As I see it: a view through the special educator’s lens

There are some things that happen in public education that I will never understand. I realize I come from a background very different than most public school teachers. I was fortunate to start my teaching career in small, private schools, where imagination and creativity by the teacher was encouraged. Ironically, I started out teaching in a rigorous program in the …

Teaching autism: first things first

What do we do first for kids with autism? Teach them to communicate! Meet their sensory needs! Here’s the video I created to share with those who work with your child with autism. I hope it helps!   Let me know what videos you’d like to see by leaving me a note in the comments below. Please tweet: What other …

Autism: Not Different Enough

When I read Gloria Doty’s book about her daughter with autism, I felt a great kinship with her. As you know, my twin adult sons also have a diagnosis of autism. As we venture into adulthood with them, I found this book an absolute comfort. It helped me realize that I’m not the only one experiencing all these new adventures …

Autism grows up: Their first jobs!

It’s been an exciting school year so far at the Akins ranch. The twins are in their senior year. They are 20 years old and will be 21 in February. They’ve waited quite anxiously for several years for this to happen and now it has. They have jobs! Their vocational school, Heartland Career Center, has a program that helps high school …

When autism parents kill–it has to do with hope

All human life is sacred because we are created in the Image of God. Murder is never the answer to the frustrations of parenting a child on the autism spectrum or a child with any kind of disability. Yes, it’s difficult. But it’s do-able. More than that, it’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. The struggle has been worth the benefits. My sons love with me with the purest form of unconditional love I’ve ever known besides Jesus’ love. They are truly God’s gifts to me.