Thank you to Autism Speaks!

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Today’s gift:  Too many gifts to count!

A giant and heartfelt thank you to Autism Speaks for posting about my blog and my recent Huffington Post Parents piece.

I’ll be updating MSCSL this weekend so please check back.  Don’t forget to visit

Cheers, Laura

I See You

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

click image to enlarge

I can’t stop thinking about this photo for several reasons:

1.  This picture really is worth a thousand words.  Isn’t it extraordinary?

2.  This is my friend and her son!! Yes, right next to President Obama and his wife Michelle.  Wow!

3.  When I showed the photograph to M and asked him about the picture he screamed, “Hey, that’s me, Mom!”

I keep staring at this image and saying, “Wow” over and over.  It captures so much and says so much to me.  When I finally stopped staring, I emailed my friend and asked her for permission to post about it and she said yes and so here is today’s gift.

My incredible, inspiring friend Michele Pierce Burns and her incredible, inspiring son Danson (nearly non-verbal and autistic) recently visited the White House during the holidays because President Obama received a copy of Danson’s book Danson: The Extraordinary Discovery of an Autistic Child’s Innermost Thoughts and Feelings (  After  Danson and Michele passed security, they had to wait a considerable amount of time until they could have a private audience and picture with the President and First Lady. By that time, and given the large crowds, Danson’s senses were overwhelmed.  I can only imagine M and his sensory needs in a similar situation — lines, noise, visual chaos, uncertainty.  It’s painful to even think about. Of course, the Obamas walked in just as Danson reached his limit (and was scratching Michele in the face–I can’t tell you how many times I’ve experienced the same meltdown and fight or flight reaction from M).  Thankfully, the Obamas were very calm and understanding (both Danson and Michele were weeping by this time) and hugged them.  All of this and so much more is captured in this beautiful photo.  In fact, I’ll fail if I try to write too much about it.

When I look at Danson in his headphones and Michele in her gorgeous dress and smile, I can hear and feel powerful words from the silent language that all Special Mothers share.  I can only thank Michele and Danson for having the courage and the strength to take this journey for all us of that can’t and for making us all see.

I could go on and on, but instead I’ll share some links below along with details about The Genius Of Autism event (Michele is a Co-Chair) in New York City on January 10th at Carnegie Hall.  The event details follow:

Monday, January 10 · 6:00pm – 9:30pm

Location Zankel Hall @ Carnegie Hall

881 7th Avenue
New York, NY

6:00pm – 8pm VIP Reception, Art Exhibitions, Silent Auction
8:00pm – 9:30pm Performance

Laura Linney is the event’s mistress of ceremony

Special tributes to the honorees will be made by:
Dr. William H. Cosby Jr.
Malaak Compton-Rock
Susan L. Taylor
Holly Robinson-Peete
Opera Diva Leona Mitchell
Kelli O’Hara from South Pacific
Billy Porter
Deepak Chopra

And many more surprises…….

General Admission Tickets are $150.00 and can be purchased online at:
Or through Carnegie Hall, 212.247.7800

VIP Tickets are $500.00 and can be purchased online at:
Or through Suzanne Rubin, or 631.796.3010

Can’t Attend? CONTRIBUTE at

About Danson and Michele: