About Me

Carrie Cariello grew up in a teeny-tiny town in rural New York called Wingdale. Wingdale was so small it had one stop light. Back then she was Carrie Watterson, and she was always the tallest girl in her class.

After high school, Carrie went on to get a Bachelors of Science in Political Administration from the State University of New York and a Masters in Public Administration from Rockefeller College. During this time, she met a dark-haired guy named Joe who wanted to become a dentist. On Easter Sunday in 1996, in her small apartment above a hair salon, he gave her a small sapphire ring and they laughed and cried and planned a wedding.

Together they moved to Buffalo, New York where he went to dental school and Carrie began a career in marketing.  For ten years she worked for an extraordinary construction company called Lehigh Construction Group, Inc.

While they were in Buffalo they had a son, Joey.  About a year later, they had another son, Jack.  And from the time he was a small baby wearing dark blue footie pajamas with snowflakes on them, Jack was different. He did not talk or babble or coo. He did not point. He did not have things like joint attention or gross motor skills or eye contact.

What he did have, Joe and Carrie eventually learned, was autism.

They went on to have another boy and they named him Charlie.  After Charlie was born in 2005 they moved to Bedford, New Hampshire, where they still live today.

Carrie did not dream of becoming a writer as a little girl in Wingdale, New York.  She did not have visions of tap-tap-tapping her life story on a laptop for people to read on Facebook or in a blog or a book.  But over time, she learned she could best make sense of her long, frustrating days with Jack and his autism if she wrote about them.  Over time, writing has helped her separate the boy from his diagnosis and discover that she fiercely loves them both.

And like a prism with countless different angles and light and rainbows, sometimes she sees her own reflection in her writing.  Sometimes she understands herself better.

There are days when she’s writing and she thinks this is a giant piece of crap why would anyone ever read this I am wasting my time. But then she makes herself move forward to post, to publish, to reveal.  And people seem to like it.  People are following her.  Because like that prism, people see their own reflections in her writing; they see tiny colorful bits of themselves and their families and their autistic children in her essays.

She gets her best ideas when she’s driving.

She and the dark-haired guy from college have been married for nearly fifteen years, and together they have four boys and one rosy daughter.  Some days are long and difficult and exhausting while others are filled with color and music and chocolate-covered doughnuts.  They are filled with laughter.

But no matter what kind of day it’s been, whether full of tantrums and tears or lightness and bliss, there is always something to write about.

Carrie Cariello has been featured on WordPress’ Freshly Pressed site, The Huffington Post, Parents.com, and Autism Speaks.com.  She has been interviewed by Fox News’ Manny Alvarez for a segment on Health Now which was broadcast nationally through Fox’s syndication network.

10 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Carrie, I’ve started your favorite book collection. Loving it! Have already lent out the 1st one to a friend. Love your blog, you are still one of the funniest people I know

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  2. Hi Carrie,

    I enjoy reading your posts. I am in my early 40’s. I’ve been given all kind of psychiatric labels by some of most highly educated physicians in the United States. I’m sure you can hear my sarcasm coming through. :) This includes autism.

    I had neuro-psychological testing done over ten years ago. The testing was administered by a psychologist who “specialized” in autism spectrum disorders. This was given to me at a time when the medical community was “discovering” Asperger’s Syndrome. I believe they were diagnosing everyone with it . . . like they did in the 80’s with ADHD. This doctor disappeared soon after the testing. I do not have the records.

    At that time, I was being treated by psychiatrist for bipolar disorder. In the earlier part his medical career, this psychiatrist specialized in treating developmentally disabled children and adults. When I told him about the Asperger’s diagnosis . . . he told me a joke . . . to which I laughed. He then looked at me and said “You don’t have Asperger’s Syndrome. If you did . . . you wouldn’t have laughed at my joke.” He then added a sentence to the top of every page in my medical record disputing the autistism diagnosis. He continued to maintain that I have bipolar disorder. My official diagnosis has recently been changed to PTSD. It’s interesting to me that no one in my life has ever brought up the idea autism.

    I have little faith in the psychiatric community. Based on my experience, psychiatry is extremely limited as a medical science. I believe that psychiatric labels are nothing but more than “professional” opinion. I feel that too members of society accept these labels as “truth”. I don’t allow doctors and other professionals and their labels to define my character anymore. I know who I am. I have no use for people who tell there is something “wrong with me”. It’s sad that tens of millions of people have permitted the psychiatric community to convince them this is true about themselves. It has certainly helped the pharmaceutical companies make billions of dollars (every day).

    I do wonder about autism sometimes. I know very little about it. I am sensitive to emotion. I have a tremendous amount of empathy and compassionate for other people. Do people with autistic spectrum disorders typically express such emotions? I hope this isn’t an offensive question. I’m not saying that people with autism are incapable of feeling and expressing love. I realize that is not true. I’m just reflecting my thoughts about my psychiatrist telling me that people with Asperger’s Syndrome do always understand other people’s feelings.
    I believe my mood disorder . . . if that is true . . . has more to do with my early childhood experience and my relationship with my parents.

    Thanks!

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  3. I have read a lot of pieces of blogs since I started mine a couple of weeks ago and have to say that I haven’t been moved like I was with just your part about who you are. I can’t wait to read the postings.

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