March 2, 2010

Not Famous Enough

Posted in Our Background tagged , , at 2:50 pm by autismmommytherapist

My name is Kimberlee Rutan McCafferty, and I am the mother of two wonderful boys, ages three and six, both of whom have autism. Six years ago I was a resident of the great state of Virginia, living twenty minutes from the White House and reveling in the fact that after two years of fertility treatments and several miscarriages, I finally had a kid. Six months into my parenthood journey I had mild concerns about my infant’s behaviors that were not shared by my pediatric group; a year later they finally were. My oldest son Justin was diagnosed at seventeen months with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, a label followed half-a-year later by the one we’re all so much more familiar with, autism.

 

To say this wasn’t a pleasant time for our family would be quite the understatement.  I quickly realized the services for children in Virginia through the state’s Early Intervention program were almost non-existent, and if we wanted him to have a comprehensive home program without entering bankruptcy, the job would fall upon me. I quit my teaching job, got trained in the core therapies for autism, and was his primary therapist for the next fifteen months. Since massive amounts of quality therapy at an early age is about the ONLY thing the myriad factions of the autism community agrees is a good thing for autistic children, I dove in and worked at least six hours a day with my son for over a year. When I eventually realized our school district’s program would not be right for him when he became of age, we decided to relocate back to my former state of New Jersey. There, Justin would not only have a one-on-one aide, but would actually receive Early Intervention services not conducted by his exhausted and perpetually cranky mother. It was a win-win.

 

We quickly settled into our new home. A few months later my husband Jeff and I were pleasantly surprised to discover we had forgotten to claim something at customs upon our return trip from Aruba, a little something who eventually ended up being our second son, Zachary. Other than a slight speech delay during his second year, Zachary’s development was completely different than his brother’s. Not only did he hit every milestone on time which Justin also had done, but he displayed none of the “extras” which had so concerned me during the first few years of my older son’s life. Unfortunately when Zach was twenty-months-old he was taken ill twice in one month, and within weeks began displaying the classic symptoms of autism. These were not good times chez McCafferty.

 

I quickly realized my life was not exactly going in accord with my extravagant plan of marrying a good guy, having two healthy kids, being an educator, and cultivating a healthy attachment to a fruity pinot grigio and being in bed by 10. It was pretty obvious the career had to stay in the crapper so I could continue to don the mantle of “mommy-therapist”, and heavy drinking was out if I wanted to be any good at it.  Since I am the suckiest martyr ever I decided I had to have something for me, something more than the satisfaction of seeing that sixth load of laundry get folded AND put away.

 

So I decided to write a book, even though I hadn’t written anything longer than an email since grad school in the early 90’s. Creative writing was the only course I’d gotten an A in during college, so I figured what the hell, and went for it. I thought I’d just whip it out in a few months. It took two years.

 

Part of the reason it took so long was my inability to function after 7:30 PM, and in part it was those damn kids getting in the way of my writing. They are just SO time-consuming! Eventually I did finish it, and now have turned my attention to becoming (just slightly) famous through my blog, so I can get my manuscript published and achieve my goals of opening as many doors as possible for my sons, and helping other families struggling with autism.

 

So here I am in the blogosphere. Before I decided to go this route however, I felt compelled to explore other avenues to fame simultaneously.

 

My alternative opportunities were twofold.  Join the cast of a reality TV show (Jersey Shore is practically in my backyard), or exploit the famous people I’ve met. Since I don’t have nearly enough tattoos to qualify for the Seaside Heights venture (and there have been no casting calls for cougars), unfortunately I feel I must shun this option. Sadly, its proximity would have made it so convenient, and I do tan well. It’s a pity.

 

So, that leaves the shameful exploitation of celebrities I’ve encountered in my travails. There are three.

 

First, there’s Dirk Benedict from the original version of Battlestar Galactica, whom I tormented in the Theater in the Round in NY in the mid 80’s when I was in high school. I made him give me an autograph and blew his cover. I doubt he’s forgiven me, so he’s out.

 

Then there’s Bill Clinton, whom I met while chaperoning my students on a field trip to a Baltimore Orioles game. Mr. Clinton shook my hand in a completely random moment of kindness (because, clearly, I am a person of no importance), and I responded by forgetting every pithy, clever comment I’d been honing and instead greeted him with a slightly subdued and breathy “hi”. Somehow, I don’t think he’ll remember me.

 

Last, and most lucrative, is my little brother. He’s a death metal rock star. Yes, I can claim stardom for him since women on the street stop him to have their picture taken with him (every time it happens with me around gentle mocking ensues, it is GREAT fun). I’m certain he could make me famous at his concerts by incorporating autism into his lyrics, somewhere between the references to rotting corpses and rancid brains. Since I kept him alive on Kraft macaroni and cheese for a few years during our childhood, I figure he owes me.

 

After indulging in my fantasies of a quick trip to fame for some time, alas, in a moment of clarity, I have come to realize I will just have to buckle down and get my name out there the old-fashioned way, simply by writing.

 

So, if you’ve received an email about this blog you either know me or my mother, and despite the fact that we’re all insanely busy these days, it would be great if you would visit it from time to time, perhaps leave a relatively appropriate comment, and badger everyone you know to visit it too. Thank you, and I promise (REALLY!) to respond!

Kimberlee

83 Comments »

  1. Kaitlin O'Riley said,

    I’m not nearly as famous as Dirk, Bill, or your rock star brother, but as a mildly successful romance novelist, you can count me among you famous friends too!

    But I have to say Kim, YOU are the rock star! I know how hard you work on a daily basis for your two sons — simply to get them the attention and care they deserve. You SHOULD be famous!! You are an inspiration to all parents…

    • Hey, don’t think this worked the first time. Thanks for responding, and I think you’re more than “mildly successful”, and another book out soon too! Thanks for all of your support with this!

      Kim

  2. Courtenay Adams said,

    Wonderful! I am looking forward to reading more. Let me know what other articles and items of interest you have written. I really love your sense of humor and can only imagine what it has taken for you to get to this point. You have two very lucky boys!

    • I am so proud of you for doing this, and appreciative! I think the first time I tried this it didn’t work, so here I am again. Thank you hon, talk to you soon!

      Kim

  3. Cindy said,

    I cannot believe you never told me you knew Dirk Benedict.

    • Hey, first time I did this I don’t think it worked…………. So many surprises left for you, my friend………

  4. Libby Kesil said,

    Great post Kim! Great writing chops! I never knew this about you, although I have chuckled at some of emails. I think you are going to be a great writer! Can’t wait to read more.

    Libby

  5. Amber said,

    Welcome to the blogosphere, Kim! I am so happy I will have a place to follow my boys when I am in a land far, far away. 🙂

    • Still getting the hang of this thing…………. Thanks for posting and for sending it on, I appreciate it!

      Kim

  6. Kerri said,

    I can’t wait to read the part of your book about the extremely wonderful and amazing therapists your son Zachary had. LOL!

    You are an inspiration to all of us. No woman should have to be a martyr. All women deserve something for themselves. I went back to college after my second child was born and it was the best thing I ever did. It made me a better mother because of it. I didn’t resent them and it gave me some time away from them as well. Women who feel successful are better at what they do and their children will see that and they will be encouraged to be successful. Justin may not be able to tell you how wonderful you are and that he is proud of you but he will show you will a tug, hug, or kiss. You know what he means even when their are no words and Zachary is talking up a storm now so I am sure he will tell you soon. You should be very proud of yourself for working so hard with Justin when he was not provided the services he needed by VA and how hard you have fought for proper services in NJ for Justin and Zachary.

    Now you deserve something in return. You deserve the public to know what you have done and the opportunity to help others. I am sure that your book provides a vast amount of information that is helpful to everyone, you were a teacher so it is your natural ability to teach. I hope that this blog takes off for you and the book gets published so you can continue to teach. No one ever said you have to give up what you love because something doesn’t go right in your life. You need to take the life that you were given and make the best of it. You need to move forward and use you experience you have to help others. I can’t wait to see where the rest of this path takes you. You are a strong woman who will continue this journey with or without road blocks. You are loved by many so this journey is not a lonely one. We take this journey with you and are behind you when you need us.

    Good Luck for your sake and for the sake of autism.

  7. Kim said,

    I have 2 kids – a five year old son and an almost 10 month old daughter. Autism is so much in the news but honestly since it has not effected me I have to say I am somewhat ignorant of the signs. I was specifically wondering what the mild concerns about your infant’s behavior at 6 months of age were.

    Love the humor in your writing – laughter is really wonderful medicine!

    • Kim, thanks for responding, not sure my first post made it, am a blogging “newbie”. The signs I saw were gaze avoidance, spinning things, and mouthing almost everything in sight. He hit all the milestones however until about 12-14 months, so it was really the “extras” that made me worry. I appreciate your post, thanks!

      Kim

  8. Mary said,

    Kimberlee,
    This is great! Glad Kerri gave me the link. I know fast ways to get alot of followers so send me an email and I’ll help you get this off the ground fast. Oh yes, I’m Mary, Kerri’s friend & I have Will a 4 1/2 year old with Regressive Autism & my typical daughter Megan is 6. I dabble a bit in blog land & Autism charity work myself so I’d be glad to help if I can. Just remember me when you’re famous okay? 🙂 Mary

    • Mary, thanks again for all of your help, not sure my first post “took”. And yes, I will DEFINITELY remember you when I’m famous……………

      Kim

  9. Mary said,

    Kim, you are truly amazing! I can not wait to read your manuscript. I admire you so much and absolutely love your writing style. P.S.: I think Erik’s lyrics would be even more brilliant with some facts about autism in the middle of zombies eating brains 🙂

    • Ooh, forgot about the zombies! Same to you hon, thanks for taking the time to read and respond. You’ll like the next one too. I admire you too sweetie. Love to you and Erik!

      Kim

  10. Marcia said,

    Though there must be so many mommy/therapists out there in the trenches, you’d be hard-pressed to find one better suited to tell the story. I wish I could bottle some of your drive to use on those days when life gets the better of me.

    Promise me that when you ARE famous enough, we’ll get to sit down and have just a little pinot grigio to toast your success!

    • Nope, we’re having a LOT of pinot grigio, my friend, a lot. You have plenty of drive woman, you don’t need any of mine. Thanks for being such an amazing friend and editor, I would truly not have gotten this far without you! Write me soon!

      Kim

  11. Amy Zavrel said,

    Hi Kim,
    I am so glad you sent this to me! I will certainly check in every once and a while, especially since it was US you left in VA! I loved seeing Justin grow up with Tommy and we miss you! I am definitely going to share your blog with friends and family.
    Question for you: How was Zachary’s development different from Justin’s? What were the ‘extras’ that he didn’t exhibit? What illnesses did he have?
    Keep us posted!

    • I know, I miss you guys so much too. I had so many friends with kids Justin’s age, and now Zach’s age. Tommy was the sweetest, happiest little boy I’ve ever known, seriously! Thanks for sharing with everyone.

      The extras with Justin were the gaze avoidance, sensory issues, and particularly his penchant for spinning objects. Zach did not show any signs until he was 20 months old, and even then, the spinning, or what we call perseverative behavior, never appeared. He just had two garden variety illnesses back to back, but honestly, can’t be sure they played into what happened, it could all be coincidental.

      Both boys are doing great. Justin is saying some word approximations, and Zach is ordering us around in full sentences now. It’s so much fun, truly!

      Take care, and thanks for taking the time to read/write. You’ll like the next one!

      Kim

  12. Kim's Mom said,

    You never fail to amaze me, and I always thought you would be a writer when you grew up! I knew you would be a wonderful mother, and without a doubt you are. The boys love you so much and show it in so many ways–Justin with his hugs and kisses, and his voice now when he calls you “mama”, and Zachary with his spontaneous “I love you mama” with big hugs and kisses. They are who they are today because of your devotion and skills. I am so blessed to have you as a daughter, Jeff as a son-in-law, and those wonderful two boys in my life. Being a grandmom is the best job ever! I know this book will be a success. You write with heart, hope and humor–a winning combination.

  13. Dawn said,

    Kim, I will have to say living across the street from you I see the many times you put Justin or Zachary in and out of the car just to take them out for a change of scenery, even in a foot of snow! Jeff is out there cleaning your car so you can be on your way to keep Justin’s schedule on key. You work a full time job much harder than a mother of two children without autisim. You are busy working with your boys everyday, whether you feel good or not, a good day or a bad day. I often see you put them on the bus in the mornings as I am getting my kids ready for school as well. You guide them up the steps and quickly run around the otherside of the bus to make sure they get to see you wave good-bye. And I never see anything but a smile on your face as you holler “hello” across the street as you unpack your totes and get the boys inside. You never complain and always have the time to ask how my family and I are doing. I know you must be exhausted. Since the day I met you, you have always been determined to help your children in everyway possible and that is wonderful. I am a true believer of the saying “God only gives you what you can handle.” I bet you didn’t realize how much patience you have. I know Justin and Zach are so lucky to have the parents they have, you both truly are special to have what it takes to give them both what they need! Good luck to you, I wish you the best of everything!

    Dawn

    • Dawn, thanks for what you said and for responding, I feel the same way about you and your family!

      Kim

  14. acollage said,

    It’s nice to meet you, Kimberlee! I am a mom of four, one with autism, who was also born after several miscarriages. He’s my youngest, and we didn’t learn he had autism until he’d barely turned four. I look forward to reading your blog frequently!

    • I think it’s particularly difficult to deal with this after you’ve worked so hard to have a baby in the first place. Justin was diagnosed ridiculously young, we were very fortunate in that regard. How is your son’s school system? Do your other children help out with your youngest? It must be challenging to have one with autism and three other kids. My husband and I have often felt we struggled with just the two! Thank you for posting, I look forward to hearing from you in the future!

  15. jodi Kauffeld said,

    I will definitely purchase the book when it comes out!! I have 2 son’s with autism and 2 with speech problems……

    • Thanks for posting, you must really have your hands full! I give anyone credit who has more than two children to begin with! I hope all of them are doing well. I look forward to your responses!

  16. Cami said,

    My dear Kim,
    I am so so so glad that you started blogging! I can’t wait to see those adorable boys, and hear what’s going on with you guys. You are truly amazing people, and you deserve all that is good in life. Please know that you guys are welcome to come visit any time. Love you!!

    • Cami, thanks for writing, it was so nice to hear from you! I’d love to visit (and I really mean it!), and know you are welcome here any time you’re back in the states. So happy for you guys! Take care!

      Kim

  17. Emily said,

    Kimberlee,

    I appreciate the time and attention (and sense of humor) you have given to an issue that impacts everyone, directly and indirectly. Your boys are truly blessed. I am most hopeful that your work with encourage and support parents and teachers as they work to best support all children.
    Sincerely,
    Emily

    • Thanks Emily, I appreciate the kind words. I do hope the words help, and although the boys keep me busy, they continue to be a gift every single day. Thank you for responding!

  18. Alessandra said,

    I look forward to reading your book!

  19. Bianca said,

    I can’t wait to read your book!! I’m definitely keeping up with the blog till then.

    • Bianca, thanks for reading it! Your mom always keeps me informed about you and your sister! It sounds as if you’re doing great. Thanks again, I think you’ll like the next one too!

  20. Erin said,

    Hi Kim,
    After reading your blog, I am yet again blown away by you. You are truly a gift to your family as well as everyone who has gotten the opportunity to know you. You inspire me to by your kindness and patience, but mostly your smile. You are always smiling…and in turn making others smile. My day starts off seeing you put Justin on the bus…and therefore, it starts with a smile. As you wave & call, “Goodbye!” your face is lit up. My kids smile at that EVERY day, and so do I. That is how it has been since moving into this neighborhood and meeting you. You remind me every day to make the most of what I have and to smile at & hug my kids as much as I can. I can’t wait to read your book…I know it will touch everyone who reads it, just as you touch everyone you meet. Keep smiling…it’s contagious! I’m looking forward to summer when I can reclaim my play date position! -Erin

    • Erin, thank you so much for what you said. It means a lot considering how happy you always are, and how happy the kids are too. I’m looking forward to summer too, playdates at the pool this year!

  21. Jennifer said,

    you go girl…..LOVE IT!!

  22. Nicole said,

    Kim,
    YOur writing is awesome! I admire how you are such an amazing wife, mom, therapist and advocate for Justin and Zachary. I am lucky to be a prt of their lives. I cannot wait to read more!!!

    Nicole

  23. Karen said,

    It’s so important that we all share our stories. It keeps us all going…never give up on YOUR dreams, Kim! Nomatter who’s mother, sister, daughter, wife, or friend you are your still your own woman. We must remain true to ourselves!

    • So true Karen! No matter what, we need to keep moving on and do things for ourselves. I agree completely!

  24. Aunt Ruth Ormsbee said,

    Kim: I am looking forward to reading your book. I enjoy your article on the blog. You and Jeff deserve a medal for all you two have done for the boys.
    I am so happy to hear about their progress from time to time from your Mom.
    I love you all and God Bless.l
    Love,
    Aunt Ruthie

    • Hi Aunt Ruthee, thanks for chiming in and for what you said! Looking forward to seeing you at the beach this year! Take care!

      love,
      Kim

  25. Erica said,

    Kim,
    I have never met someone like you. You are an AMAZING person with the heart of a lion. Justin and Zach are lucky to have you! After a therapy session with Justin I would get in my car and start to drive away and think to myself “I don’t know how she does it?” Your continuous effort to enhance their lives and be the best mother you could possibly be has got to be stressful at times. However, only on rare occasions do you let it show. You always have a smile on your face and kind words of encouragment to offer your sons as well as anyone else who steps into your life. I feel priviliged to have had the chance to get to know your family and personally work with Justin. You’ve earned my vote and my love!!

    Erica

    • Erica, we can never thank you enough for all you did for Justin. We loved having you work with him, and having you in our lives. We miss you, I need some dinner dates! Thanks for taking the time to do this!

      Kim

  26. Candee said,

    Kim,
    I am thrilled with your blog! You are an outstanding mom and advocate for your children. I am proud to be your aunt. I am anxious to read your book when you are ready.
    Aunt Candee

    • Please, I’m proud to be your niece! Thanks for posting, you will be one of the first to read it. Talk to you soon!

      Kim

  27. Rich said,

    Kim,

    Thanks for the link so I can keep up with the hustle and bustle of McCafferty life. HEY, with all the success your boys have achieved due to your efforts, why wouldn’t this become a success. Sunday mornings have been admittedly more relaxing since our weekly appointments ended, but I sure miss the smile you all broght to my face. You know I’ve got to mention that DAD’S rule too! You are all a remarkable example of Heroism for your children, you don’t need to be a martyr. (I’m already putting in for my signed copy).
    Rich

  28. lori said,

    Kim,
    I really would be interested in reading your book. I have a cousin who is autistic. He has the high functioning form of autism, asbergers. When he was growing up he demonstrated behaviors that made those around him including his parents very frustrated. He was senstive to bright light, he would cover his ears when it got too loud. He was very anti-social prefering to hang out by himself than with the cousins.
    Unlike your sons, he did not have early intervention because no one knew really what autism was or knew anyone with it. His stepmom has really been an advocate for him. It was she who encouraged him to get diagnosed; which he did in his early twenties. Now he is in a much better place in his life; having a job and paying his own rent.
    This book would be a invaluable in giving people an insight to what is autism and how interact better with children who have it.

    • Thank you for responding. I am in awe of parents who went through the trials of the autism spectrum twenty, or even ten years before I did. It had to have been infinitely more difficult than anything I’ve been through. I’m sure your aunt and uncle are very strong people, and I’m glad to hear your cousin is doing so well.

      I appreciate your interest, and thanks!

      Kim

  29. Amy said,

    I found my way to your blog from Amber and Cami. This is a wonderful first post, and I’ll be checking back for more. I will also post a link our our blog as well. We don’t have a ton of traffic, mostly friends and family, but I know several of them who will be interested. Good luck!

    • Thank you so much! I appreciate your passing this on. I hope they do find the blog helpful. Take care!

  30. Kate said,

    So glad to see you’re up and running now. Keep talking. It helps.

  31. Meagan DeGaia said,

    Kim!

    Congratulations on the book! I’m impressed and I truly admire you. You really are unstoppable! You are a great writer– Im really glad you are sharing your story.

    *big hug* !

    Meagan

    • Meagan, so nice to hear from you! Hope you got our Christmas card! Thanks for what you said and for responding, the post really help! We all still miss you here, you would cry if you saw Justin, he is so big and almost seven!

      Take care, and definitely keep in touch!

      Kim

  32. I am the parent of an adorable seven year old girl with autism and I can’t wait to read your book. You and other mothers of autistic children such as Catherine Maurice are my heros!

    • Christine, thank you for responding! It’s so nice when someone else thinks their child with autism is adorable as well! I hope she’s doing well. Justin will be seven in May, it is difficult for me to believe. He’s come so far, I hope your daughter has too. Take care and thanks again!

      Kim

  33. Gale said,

    Wow! You are working really hard, Kim! Let me know when your book is published.

    Your cousin Gale

    • Thanks Gale, I will. I have to be a bit better about keeping in touch. Hope all is well, hi to Joe!

      Kim

  34. Candee said,

    Kim,
    I am thrilled to see so many responses to your blog. I hope your agent realizes how many people you will touch!
    Love,
    Candee

  35. conradlower said,

    Berlee–

    Who knew your bumper sticker ‘One Day at a Time’ would ring so true? First, I admire your stamina and humor throughout this and every ordeal you’ve encountered in your life. As your mom posted, I echo ‘you never cease to amaze me’. I can really hear your voice as you write and you manage to cloak these experiences in sarcasm and humor. Such an approach peaks the readers interest even more. Kudos Berlee, to another job WELL DONE! I look forward to reading more and hearing great things about you and yours in the future.

  36. Krista said,

    Hi, Kim. Thanks so much for reaching out. Reading this takes me back to that time of realizing something was wrong–no, it can’t be that–it IS that–but, it can’t be…not after fertility treatments and years of longing…not after a perfect son and perfect pregnancy… I know your pain as a mama. And though I hate the circumstances that bring us all together, it is an amazing honor to know mamas who are making waves, and who remind us that we aren’t alone.

    • Thanks Krista. Justin was a fertility baby, three years in the making. It was almost unbearable to later find there was something wrong. I remember feeling like I’d already been through enough… Thank you for responding to the post!

      Kim

  37. steve said,

    This is a wonderful blog – as parents, we struggle to get care for our kids – and clearly we can’t do it alone at times. We need the books – we need to be talking to each other. Takes a village. Thanks Kimberlee – I look forward to finding your book and reading it, and thanks to Charlotte for giving a heads-up about this!

    • Thanks for responding Steve! I have to say, in my son’s case, it took an entire planet to get him where he is today. I’ve found books exceedingly helpful as well, and nothing beats talking to a parent who’s experiencing a similar situation. Thanks for taking the time to read the blog, take care!

      Kim

  38. Tracy said,

    Kim, we still call you our “guardian angel,” even all these years later. You helped us so much when we were new to our daughter’s autism diagnosis. You opened your network to us, shared volumes of information, and provided a bright spot in our days when we spent time with you and Justin.

    When we were lost and overwhelmed in those early months, you showed us what an “autism mommy” could be for her child — a master networker, powerful advocate, and passionate force for her child’s progress. The thought that so many others will benefit through your blog and book from your experience, your knowledge and, absolutely, your sense of humor is exciting.

    I don’t know how you do all that you do, but please keep doing it! You changed our life and the trajectory of our daughter’s symptoms through your early guidance. Many more will be helped through your writing.

    Thank you always, Kim. We’ll be following your writing and the progress of your beautiful sons!

    Tracy

    • Tracy, thank you for everything you said. You have no idea how much it helped me to have a smart, dedicated, relentless mother to call both a friend and a sounding board for autism. I am in awe of how much progress your daughter has made through the years, and all of it is due to your tenacity in acquiring both the services and the help she needed. We truly miss you here!

      Thank you for posting, it means a lot!

      Kim

  39. Melissa said,

    It is astonishing how you keep your head attached! I really think mine would have rolled away long ago. And every time I see you, you are smiling. I’m starting to question weather or not you are human!
    Every time you give me advice, it amazes me that after every thing you’ve been through, and juggle on a daily basis, that you still have it in you to share with me the most uplifting words of encouragement I have ever received. I am truly blessed to have you in my life. And your boys are two of the luckiest little guys on the planet to have you as their mother! I wish you all the luck in the world, but i know you won’t need it.;)

    • Thanks hon. We’re the lucky ones, truly. You deserve every word of encouragement, and I’m so glad things are going well for you. See you soon!

      Kim

  40. misifusa said,

    Kimi,
    It’s amazing how much you do and how much you know! I am so excited to be on this journey with you! Keep writing.
    xo your biggest fan

  41. Ann Fried said,

    Although I’ve met you only a few times I’ve kept abreast of what has been happening with you through Jen. My heart ached for you when I learned that Zachary was autistic too. I think your blog is fascinating, honest, poignant and amazingly well written. I’m sure your book will be too and I look forward to buying it as soon as it is published. My admiration for you is unbounded.

    • Thanks Ann, and thanks for taking the time to respond, it really helps! Hope to see all of you again soon, it’s been too long!

  42. Michelle said,

    I truly enjoy reading your posts…I was wondering, do you feel Zachary getting ill had anything to do with his autism?

    • I’m not sure, but given his brother has autism too, I am certain there’s a genetic component. Not sure if I’ll ever know if his illness was the catalyst or not. Fortunately, he’s doing really well. Thanks for reading!


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