1. Diane Mueller
    March 27, 2017 @ 9:22 am

    This is for Anthony, a student I had in my classroom many years ago. With each article I learn a little more about you. I could have done more but I did as much as I could with what I knew and I think you were happy. Your mom was a gift to you and to me.


  2. Jill Fradiska
    March 27, 2017 @ 10:16 am

    This is for my son Luke who is 4 years old and has autism. Also, for my hair dresser who comes to my house every 6 weeks and cuts his hair in front of the television blaring his current favorite Pixar movie while he still screams. Also, for the graduate assistant at the local University who works with my boy who loves to swim with the most patience every week. Also, for his teacher at school who can spin any negative experience into a positive one and the one who during IEP meetings keeps the glimmer of hope shining even in our toughest moment. And of course for my husband, who loves him more than I have ever seen him love anyone and who makes me laugh and encourages me when my optimism starts to waiver. And for you Carrie Cariello…Your stories of Jack when he was younger remind me so much of Luke. I have read all your books and look so forward for the email each Monday morning. Your posts are so relatable and make me feel like we aren’t alone. I love Luke more than anything, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t find myself angry and frustrated with autism. Our journey for the past 2 1/2 years has had extreme highs and lows, but through patience, understanding, love, and certainly your blog we are getting stronger each day.


  3. Jeannie Prinsen
    March 27, 2017 @ 10:28 am

    I want to honour my brother in law and sister in law who so willingly and happily take our son overnight on the rare occasion when we go out for dinner or a concert. They are unfazed by bathroom issues, medication-giving, or anything else that might be involved. They buy his favourite snacks. They look at pictures and videos with him on the computer and watch TV with him. They look out the window with him and watch seagulls and geese and trucks. They gush about how much fun it is to have him at their house. We are so thankful that they only live 10 minutes away.


  4. Deb
    March 27, 2017 @ 2:16 pm

    Thank you Carrie. Your stories of your family are heartwarming.


  5. Scott Wilcox
    March 27, 2017 @ 2:24 pm

    This is especially for my parents, who when my daughter’s mother turned her back on us and never looked back at age 7, stepped in and took over most of the motherly job until they passed, dad in 1994 and mom in 2005. Also for the many doctors, nurses, therapists, attorneys, teachers, 1:1 aides, bus drivers, social workers, plan co-ordinators, other special-needs parents, day-care workers, friends and extended family, and even strangers who have offered to help in many ways during this 32-year journey.
    My somewhat questionable health now at age 72 makes it necessary to start looking for alternative living conditions for my sweet girl, but it has been an incredibly blessed journey for me, and hopefully for her too. When there is no communication from her except smiles, kisses, hugs and laughter, it seems all of us put together, have been incredibly successful in keeping her safe, and happy. God bless all who have helped, and continue to help along the way, including you, Carrie, and friends. Heather and I have been unbelievably blessed by you all.


  6. Karen McCloud
    March 27, 2017 @ 3:31 pm

    For my son Ian who watches out for his brother Drew with Autism. Ian has to make sacrifices weekly, depending on Drew’s mood and what we can and can’t do. He even tries to include Drew repeatedly with things he is doing even when Drew gets upset or mad at him because it didn’t go his way. I love Ian for trying to understand why Drew is a little different, it doesn’t mean Ian doesn’t get upset or irritated with his brother but for the most part Ian is a spectacular big brother to Drew.


  7. Karen Cordeiro
    March 27, 2017 @ 8:55 pm

    Nana, Papa, Tia, Vavo, Auntie Sue, Auntie Julie, Uncle Emile, Uncle Chris, Daniel, Andrew, Jacob, Hayley, Ethan, Carter, Sierra, Raiden, Sienna, Josh, Danielle, Titi Saul, Titia Patricia, Nadia, Sabrina, Step by Step staff, Ms. Sharon, Ms. Doucet, Auntie Stephanie, Uncle Mark, Tayah, Jacob, Auntie Rocky, Auntie Khema, Uncle Don, Ryan, Dhillon, Saheda, Grace, Stu, Sammy, Baby J, Paul, Cathy, and Lucy.

    For all of you, family, friends, and professionals, you are such an important part of our lives in so many different ways. We cannot even come close to repaying you for all of your hard work, patience, and caring that you’ve given to Grayson and to us. A thousand thank yous during Autism Awareness Month.

    And to Salomao…I can’t imagine walking this path without you…you are a gift to us…


    • Saul Cordeiro
      March 28, 2017 @ 9:58 am

      We do what comes naturally because we all love Grayson. But Grayson couldn’t of asked for any better parents than Sal and Karen.Grayson is blessed to have such caring and loving parents to give him all the love and support he needs throughout his journey with autism. Love titi Saul, titia Pat, Raiden & Sienna


    • Nadia
      March 28, 2017 @ 10:17 am

      Thank you for choosing me to walk this path with you both and Grayson – for me it is the gift of Grayson’s internal strength (still working on that body!), bravery, smile, laugh, jump-in-your-lap-hug-because-someone-coughed, and play that continues to light me up and challenge me to think bigger, think broader, and work harder…all for you my Grayson 🙂


    • Stephanie Kellyman
      March 28, 2017 @ 2:40 pm

      Karen and Sal, you are both an incredible inspiration to me. We adore Grayson and you both and are so incredibly blessed to call you family. I have never seen such dedicated hard working parents and you inspire me every say to be a better mom. Grayson is blessed to have you for parents. We are also so thankful the friendship he has with Tayah and Jacob. His smile, laugh and loving personality are a result of the love he receives daily. We are humbled to be part of your journey.


    • Saheda Vepari
      March 28, 2017 @ 3:07 pm

      WE are on the same path together….making our friendship stronger day by day! Our world is different, it is impossible to explain challenges we face…..we try to focus on positives with beautiful smiles each and every day! You are a wonderful Mom, amazing woman, a great friend and colleague Karen.
      I like to Thank you for all your support as well. Sending love and hugs for Grayson!


    • Susan Bujold
      March 30, 2017 @ 7:24 am

      We are so blessed to be in each others lives. We love and support you all just as you have always done for us. Always and forever, we love you Karen, Sal and Grayson!


  8. daffodilsandcoffee
    March 27, 2017 @ 9:20 pm

    This is for all of the precious kids who attend the afterschool program for special needs kids that I work at every day. They inspire me each and every day. It’s also for the wonderful loving parents of these same kid….who love their children and fight for their children to be all they can be – trusting in Hisability!


    • Scott Wilcox
      March 28, 2017 @ 8:01 am

      God bless you for your dedication to our kids and our families.


      • daffodilsandcoffee
        March 28, 2017 @ 9:08 pm

        Thank you so much, Mr. Wilcox. I consider it an honor to be spend my days with these kids. They teach me so much and love me in their own special ways.


  9. terismyth
    March 27, 2017 @ 11:12 pm

    HI Carrie- Your story is heart wrenching. Yet it is so true. I stayed home for much of my autistic’s sons childhood and am still looking for some career that brings me some sort of fulfillment. I missed out on a professional career so I could be home. And even though my son is 24, I still feel like he needs me to take care of him on so many levels. Yet, I often wonder if I am enabling him by helping with laundry, or cooking dinner, or by waking him up for class. Is it normal? If I didn’t do these things, would he make it in this world? Not sure. Still wondering how my actions are contributing to his disability. Maybe if I asked him to move out, he would have to figure all these things out on his own. Maybe then, he would want to do his homework, meet with the tutors and resource specialists and professors during their office hours. Maybe then, he would take responsibility for his own life and care about graduating.

    But maybe not. Maybe he will never be able to do these activities on his own. Maybe I will always have him living with us at home, eating our dinner, not washing or folding his own laundry, etc…

    Your story is a young one. You still have yet to discover some of what it takes to live with an adult with autism. I keep reading your blog because it reminds me of the pain I went through and still go through. It can be hard, but it brings awareness to this strange yet incomprehensible illness. Some days I feel like “we got this.” And others it seems like the problems never get resolved.


  10. Betsy
    March 28, 2017 @ 8:29 am

    This is for my son and daughter who are working so hard to make life work for them and their 3 children including their youngest who has autism. This is for his other grandmother who takes him to school and has embraced all the social stories, communication methods and other suggestions from therapists. This is for my sweet grandson’s sisters who play with him asnd read to him and fight with him and just love him. Thank you Carrie for sharing your journey.


  11. Becky Armstrong
    March 28, 2017 @ 8:49 am

    This is for my grandson–also named Jack. He will turn 6 in April, and when I read your comment, Carrie, about wanting to throw your son a party but not being able to think of children to invite, I couldn’t help but cry because that is exactly what my sweet daughter-in-law said about her Jack. Yet, I praise God for all the ways Jack brings so much joy to our lives. As we learn to cope with Autism, God shows us daily that Jack is His creation, and we have so much to be thankful for.


  12. Janet (grandmother)
    March 28, 2017 @ 5:25 pm

    This is for my grandson and his mother, both working together to find answers on dealing with Autism. Zachary is going to be 18 and a senior in high school. His father left when he was only nine and his brother seven. She does not have the answers to his future after high school, but continues to search for the avenue that will be the best for him.

    I commend my daughter on bringing up two boys, one with Autism alone and no Father to help. Working to support herself and the boys has not been easy. We the grandparents thank God for both these delightful boys in our lives as well as our daughter who never gives up. My heart goes out to Carrie and all the wonderful parents, children that God put in their care.

    I pray each and everyday for all of you.


  13. MsM
    March 29, 2017 @ 4:09 pm

    This is for all those wonderful kids who walked into my classroom and tried SO hard to live up to a “standard” set by some men in dark suits somewhere in Washington and Concord who had never sat with, talked with, or worked with an autistic student and had never known the depths of wonderful in each one of them. Each one of those kids was brave, and beautiful, and a warrior. And I loved them.


  14. Brittany
    March 31, 2017 @ 9:16 am

    For my amazing students, co-workers, and families, past and present, who have worked tirelessly and passionately to both raise these amazing children in the best way we know how while simultaneously trying to change the world so they could be seen and accepted. They all have changed my life and the way I see the world in big, and small, ways. <3


  15. Jennifer Mandarano
    April 17, 2017 @ 4:31 pm

    For my amazing son, Kyle, who will be 13 in June. This autism adventure has been an amusement park, a haunted house, a jungle safari, a bungee jump, a peaceful park…
    The unpredictable makes him incredibly anxious and therefore, his life, our lives… must maintain as much predictability as possible. That is not always easy to do! He must know what is happening, where, when & how things will unfold… an itinerary per se, for his daily life. And if you plan a big outing, be prepared to let him obsess over it until the very hour you go. The route we will drive, the hours it will take, the absolute first thing you’ll do to the absolute last you’ll do… and have it go as planned and stay “on time.” He is such a blessing in our life. He has taught me patience like never before. He has kept me sharp and alert and tested my own strength to overcome!
    His school mentors, Special Ed teachers, Aides, Bus driver, Therapists, Pediatrician, Dentist… They all have tuned in to Kyle’s unique behaviors & found ways to engage his interest and his trust!


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