Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Posting that photo of Clooney below jogged my memory of another guy in a similar pose.

I grabbed my wedding album. Close, yes? And now Mark has that touch of gray at the temples. Well, more of a clobber of gray given that he's been married to ME for 15+ years. How about that giant tulle bird on my head? Or is it a hot air balloon that made a bad landing?

It takes a hell of a man to be an autism Dad. The ones I know are strong, capable and positive thinkers. We all talk about the resiliancy of the Autism Mom. The two smiling people in that photo had not an inkling of the storm that was approaching them in the form of three children with autism. Just as well, I suppose. I couldn't have survived without Mark to ease my pain and my burden. And share the joys too.

Today I'm taking my hat off to the men. Starting with my own guy. I think the Dads have unique stresses - especially the financial ones. Many of us autism Moms have to quit our jobs to handle the children. And autism is sickeningly expensive, and rarely covered by insurance except as "out of network."

To the Autism Dads of the world. THANK YOU.

Yummier Still! Doesn't that water look refreshing? Thursday, my friends. Thursday.

Thanks to The Pink Cake Box Bakery for this photo of a glorious treat.

Monday, July 30, 2007

I have something sweet for you.
You'll have to wait until Thursday.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Last night I went out on a date with my husband. We try to go out alone at least every six weeks. I'm fortunate to be able to find terrific babysitters. (Hi, Chelsey!) We went to Splash in Westport.

We had a couple of drinks (Tanqueray and Tonic for Mark, Whale's Tale Ale from Nantucket for me) and tried to block out the booming house music that struck us as more than a little odd for a lovely restaurant overlooking the Long Island sound. They should have just put a sign on the front door, "If you're over 35 get lost!"

So - we get home and it's about 10:30pm. Fast forward to a quiet moment upstairs (you following me?) I leaned over to flip on the radio next to the bed. Nice love song. Perfect. Then, I hear talking about the bacteria in the bottom of the filthy office coffee cup. WHAT?

Marks turns around/looks up/looks over/looks down (I'm not telling) and says to me, "John Tesh, what a buzzkill." Best line ever uttered in bed! We had a good laugh. And isn't that what being close is all about? The ability to laugh together? It is for me.

Yes, I'd tuned to John Tesh's show! And it's horrible. I need Sirius satellite radio in the bedroom. I haven't listened to FM for three years. And without Imus on the FAN there's no need to tune into AM anymore either. I'm a Sirius girl 100%.

Will someone please tell Mr. Tesh that Friday night lovey music should NOT include the mention of bacteria? EVER?

Thursday, July 26, 2007


To the dingbat who emailed me about my swimsuit comment....

Before you beat me up and lest you think my moment of serene floatiness lasted more than five seconds, do you see the small child on the ladder, in the DEEP end? She was supposed to be in the shallow end. I was off that raft faster than (fill in your own sexual innuendo here, it's too early for my brain and this is a family blog.)

Thanks to Stephen Parrish for the encouragement.

http://tinyurl.com/37qx5t clicks to my latest piece on Huffington Post.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

BE KIND TO MY DAUGHTER - Or I will hunt you down.

My kids are going on field trips today. G and Bella are off to a farm. Mia is going on a Mall trip. Mia's summer school class has kids with various situations. Some profoundly affected. Some physically challenged. And I'm sitting here in tears thinking that people in the mall are going to be looking at them and thinking rotten thoughts. Maybe laughing at them. And I am sad.

If you have a typical child who can go out and laugh and play with friends and handle herself safely for God's sake get on your knees and say Thank You. Do not tell me about your carpool problems. I don't care to hear about how bored she is or that overnight camp is SO expensive or how fat you look in a swimsuit so you hate summer. I look great in a swimsuit. Wanna swap?

You have no idea what it's like to send your child out into the world knowing the world is no where near ready to embrace her.

By noon I'll be back to my cheery self. I always bounce back. I'm Kimelastic. But for right now, thinking about Mia in the Mall? I'm flattened right out. If you'll excuse me, I'm off to steam clean my carpets. Autism takes its toll on more than just people.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Let The Revision Begin!
No, no, not the Bush administration's attempt to salvage the Dubya's legacy. That barrel has long since careened over the Falls and crashed apart on the rocks.
Yesterday I sat down and dug right into my book revisions. I have a new and improved first chapter. And my conflict is just so.... conflicty! I've been buoyed by other writers, who have explained that EVERYONE revises, rewrites and reworks their books through out the entire publishing process.
I am happy.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Do you ever just go to her silent blog and look at the screen? I do. Sigh......... I'm feeling very nitwitty. And that's the size shoe the next incarnation of Miss Snark will need to fill.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Kathy Labosh, Autism Mom, Author

I've been thinking about what it means to be an "Autism Mom."

ACTION. That's what it means.

For example, tonight I got an SOS from a mother of more than 4 but fewer than 7 kids with autism. A Ronald McDonald house had turned her down COLD for a stay in a large city in the SW so that she could get treatment for her children at a local therapy center.

The Clown's excuse? Too many kids! File that under "WTF Ronald, french fry grease finally gotten to you?" So much for Billions served. Another Autism Mom with more than 3 but fewer than 12 kids with autism has responded with a good option for housing. That's action, Autism Mom style.

And her option was better than mine, which was to call John McCain and ask to sleep in his guest room, or on that "Straight talk express" bus - I don't think he has enough money to gas it up these days so it's not like it's in use or anything. (Now you know the Ronald McDonald House was in Arizona...)

Same goes for Kathy Labosh. Another true Autism Mom. She sat down and wrote SEVERAL books for families with kids with autism. The books are full of helpful pointers and I think they'd be GREAT to give to teachers, babysitters, Grandpa and Grandma, anyone who spends time with kids with autism.

Oh, and she published them. And she promotes them. And I think that is just balls to the wall fantastic.

Here's a snap of her books. You can learn about her and order her books here. And look! She's cleverly included a blank spot at the bottom so you could put a sticker for your own school district or organization and use the books as a fund raiser! File THAT idea away for Autism Awareness Month next April!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

It's called Cocaine..... *

For crying out loud, get this: "Researchers develop nasal spray to overcome shyness." You can read about it here. When they come up with a pill to make me never need a another pharmaceutical to solve another made up problem that requires "medical attention" let me know. Now, who's got a $20 bill?

* I am teasing with the $20 line, you realize. I do not snort cocaine. Thought I should make that clear.
Dan Olmsted, you are a hero. Thank You.

Fellow Autism Bloggers - please run your own post thanking Dan for his series. Put his name in the headline of your piece so Google picks it up.

Dan Olmsted's Age of Autism series exposed more lies, cover ups and controversies inside the autism epidemic than I can recall. Brave doesn't begin to describe Dan, who put his career on the line when he took on the FDA, AMA, CDC, NIH and every pharmaceutical company on the planet, exposing the filth, greed and disdain that encrusts the autism epidemic.

I'll be seeing Dan in October. We're speaking at the Long Island Autism Conference. Dan, you've been warned, I am going to find you and give you a long hug. Maybe a big fat kiss. Actually, what hotel are you staying at? (Teasing people, teasing.)

Here's a preview of his last article.

By Dan Olmsted UPI Senior Editor WASHINGTON, July 18 (UPI) --

This is my 113th and final Age of Autism column. United Press International, which has been the hospitable home for this series, is restructuring, and I'm off to adventures as yet unknown -- although I intend to keep my focus on autism and related issues. Why? Because it is the story of a lifetime.

"Autism is currently, in our view, the most important and the fastest-evolving disorder in all of medical science and promises to remain so for the foreseeable future," says Dr. Jeffrey A. Lieberman, chairman of the department of psychiatry at Columbia University's school of medicine.

You can read Dan's final installment in his "Age Of Autism" series here.

The entire Age of Autism series is available at upi.com under Special Reports.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Here's my latest Huffington Post piece.

Enjoy! And do comment, won't you? HuffPo has a cool new commenting system.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Thanks to writer Therese Fowler for the Tag!

Therese is "living the dream" as her debut novel Souvenir is now available in the UK, with the US version to follow. This is an easy tag - all I have to do is display this nifty misty shot. Thanks Therese for pointing out that my style sometimes helps you push yourself in a new direction.

My writer pal Stephen Parrish makes me pause and reflect in his blog. Head on over. He's a generous sort of guy. And I'm not just buttering him up because he's kicking my ass in a contest we've devised.

Congratulations on your release, Therese. And thanks for the tag. And to KY who tagged me last week? I'll get to it! I promise. That one takes a little more time.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I'm Guessing Jen STILL looks nothing like Pam..... (the article is at the bottom of the post.)

You all know how I felt about the "Botox for Autism" folks out there in Michigan. This one just makes me laugh. A mother of three named Jen replacing her four year old saline implants with silicone now that they are back on the market.

Hey, Jen, what happens when you're 80 years old and your tits are higher than your jowls? Now that's gonna look a little odd...... I'm sure Dr. Kane will hike you up from your ankles, no worries. Medicare might not cover it though.

Jen, who likes long walks on the beach, a glass of Merlot and world peace says, "I just wanted to look good again. I just wanted that feeling I had when I was younger.

Wow. Three kids and she wants to feel like she did when she was younger? Wait forty years, sweetie, you'll be back in diapers and eating strained peas. Young enough for you?

I have made note (fun?) of the fact that my own breastulars are to Pam Anderson's what Dunkin Donuts Munchkins are to THIS. But I like myself. My husband adores me. And when I spend money on "uninsurables" they are my three kids with autism, not my boobs.

Two major elective surgeries in four years with three kids to care for, using a product so many women believe destroyed their health? Would you take the risk? For reconstuctive surgery after a mastectomy? Absolutely. I'd do the same thing. For sheer vanity and the delusion that breasts will make her look younger? Nope.

Here's the article.

Nearly 11 million people had plastic surgery in the U.S. last year. The No. 1 procedure was breast augmentation.

NewsCenter 5's Heather Unruh reported Thursday that now that silicone implants are back on the market, some women are eager to swap out their old implants.

Jen S is a makeup artist. Like many women, she feels a certain pressure to be perfect -- especially after having three kids.

"I just wanted to look good again. I wanted to feel that feeling I had when I was younger -- just for myself. Not for anybody else but myself," she said.

Four years ago, she got saline breast implants. They were the only choice at the time. She said that she was happy with them -- for a while.

"I've lost weight since then, so I lost a lot of fat underneath the skin, which kind of shows a little more of the detail of the saline bag," S said.

Saline breast implants can feel hard under the skin. The newly Food and Drug Administration-approved silicone gel implants don't leak when cut in half, and they're softer. Seidel-Walsh said that it was exactly what she wanted.

Dr. Dean Kane said women are switching out their implants for two reasons.

"One is because they want a softer implant, and two is they want a more natural look and not the round appearance of a firm saline implant," Kane said.

Kane performed S's procedure. Looking at her before shot, the definition of the saline implants is apparent. After the switch, she has a softer, more natural look.

"I am completely thrilled. It's a huge difference -- huge," she said.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


The fabulous Miss Gianna turns 11 today. We're having bug cake! This is the dragonfly. We'll be decorating them as a craft with her friends, 4 girls from her regular ed class!

I found this snap of Gigi and her sister yesterday and it stopped me cold. Look at the pose - so typical, 2 kids in the tub. Look at the eyes, bright and looking right at the camera. Sometimes birthdays are hard for an autism Mom. Really hard.
Ah well. We're off to eat cake for breakfast. And why not? It's Miss G's 11th Birthday!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Regular Education Teachers Need to Read LOOK ME IN THE EYE by JOHN ROBISON.

Even a teacher with a heart of gold can have a tarnished notion of our kids. One of my children (my girls have autism) received a letter from her regular education teacher (that's the typical class, not the special education class) in the mail last week. It was a thank you sent to the entire class with lovely sentiments about the year and the end of year gifts. Very nice.

However --- she included the line "Stagliano child, (no need to tell you which one) I know you don't understand what an important addition you were to our class......"

Do you see the bit of that sentence that pushed me into that elusive combination of heartsick and furious? Gee, that usually requires a bad breakup.
MY CHILD DOES UNDERSTAND! She is not stupid. She is not unaware of her surroundings. She is not a small pet, placed in the classroom to amuse and entertain the typical children, to teach them life lessons worthy of a the sappiest ABC after school special.

Now, did this teacher mean to denigrate my child? Lord, no. She's a kind woman and she welcomed my kid with open arms. However, her assumption is "Autistic child does not understand....."

John's book will change that. And that's what makes it important for ME. And he's a great story teller, and you'll laugh like heck and cringe a few times too during the read.
I think I have to write something for Huffington Post on this one...... Or somewhere.
(PS) I recycled this photo of John and fellow writers Pat Wood, Holly Kennedy and me from lunch in New York last month. I can still taste the cheesecake.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Kim Stagliano, what's your secret?

A terrific autism Mom (Hello Knitty!) on the EOHarm list asked me that question this morning in reponse to a post where I mentioned that I run two blogs, (this one and www.rescuepost.com) have written a novel, write for Huffington Post, raise three girls with autism, am writing several pieces to submit to national media including NPR, and The Times (fingers crossed!) have a terrific, loving husband and manage to bathe daily while maintaining my sense of humor.

I thought about her question and the answer tumbled out of me. That's how my best writing comes about. In a cascade of passion. When I try to be clever or think about how to write a sentence I end up with dry toast crumbs on the page. BORING!

This was my response.

"Coffee. Chocolate. A sense of righteous indignation. A mother's love. A refusal to give in. A generally good state of mind. Enough catastrophes in our life to ground me. An insatiable need for money to help the kids. A lifelong ability to say "FU" to people who impede me. A refusal to fall prey to the message that I should be in dire mental straits, gobbling pills to get out of bed and another fistful to fall back to sleep. An innate fear of failure. A gut feeling that one day,everything will turn out all right for my girls. And all our kids. And then a bit more chocolate."

Now why didn't I print that in a book, call it "The Secret" and make a bazillion bucks?

Friday, July 06, 2007

For my Irish friend in Boston. I give you, Jaffa Cakes. They do look tasty.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy July 4th.

May I suggest you read this post from another autism Mom named Julia Berle?