Scary Mommy feature today!

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

Today’s gift:  Scary Mommy (aka Jill Smokler) generously features my post today on her site.

You can read the post here.  Scary Mommy is a pay-it-forward kind of gal and that’s also a gift.

Please help me thank her by sharing, commenting, tweeting, and sending to everyone you know especially special needs families.  And buy her bestselling books — her voice and nod to imperfection will help any parent.

From her website:

“Jill’s honest take on parenting has appeared in numerous publications and on television programs, including The Today ShowThe New York Times, Good Morning America, Nightline and CNN. The website averages over 3 million page views a month and the Scary Mommy Twitter feed keeps over 310,000 followers entertained daily, including Tori Spelling, Nicole Ricci, Cynthia McFadden, Holly Robinson Peete and President Obama. The Scary Mommy Facebook page boasts over 89,000 active fans.”

Thank you Scary Mommy!

#FV FridayVotes and #FR FridayReads

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Today’s gift:  I’ve been nominated on Circle of Moms as one of the Top 2012 Multiples Blogs.

As a Mom of twins, I’m honored and thrilled.  I love Circle of Moms and am a regular contributor to the site.  If you want to support me (pretty please!), then head over and vote for My So-Called Sensory Life.

But wait there’s more — You can vote every day until May 23.   If you vote, please leave a comment here and along with your blog link, I’ll give you a shout out and link in a future post.

Thanks for getting me into the Top 25!

And in case you missed it, my new Huffington Post Parents blog is touching many Moms and Dads and families.  I’ve received some beautiful emails and comments.  I hope you will take The Pledge.  Thank you for celebrating all the unexpected gifts of parenting with me.

Happy Friday!

Birth-Day

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Today’s gift:  my twins J and M.

Nine years ago today at 4:36pm and 4:37pm, I met the two people that would profoundly change me.  I never expected — nor can I really explain — how my daughter and my son have transformed me.

As I told M in bed last night, we (Mom and Dad) wished very, very hard for a baby.  Our wish came true (times two!) and  when we held  M and J in our arms for the very first time we instantly knew how special and miraculous they were, our two little raspberries!

Of course, when I think about January 19th, 2003 and the gift of TWO babies arriving on the same day, from my body(!!!), I’m breathless, teary, grateful, overwhelmed, and humbled.  But when I think about all the days that followed January 19, 2003 and brought me to January 19, 2012, I’m silenced.  The combination of two children, so different and yet so similar, growing side by side, one with special needs but both so very special…I’m struck by the depth of their bond and the enormity of my role as their mother.  But perhaps more than anything, I moved by the knowledge that I would not be the person, woman, daughter, sister, wife or friend I am today without J and M.

Today, I’m celebrating their 9th birthday with a fierce, deep, comes-from-my-core Mother Love!  Happy Birthday J and M!

Birth-Day photo

Pre-Resolution Primer

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Today’s gift:  Gina Barreca’s hilarious advice on making (and keeping) New Year’s Resolutions.

“Look, we all know that what keeps us from getting

what we want in life is the story

we tell ourselves about why we can’t have it.

So let’s make 2012 a year of new stories.”  –Gina Barreca

Click here to read the full article

Here’s to new stories in 2012!

# # #

BFFs

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Today’s gift: M wants friends.  He’s working so hard to figure out what it means to be a friend, how to make friends, how NOT to lose friends.

He had a few spontaneous friend encounters this weekend and used the phrase Best Friends Forever…

Here’s to friendship in all shapes, sizes, colors and ages.

Good luck M!

The Sounds of Silence

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Today’s gift:  M’s teacher sent this email about his vocalizations, non-contextual sounds, and vocal tics

“What an awesome day M had!  Numbers were low again straight across the day!”

Book Review: The Anti-Romantic Child by Priscilla Gilman

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

When I first heard about Priscilla Gilman’s highly anticipated memoir The Anti-Romantic Child: A Story of Unexpected Joy (Harper, May 2011), I could not wait to get my hands on it.  I knew the writing was personal, heartfelt and unique (she weaves poetry throughout — a fellow English major’s dream!).  The early reviews raved about the book and Gilman’s story promised to publicize special needs parenting to a wider audience. I quickly requested an advance reading copy and waited every day for the UPS truck to deliver it.

When I received the galley, I instantly tossed aside everything and devoured the book — twice. In a row.  I loved it.  That was in April.  It’s May now and I’m finally sitting down to finish my post.  Why the wait?  I didn’t anticipate how the book would affect me or how deeply connected I would feel to Gilman.  In fact, my very first note about the memoir was, “first day, opened book, within pages it read like it was M’s story.”

The immediate feeling of “I’ve been there” coupled with recognizing my son M in Benj took hold of me and held on long after I closed the book.  I felt like I was traveling back in time as I remembered my own hopes and dreams for M and his twin sister, J.  I remembered all of M’s early health scares and later how he lagged behind his peers in basic gross and fine motor skills. Most of all, I froze when I read how Priscilla embraced Benj’s “specialness” and his “gifts” only to learn that these were symptoms of a serious developmental delay.   Her many examples of her son’s early reading and his prowess with words and numbers numbed me.  I could have been listening to myself tell M’s story but instead was reading about another child, another set of parents and another mother’s broken heart.

Priscilla deftly describes the intense therapies, the educational challenges, the complex parenting and the uniquely deep love of a special needs child.  Her book inspires me to commit to doing more of everything (and anything) to help our child succeed.  And most of all, she restores our collective optimism and yes, even our romantic visions, for all of our special children.

The Anti-Romantic Child touched my core.  Ms. Gilman’s perseverance, her devotion to her family and her dedication to celebrate all the parts of Benj — the good and the not-so-good — are lessons for all parents.   Her perfect book about the imperfectness of her son inspires, dazzles and makes you fall in love.

I recently confessed to a friend my fear that my post could never live up to the magic of Ms. Gilman’s tale.  In that moment of my confession I realized that like Gilman I celebrate the unexpected every day and that our mutual devotion to the joy of the unexpected creates new magic.

For more information about Priscilla Gilman and the book please visit these links:

https://www.facebook.com/priscillagilmanauthor

http://www.twitter.com/priscillagilman

http://www.harpercollins.com/authors/34589/Priscilla_Gilman/index.aspx

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAwM3GXiSZE

http://www.amazon.com/Anti-Romantic-Child-Story-Unexpected-Joy/dp/0061690279/

*Click the book jacket for the Newsweek feature.

Dreams Come True: The Magic Kingdom Part I

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Before I began blogging, I drank the Disney Kool-Aid and became an instant believer that the place really is magical and that Disney really can make dreams come true.  This after a life-altering trip with the twins.  I’m still stunned about this myself.

For the record, I am not a theme-park fanatic and prior to this “Dreams Come True” trip, our family experience with Disney included a visit when the twins were 2 1/2 (and we were clueless about M’s needs) and M rode one ride (Dumbo) after massive coaxing and bribing and then spent the rest of the time on the slimy Disney pavement in front of the Pinocchio Cafe, face down, crying, screaming, tantruming and I vowed never to return.

Fast forward several years:  armed with crucial parental knowledge, a Sensory Processing Disorder Diagnosis, The Unofficial Guide To Walt Disney World (by Bob Sehlinger and Len Testa) and my burning desire to conquer our past failure, we decided (somewhat spontaneously) to try The Magic Kingdom again.  Why? With all the sensory stimulation, crowds, noise, lines, social expectations why would I ever put M in that situation again?  G.A.C.

Guest Assistance Card.

Accidentally, I discovered that Disney has a program for guests with “invisible” disabilities and challenges like Autism for example.  Upon entering the park, families with special needs children are issued this card (go to Guest Services before entering; the child must be with you) and then the magic begins!

M’s issues were handled with kindness, generosity, and respect. In fact, we were all treated like royalty.  Every person in a Disney uniform that glimpsed our card became an instant friend or cheerleader or guide.  Without the G.A.C. we could NEVER experience Disney.  NEVER.  And J could NEVER experience it as a typical child because M would be on the ground in terror just like he was at 2 1/2.

I can’t rave enough or say enough about the doors the G.A.C. opened for our family — literally and figuratively.  We saw pure joy on our children’s faces and my husband and I felt like kids again.

Thank you Disney — a dream is a wish your heart makes!  I can’t wait to return!

# # #

For More Information:

1.  Google Disney Guest Assistance Card

2.  Follow this link and read about the card in The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World:

http://books.google.com/books?id=HnBMWdps1-0C&pg=PA367&lpg=PA367&dq=the+unofficial+guide+to+disney+guest+assistance+card&source=bl&ots=zvy7cUk358&sig=-lqx89IWK_bYjxVN_PzdrFCp1jA&hl=en&ei=lfNATcGUDYSesQP_zaX7Cg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CDwQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

3.  Buy the book:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/047061529X/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=047046030X&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1HGCG51NFYMTV5R6GQR7

Battle Hymn for Moms Like Me

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Today’s gift:  I can move mountains (both at home and at work and sometimes, like today, at the same time)!

Remember that I am a book publicist?  Books have been and will always be my first love.  (Sorry hubby and twins M and J. JK!)

Thrilling that today’s gift brings so much full-circle for me — publishing, motherhood, special needs, friends past and present.  It’s been a whirlwind, power pitching, pride-filled p.r. day spent on behalf of mothers everywhere like me — Special Moms that parent for our children and not for ourselves.

Thank you Patty Chang Anker for leading the Battle for all Mothers!

Here is the post that is now on the front page of The Huffington Post thanks to yours truly!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patty-chang-anker/chinese-mother-evolve_b_807332.html?ref=tw

The Karate Kid, Part II

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Today’s gift:  M earned his White Belt in Karate! 

Ever since M attended his pal’s Karate birthday party (http://www.mysocalledsensorylife.com/?p=2780), he’s been asking about lessons.  I’ve been hesitant to add another activity to our busy lives but after a friend explained how great it’s been for her special needs daughter, I called the studio.  Today, we went to an intro session and a one-on-one appointment to determine placement. 

Intimiated at first, M seemed older and wiser at the end of the 20 minute lesson .  He stood taller, his body was calmer, his stance more confident.  He worked through some of the loud sounds and auditory challenges and made great eye contact.  When Sensei C left the room to get the belt for the tieing ceremony, I could not stop smiling because M was so proud.

Starting in January, he’ll begin lessons.

Kiai!