What I learned from blogging

ImageOne year, 100+ blog posts and 12,000 views ago, I began blogging. I must admit that I didn’t know much about how to get started except that I would have to do a lot of writing, put up photos and come up with a blog design that was aesthetically appealing. I became familiar with the ins and outs of blogging as I went along, but what did I really learn?

Blogging is a Commitment: I begin on Monday morning researching the “hot topics” in autism. My goal is to have a rough draft completed by later that afternoon.  On Tuesday I edit and finalize content so that I can publish it that afternoon. The cycle begins again on Wednesday for Thursday’s post. I usually follow up my blog with a Facebook post which let’s my friends know what’s up next.

The Fun of Writing:  As a past English major, I really enjoy writing. I’ve tried to keep my writing snappy and infused with many of my own experiences to personalize my blog. I encourage my readers to share their experiences with me because it’s a win/win when we all can learn from each other.

Passion: I love to laugh and have fun so I do pepper some posts with humor. I think that it is also important to write from the heart about your passion. For me, I am passionate about children, families and the challenges and rewards of living with autism. I’m a firm believer that instructional practice should be based upon what research has taught us and that technology plays an integral role in the future of our children. For this reason, I have written about the latest in research and technology advances in a number of my blogs.

I have learned so much these last 19 years raising my son, Ryan, who was diagnosed with autism at two years of age. My role as a mother, coupled with my professional experience as an educator and administrator, has given me a unique perspective. I want to share this with parents, professionals and those who are making the journey of living with autism. My goal is to continue to make dreams come true for our children.

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6 Responses to What I learned from blogging

  1. Sallie Newsham says:

    I love reading your posts. You do certainly have great insight and give your readers many things to think about. Your experiences both from Ryan and your occupation is invaluable. Thanks for taking the time to do this. I enjoy reading them and learn a lot!

    • Thanks so much Sallie! If I can share even a small amount from what I have learned from others and Ryan himself, then it has been a positive endeavor. Have a great weekend.


  2. Mary Beth Wachter says:


    Thank you for adding the resposibility of writing a blog to your extremely busy schedule. Your messages continue to inform and inspire us and help make dreams come true for children and their families. You write beautifully – Sr. Eulalia would be very proud of you!!!! Mary Beth

    • Mary Beth,
      You are right! I can write today because of Sister Eulalia! When I went to St Mary’s, I was the only person receiving A’s in English…because of Sister. She no doubt instilled in me my love of writing. Thank you for being so positive about the blog. I do appreciate. Happy weekend!

  3. Colette says:

    From an email I received and felt I should share,”…We turn to experts every day for insight and guidance because they are, well, experts. They know more on the subject at hand than we do, whether it’s “What is making my faucet drip?” or “Why is my car overheating?” Experts can be, if you will, a helpful diagnostic tool.

    But when it’s time to make decisions about your child, you know the real expert is you.

    That proved especially true in two heart-warming stories in the news this past week, as parents defied the experts and saved their children’s lives – one figuratively and one literally.

    At age 2, Jacob Barnett was diagnosed with autism when, after learning to talk, he suddenly and irreversibly went silent. Experts recognized that his attention had turned inward, and they prescribed what would become a 60-hour-per-week therapy regimen. One specialist warned he would never even learn to read.

    Then one day, mother Kristine realized that while she was playing with other children in the daycare she ran from her home, her own son was losing his childhood. “I knew in my heart that if Jake stayed in special ed, he would slip away,” Kristine later told a 60 Minutes interview.

    That’s when she decided to focus not on what he couldn’t do, but on what he could. She halted his therapy and instead invested time in what he liked – which appeared to be the stars. They would lie out at night and look at the sky, and make occasional trips to the planetarium.

    On one such trip, a university lecture was taking place, so mother and son decided to sit in. At the end of the class, the professor asked if anyone knows why Mars’s moons are oblong. Jacob’s hand went up. “How large are the moons?” he asked when called upon.

    When the professor answered that they’re quite small, Jacob correctly responded, “The gravitational effects of the moons are not large enough [compared to that of Mars] to pull them into complete spheres.”

    Jacob was 3 years old.

    Today, at age 15, he is involved in an international study program for post-graduate level physicists at Perimeter Scholars International in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He has developed his own theory of relativity, expanding on that of Albert Einstein. His level of genius is literally off the charts – and he can share all of this with the world that so amazes him because his mother decided to counter the experts and take an unconventional approach.

    In a similar vein, young Congresswoman Jaime Herrera-Beutler of Washington recently faced a parental dilemma of her own. Five months into her first pregnancy, doctors discovered that her baby, suffered from Potter’s Syndrome: the baby had developed no kidneys, and could therefore produce no fetal urine. Without fetal urine, she would have little or no amniotic fluid, which would ultimately keep the baby’s lungs from developing.

    Doctors told Congresswoman Herrera-Beutler and her husband, Dan, that there was zero chance that their baby would live.

    “As the doctor was giving us the diagnosis (Abigail) was kicking,” Herrera-Beutler told FoxNews. “We were totally broken, we’re sobbing, we’re asking, ‘What can be done? Is there anything that can be done?’ And she’s moving inside of me, and the doctor is saying, ‘No, there is no option. This is fatal.’”
    Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, mother.
    But the Beutlers refused to give up, and instead located a doctor at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore who had an experimental treatment he was willing to try. There was no pre-natal fix for the absence of kidneys, but perhaps injecting saline solution into Jaime’s abdomen would provide the fluid the lungs needed to develop.

    Miraculously, Abigail was born on July 15 with a healthy set of lungs – the first known survivor of Potter’s Syndrome anywhere, ever. She still needs special care, and won’t be ready for a kidney transplant for about a year. From that point, however, doctors are hopeful she can have a normal, healthy life.

    And the difference between no chance and full life was in the decision of loving parents who dared to defy the odds and prove the experts wrong.

    Both of these stories feature a variety of experts, including those who ‘got it wrong’ – and those who ultimately helped these parents to save the children they seemed destined to lose.”

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