Thursday, July 25, 2013

Will 'Autistic' Replace the R-Word? Not On My Watch It Won't.

Just incase you didn't know...

As a writer, I don’t want to censor anyone’s artistic license. But as a  mother raising a son with autism – I want these insults to stop. In every single form. Read my 7/24/13 post on - Is 'Autistic' the New R-Word?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Bert!

I am a Sesame Place Blog Ambassador. I was not compensated for this post but was provided with a 2013 Season Pass for myself and complimentary admission for my family. 

For more info:

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Keeping Cool at #SesamePlace

I am a Sesame Place Blog Ambassador. I was not compensated for this post but was provided with a 2013 Season Pass for myself and complimentary admission for my family. 

It has been seriously hot this week. Like hotter than hot. I don't think I ever remember it being so hot. Ever. So we decided to drive down to Sesame Place to beat the heat and have some splashing water fun.

The Boy's favorite spot: Splash Castle

We arrived at Sesame Place ten minutes before opening (10am) which was perfect for us. We scored three chairs in front of The Count's Splash Castle - The Boy's absolute favorite spot! We didn't waste any time. 

At 10 am  it was already hot and sticky but overcast. The weather report said it was going to rain and I think that it deterred people from arriving early. 

We like getting to the Splash Castle at around opening time since it's easier to manage when there isn't a crowd. 

At 10 am, it was so hot that I even got in...I even stood under the bucket to get splashed! 

Keep cool & your valuables dry
Today was also the first time we used our plastic lanyard wallet and fanny pack. We were able to leave our towels and slippers by our chairs but we could keep our valuables with us.  And they stayed completely dry. 

After sliding and splashing at the Castle, we decided to relax on Big Birds Rambling River.    

Maybe it was because it was early or maybe it was because it was supposed to rain, but surprisingly there wasn't a long line.

The Husband and I love the Rambling River. But The Boy wanted to head back to Splash Castle...

By lunch the park started to fill up and we decided to change and grab something to eat before getting on some dry rides. (It was also a little cloudy and the weather app on my phone kept saying it would rain.) 

The Boy really wanted to ride the Flyin Fish and Grover's World Twirl. And on a really really hot day,  Grover's World Twirl may be the coolest dry ride you can get on. (Elmo's Cloud Chaser a close second.) It's shaded and you get a breeze from all the spinning. We rode it twice. 

And in between dry rides, how does one stay keep cool at Sesame Place? Why at the Cooling Stations, of course! Just press the button and get sprayed with a cool gentle mist of water. 

We also treated The Boy to ice cream. 

Of course no visit to Sesame Place would be complete without stopping by the gift shop. I bought something for The Boy I am really excited about but that's for another post.

Then we were on our way. We left about 2pm but we had a fun filled day. never rained.

There are some really exciting things taking place later this month at Sesame Place. For more details regarding July events see related post:  What's Going On at Sesame Place in July.  

Whether rain or shine, it's always a sunny day at Sesame Place.

I am a Sesame Place Blog Ambassador. I was not compensated for this post but was provided with a 2013 Season Pass for myself and complimentary admission for my family. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

4 Things Autism Moms May Never Agree On...

They say you should never talk politics or religion because it can easily lead to a heated debate. Well if you're an autism mom add four more things to the list of things one should never talk about. Or at the very least tread lightly until you know the other moms stance. 

Here they are: 

  1. Vaccines
  2. Gluten Free/Casein Free Diet
  3. Whether or not Autism could/should be Cured
 and the 4th may surprise you...Jenny McCarthy

Photo Credit:

If you're an autism mom you either love or loathe Jenny McCarthy. 

Did you hear that she's going to be the new co-host on The View?!

My latest post on is 3 Reasons Why I Refuse to Watch Jenny McCarthy on 'The View' and man oh man did I stir the pot or what! 

Read the article -

Monday, July 15, 2013

Drake is the "Most Influential Rapper" in Social Media. Too Bad He Uses His Influence To Insult Individuals with Autism.

I grew up listening to hip-hop. My husband and I still listen to it. We listen to it at home and in the car with our seven-year old son, Norrin.  Living in The Bronx, hip-hop and rap music is part of our culture. The Bronx is the borough where hip-hop and rap was born (sorry Brooklyn…you know it’s true). And as a writer, I am often fascinated by the lyrics, the intricacies of the rhyme and word play.
But when I read about Drake’s new song (featuring J. Cole) “Jodeci (Freestyle)” I was so disappointed. The lyrics are lame, hurtful and unworthy of respect. And definitely not the kind of music I want my son to hear.
To read the rest of the article check out my post on
"Most Influential Rapper in Social Media Insults Autism Community

On July 21st - J.Cole wrote an apology and the song has been removed. You can read the apology HERE

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Racial Profiling and Autism: How Do We Keep Our Kids Safe From the George Zimmerman's of the World?

Last night as I listened to the Jury declare George Zimmerman not guilty of 2nd degree murder and manslaughter of young Trayvon Martin - I was heartbroken. As a parent, my heart ached for Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton. No parent should ever have to lose their child to such senseless violence.

I sat on my sofa with tears streaming down my face - shocked that a young black man's life was of such little value in the state of Florida. Disgusted by the Stand Your Ground law and how one could hide behind it.

We live in a country where citizens in most states have the right to bare arms, to stand their ground in the name of self-defense. We live in a country where Americans have easier access to guns than mental health.

And we live in New York City where Stop and Frisk is practiced.  

In May of 2012, I wrote why I fear for young men of color with autism living in urban communities. Zimmerman's not guilty verdict does absolutely nothing to quell my fear, it simply exacerbates it.

When The Boy was in kindergarten, his teachers made him walk down the halls with both hands in his pockets to keep him from flapping his hands. For years I've gone back and forth on whether or not The Boy should be free to flap. I've gotten to the point where I don't care if he flaps. I never asked him to have 'quiet hands.' Now I worry that his hand flapping will be the thing that makes him look suspicious. If he's walking down the street with his hands balled in his pockets or fidgeting with something - will it look like he's armed? Will his jerky awkward movements or high-pitched scripted speech deem him dangerous?

I don't know how the laws will change or how autism awareness will increase. I don't know what The Boy will look like or be like in ten years. I don't know if he will be able to walk down the street alone. I want him to be independent. But if he is, I will fear for his safety. I fear how he will be perceived.  I fear for any young man with autism...especially those living in a state like Florida.

Children with autism have such a hard time picking up on social cues. They have difficulty understanding body language. How do I teach a kid like mine to be street smart? To be cautious and careful. Who will look after him, when I am gone?  

A few weeks ago, I was talking to someone about The Boy and I mentioned he had autism. Immediately that person brought up Sandy Hook. "Didn't the killer have autism?" she asked. I couldn't even believe that the Sandy Hook tragedy was the connection this person made to autism. I was telling her about my seven-year old son and she associated him with a mass murderer. It was unsettling. It worries me. 

This is why I write. This is why more men and women of color raising children with autism need to come out. This is why autism awareness is critical. People need to understand what autism looks like - not only in children but in young adults. Police and first responders need to be trained to understand and recognize an individual with special needs.

Trayon Martin did not have autism. He was just a boy, walking down the street and targeted as a threat.

But there are many young men of color with autism, who walk down the streets in their neighborhoods. Will they be seen as a threat too? Will someone feel justified to gun them down in the street in the name of standing their ground? 

Eventually our young sons will grow into men. How can we keep them safe ?               

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What's Going On at #SesamePlace in July

I am a Sesame Place Blog Ambassador. I was not compensated for this post but was provided with a 2013 Season Pass for myself and complimentary admission for my family. 

Summer is in full swing and there's lots of family fun going on at Sesame Place! Check it out - you are not going to want to miss any of these special events...


CHOO-CHOO SOUL With Genevieve!” is coming to Sesame Place on July 15 & 16! Follow the musical adventures of Disney Jr.’s hip-hop singer, train station manager Genevieve Goings and her dancing, beatboxing engineer DC as they entertain kids while performing soulful and current renditions of the ABCs and 1-2-3s.  

Celebrate pigeons, paper clips, oatmeal and argyle socks with Bert! Join Bert in “Doin’ The Pigeon” as we sing, dance and enjoy a Sesame Street style birthday celebration. Delight in an open air buffet meal and themed desserts as we celebrate Bert’s Birthday! 
Friday, July 26, 2013 at 5:00PM Big Bird’s Riverside Pavilion
Adult (ages 10 & Up)- $26.99 + tax
Child (ages 2 - 9) - $16.99 + tax
Infants under 2 are free but require a reservation. Park admission ticket is required.

Book this getaway package with any two nights at one of our partner hotels and you get an extra night FREE. This package also includes a Sesame Fun Card which gives you unlimited admission through October 27 so you can come back in the fall to enjoy our Halloween Spooktacular! Package is available through 7/31/13.

Buy a season pass or book a breakfast!
Big Bird & Super Grover Season Pass Members are invited to enjoy extra ride time this summer.  Guests who book an 8:45 AM character breakfast are also extended this privilege. From 9:30am to 10:00am on any operating day through July and August, they can slide down Sky Splash and Slimey's Chutes, splash around in Teeny Tiny Tidal Wave, plus enjoy coaster rides on Vapor Trail!

Our newest culinary hot spot, Grover’sEats on the Street, recently arrived in the Sesame Neighborhood. Our new food truck is a fun food fiesta of tacos, wraps, quesadillas and nachos in adult- and kid-sized meals. Adult meals are all served with tortilla chips, while kids’ meals come with tortilla chips, apple slices and juice or milk.

Our new Elmo's Box Lunch program offers a quick-dining and convenient option for families who want more time to play in the park! Elmo’s Box Lunch program has a variety of adult and child boxed lunches, which can be ordered on-line, in advance, and picked up in Elmo's Eatery on the day of your visit.

We are proud to salute the men and women of our armed forces and their families. Throughout 2013, military personnel and as many as three direct dependents are entitled to a free one-time admission at Sesame Place. For details, Hero Salute.

I am a Sesame Place Blog Ambassador. I was not compensated for this post but was provided with a 2013 Season Pass for myself and complimentary admission for my family. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Father & Son's 1st Game of Golf ~ Disney Story #YoursToTell

This post is sponsored by Disney Story. To find out more about this brand-new story-creation app – and how it puts the power of storytelling in your hands - click here

The Husband was so excited bringing them home. "Check it out babe," he said. "They were on sale!" 

I stared at the box of golf clubs suitable for kids seven and older. The Husband held the box up for The Boy to see. At the time, The Boy was barely standing up in his crib but he already had his first set of clubs.

That was before autism. When we thought things would just come naturally. When we took all the little things for granted.

It was tough for The Husband after Norrin was diagnosed with autism. Like most dads, The Husband had all these expectations of playing baseball, football and golf with his son. I remember with every new therapist, The Husband always asked them to work on throwing or catching a ball.

A few weeks ago, we were trying to figure out something to do. I suggested we take a drive to Randall's Island and play miniature golf. I've never played before and neither has The Boy. The Husband loved the idea and immediately went to search for The Boy's golf clubs. The box was dusty from years of being stored away. But I knew that The Husband was really excited - he waited years to open that box.

I used the Disney Story App to share photos and tell the story of their first golf outing! Check it out  - 


And if you haven't seen my other Disney Story posts...

A Boy's First Bike
A Graduation Journey
A Day in the Life of a 7 Year Old with Autism 

This post is sponsored by Disney Story. To find out more about this brand-new story-creation app – and how it puts the power of storytelling in your hands - click here