Tuesday, September 25

Our Journey with ASD

The title of this post is a bit of a disclaimer as everyone's journey with Autism Spectrum Disorder is completely different. Mine is not meant to speak for all families, but just a keyhole view (and a bit of cathartic and therapeutic sharing) into ours.

The 1st time an educator suggested my son was autistic, I vehemently disagreed. My response was defensive and ignorant. I assured the well-meaning 1st-grade teacher that my son was, in fact, affectionate, sensitive to others and most certainly loved to snuggle.
I was correct. 
And, so was she.

This year, Dane began a new year at his fourth school, in 6 years. Unlike any of our schools in the past, the administration conducted thoughtful evaluations of Dane's learning methods, and where he was in his educational needs. His teacher requested a little letter outlining Dane's "key gifts and characteristics", I have shared that letter here: 

Thank you again for your interest in Dane. Per your request, I have attempted to summarize some of his key gifts and characteristics below. 😊

Dane is truly among the kindest, most soft-hearted humans you will meet. He is very sensitive to others’ feelings and has a deep compassion for animals and humans alike. Dane is inquisitive and thrives in structured, routine environments where there is predictability and he can anticipate what to expect ahead. He enjoys golf, basketball and video games (ugh!) and is a solid reader when the books are of interest.  He is a gifted piano player and has been playing piano since he was 3 years old, although I can’t say he enjoys practicing! He has a hilarious sense of humor and is full of context-appropriate one-liners that keep our family in stitches! He is a ‘rule-follower’, prayerful and darn insightful for a kid. He truly strives to please others and wants to be liked.  He is most comfortable at home, with Mom, Dad, and his teenage brother with whom he is very close.

Dane was born 5 weeks prematurely and has high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. He is not great at eye contact and can be a little shy at first, but he is affectionate and aware of others’ feelings.   He has struggled a bit with the more abstract academic concepts as his brain is very literal in its thought processes. Sometimes it takes him a little longer to process ideas so he can be hesitant in his speaking when he has something to share.

After moving to Orlando from Maryland in 2014 when Dane was in 2nd grade, Dane was “counseled out” of his previous private school and transitioned to Dr. Phillips Elementary.  This was the 3rd school change in 4 years. We know that this has also hindered his academic progress. Dane is aware that he is repeating 5th grade because of some of his scholastic struggles and is very dedicated to reaching his goal of straight A’s this year. 

Dane struggles socially and does not have a lot of friends outside of his younger cousin and the three of us. We have come to understand that is where he is most happy and relinquished the idea that play dates and sleepovers are necessary, and that these relationships will grow at their own pace.

His quirky personality and good-natured heart are what makes Dane so loved by everyone he meets. I know you all will have a wonderful year together and God has put Dane right where he belongs!

Oh, he would not be happy with me if I left out his very best friend, our sweet dog Holly. 😊

We are only just beginning our journey and learning more about the way Dane's amazing brain works every day! I thank every mom and educational professional for all the love and support along the way and am so excited to connect with more spectrum moms to bring awareness. 

I would LOVE to hear from you and any tips you have for Autsim Spectrum Disorder and your journey.

Thursday, November 14

Milestone - Half Marathon

I am going to use this little corner of the world to boast. Indulge me a moment if you will. I finished my very first half marathon, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half. A point to point race from Alexandria to National Harbor, it was an absolutely wonderful experience and flat, scenic route. That's right folks, I set a goal that and achieved it, and it feels so awesome! This year I lost about 20 pounds, increased my distance and ran further than this mama ever thought was possible. So GLAD that is over. Just when I thought I couldn't wait to check that off my bucket list, I find myself already itching for the next one!  Cheers to all the running moms out there. It takes more motivation and discipline than I ever knew I had!

My sweet family was waiting for me at the finish line. My heart almost exploded when my 11 year old (who is usually too cool for his mom) told me how very proud of me he is. He and I have run a few 5K's together, and I think he gets just want 13.1 miles means! 

This has to be a lucky number for my first half, right?!

Wednesday, April 24


I have no excuses. Well, I  have plenty. I could go on and on about starting a Master's program, my new business venture, my husband starting a new company, or officially 2 boys old enough to play sports at the same time.... BUT I will not bore you with excuses. I will say only that I have missed my blog and am recommitting  to checking in this tiny little corner of the world that is mine, all mine. 

Without any further rambling, let me play a little "ketchup" and fill you in on what's been going on over here! This photo journal should help fill things in. 

Fall Kindergarten Feild Trip

 My baby turned 6 (recapped the first 5 above)

Road trip to Grandma's in Florida for Christmas!


Back to MD to ring in the New Year with friends! 

My family came to Maryland in March for Easter and the boys Baptismal!

Took the kids to NYC this month to watch the Orioles play the Yankees at Yankee stadium for Jackson's birthday!

Took the kids to NYC this month to watch the Orioles play the Yankees at Yankee stadium for Jackson's 11th birthday!

Anywho - that is the rundown... what's been happening with you?

Thursday, November 1

Halloween 2012

My favorite month [ending with a candy-induced coma] I embrace the opportunity to be creative this time of year - never missing an opportunity to sew and design! It is such a reward to come up with an original costume, that is home made from things in the house or pieces from older costumes. Effie Trinket was thrilled to win 3rd place in the popular Old Town Pub costume contest without spending a dime on costume materials! 

Wednesday, August 29

1st day of School

Wishing my amazing boys and their teachers a wonderful 2012-2013 school year at our beloved Father Andrew White school. 
SO proud of my littlest angel on his very 1st day of Kindergarten!  I promised myself to do a better job documenting the 1st days with this clever pinterest-inspired idea.  

My oldest started 5th grade this year. Boy has he grown through the years!!! (Yes, I am missing the 3rd grade picture - will dig it out soon).

Friday, July 6

an apple a day...

I just love weddings, and still get goose bumps when I see the Mr. & Mrs. on our placecards.  Enjoyed a wedding in the big apple recently with some great friends. 

Saturday, June 2

Opening Day: Summer

Summer always seems to kick off one Memorial Day weekend. Our Country Club's pool opens, the grills heat up and the kids are itching to ditch their books and let the summer fun begin!

Monday, May 21

Something Blue

I co-hosted a fabulous shower at my house this weekend in honor of my dear friend. The theme: "Something Blue".  We had such a great time with the Tiffany inspired decorations. I just love any party where you can go to extremes with girl-y details and giggle about newlyweds! Best of wishes to the future Mr. & Mrs. C! 

Thank you Touch of Toni for the flower arrangements and decorating touches!

Special thanks to Georgetown Cupcakes (our favorite!) for these delicious treats!

Wednesday, May 16

Whats up Doc?

Congratulations to my baby sister on her graduation from Veterinary School.  She was officially "hooded" on Saturday, May 12th, and took her oath as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM).  It was quite a moving ceremony. I learned a great deal about the symbolism of academic regalia apparel and the pomp and circumstance for the proper protocol, titles, and practices.  All of which made me beam even more for all that she has evolved to be through so much hard work. This is not a degree that is conferred lightly. 

My entire family came together in Florida for the weekend to celebrate.  We toasted her accomplishment at a reception, in her honor, Saturday night.  We also enjoyed a little family fun time at the gorgeous Orlando World Center which served as an awesome venue for the big event. 

couldn't be more elated about this huge milestone. My sister has known she wanted to be a vet since she was 6 and has been working toward this goal her whole life.  Her journey has been an amazing one from her under grad at our Alma Matter UF to living on a tropical island for 2 years.  After all he hard work, she deserves this more than anyone I know! She is an talented Doctor and an amazing woman! 

Wednesday, May 9


After 9 months, I graduated from Leadership Southern Maryland, along with 34 of my esteemed classmates.  What did I learn on this amazing journey? Each program a new lesson on complex issues affecting our community.  Multi-culturalism, the Chesapeake watershed and environmental impacts, regional health and human services issues, education challenges, economic impacts and homelessness and so much more about our tri-county area. However, the most importantly I learned a lot about myself and the differences I can make for the greater good.  It is each of our responsibilities as a Leader to use our resources, strengths, and energies to make a difference in our communities and our world

And. It. Starts. Now.    

I have made a few personal commitments (bucket-list type stuff) that I plan to follow up on.  More about that later. For now, I will leave you with:

18 Lessons in Leadership
1. Leadership means sometimes people are mad at you.
2. When they stop bringing you problems, you've stopped leading.
3. Be wary of experts who posses more data than judgement.
4. Challenge the pros - learn from them, but don't fear them.
5. Never neglect the details, especially when others are.
6. Be bold. Better to ask for forgiveness than permission.
7. Question reality - scratch the surface of all assumptions.
8. Organizations don't accomplish anything. Invest in and empower individuals. 
9. Organizational charts/titles only label people. Go with performance and teams. 
10. Keep ego and position separate. Every job gets obsolete. 
11. Don't chase fads. Sometimes an unapologetic directive beats paralyzing discussion. 
12. Perpetual optimism is powerful. Cynicism is destructive. 
13. In employees look for intelligence, judgement, and the ability to anticipate. 
14. Great leaders are great simplifiers who can articulate goals we understand. 
15. If you are 40-70% sure, go with your gut. Taking no action has risk, too.  
16. Put power where outcomes are produced, not where they are measured.
17. Have fun, take leave, be with family - you'll live longer and better.
18. Be prepared to be lonely. The buck really does stop here. 

Disqus for The Glam Mom