistic soul". We expected that he would behave himself, do what is asked when it was asked and look others in the eye when he is spoke to or when speaking to others. We also gave Chris a safe place for his stimulation- his room. At 15 he asked me what he could do so that people do not know he has autism and when I told him that he shouldn't talk to himself, finger flap or spell and don't ask others about their video games, he had a look of dismay but from that day forward made efforts to not do those things that set him apart. Today, he works at a local grocery store as a cashier, he has customers that look for him, coworkers who adore him and he continues to work on his independent skills so that he can someday move out of our house. (We love him but he has to go...)
We are looking to move back to Texas from Florida this year and that will be his best chance to accomplish this goal. I am very grateful that he was given to me to raise. How blessed I have been to call him son.
I am very thankful that there are other mothers who do not need a cure for their child. Autism is not a disease like cancer or the flu. I get so frustrated when over the years the new and latest "snake oil" comes down the pipe and parents throw good money after bad trying to "cure" the brain of their child. Accept who they are, love them and teach them what they need to know to function in this world. That has always been my thought. It is not the end of the world, Chris doesn't need your pity or your dirty looks. He does need your understanding and may need you to explain the directions more than once.
I am a special education teacher and that is how I view my students. I don't feel bad that they are faced with a life of challenges but I try to give them the tools and strategies to meet the tasks head on.
Thanks again for being a blog of reason. Keep on going.

The Horse Woman said...

I read your story with interest as I have been ready about autism since I was about 12 years old, I guess I felt so alienated in my world that I identified with children with autism. Unfortunately my upbringing was not the best, but after I graduated from college and ended up on disability I had lots of time on my hands so I decided to volunteer with an autism social group, I was most comfortable and at ease with the first group where many of the children were no verbal, this of course doesn't mean they never communicated with me and others. I became close with Ryan and his mother. Ryan didn't speak a whole lot, he said hi and bye and thank you to me when prompted by his mother, he was potty trained, a lot of the kids were not, he was very sensitive to noise and that limited the tme in the group some days depending on if the heat clicked on-that seemed to really hurt him and so his mom would take him home. If he was into a food she brought some with her so he could eat with all the other kids. While we would sit in a circle Ryan would look at me, smile and lean over so he could get as close to me as possible, giggle then lean back. While he was "supposed" to interact with the other kids, he chose me and I enjoyed our interaction. The kids were wonderful to be around, some of the kids curiosity and eagerness to soak up everything in their enviroment was contagious. ryan's mother tried to get him into school when she suceeded and visited the school, Ryan was off by himself, the teachers did not want to "bother" him. She knew he would never get an education at that school and so schools him at home adding art class with NT children as well as other activities. Ryan and other children on the autism spectrum deserve a chance, not left alone in a class, or worse locked into a round table to languish there to learn nothing but frustration. I stayed with a young man who had Asperger's and was a very social young man. We went swimming, and I returned him home one day and asked if he'd finished his homework his mother said, "Him, he has no homework." I know he could read and was speechless as to why he had no homework. Unfortunately, this young man had no limits put on him and ended up filled with anger so much that he started to hit his mother...ended up in the juvenile home for boys. I guess he's at home now. I mourn for those kids who don't have a mom like you and get stuck in a system that asks nothing but confinement from them. It's refreshing to read your blog and I will be following it! Thank you so much for sharing your life and kid's stories with us. Karla

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I feel you are 100% right. I believe that people are too quick to just jump on these medical treatments that the doctor suggest. The thing is that most of these medical treatments are all new. If my child were to be diagnosed with something like autism, I don't think I would try all these things. My niece was diagnosed with mild Autism and extream behavioal problems when she was 3. My sister could not handle her and sent her to live with my mother, who has a child around the same age. Within two months, her behavior had improved so much that you would never know that she had any problems at all. It took my mother constent attention and disipline to help her, not all the medicine that my sister had her on before. My sister is very happy with the progress and my mother is now teaching her how to handle the day to day life of a child with these types of problems. Soon we hope that she will be in her mother's home again.
I believe that you are the voice for people who think that doctors do not always know what is best for your children. Sometimes, Momma knows best.

Lisa R Garza said...

You sound like one neat Mom! Your children are blessed to have such a wonderful mother!

tammee said...

you are 100% right!!! how blessed you are to have such a wonderful, loving family! each and every one of you are 100% beautiful!!!

Anonymous said...

You are a perfect example of what's wrong with society. You keep breeding and the taxpayers are paying for it. You are the ultimate in selfishness. WHY WHY WHY would you keep pushing out kids with serious problems?? You truly make me sick.....

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last post. What kind of monster are you to keep having children with psychological defects? Don't you think there are enough needy children in the world? Why add to the problem? And what's wrong with only having one or two kids? Why have six? Are you a catholic by an chance??
And I just love all of these other crazy women just like you with their sappy posts. GET A LIFE, LADIES! Pushing out 6 kids that will probably have mental deficiencies does not make this woman a hero.....it makes her a sick, whackjob!

Anonymous said...

I applaud you for your tenacity and your ability to wonderfully care for all six of your beautiful children. I give you, your husband, and all of your children a standing ovation!!

I agree that all the extra things (chelation, hyperbaric chambers, etc) are not necessary for *anyone* who is otherwise healthy.

Keep up the good work!!

Ronny said...

A wonderful post, Jeanette. I commend you, and your wonderful family. You all are awesome.
I have discovered that Kangen water helps autism. Please share my website

This water has helped many people no matter what they have been classified with. Because it is an anti-oxident it can work wonders.

I hope you read abut the water and what it does.

Keep up the good work you have done with your kids. You have inspired a lot of people.

Most sincerely,