Welcome to my blog. I am the mother of two children with asperger's syndrome. The oldest in fact was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at the age of five. He has now received a Masters of Science degree in Computer Science. His younger brother is now a college graduate and starting a Masters program in Media and Communications. It has been a long road and not so easy all the time. But I never gave up and I never will until my boys have the future of their choosing.

I am a non-practicing attorney, a certified Committee on Special Education ("CSE") parent member, who has helped people in all categories under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as well as a post-secondary transition coach for those with aspergers syndrome.* I have over 20 years experience in advocating for my sons as well as for others. For several years, I led an on-line support group for parents of special needs children and hosted an Internet-based talk show that focused on issues surrounding inclusion and education.


I specialize in practical self-advocacy for parents and persons with special needs, teaches about useful home supports for children on the autism spectrum and provides support for those with Asperger’s syndrome with respect to, among other things, transitioning into post secondary education. I work with parents on the everyday issues they face and guides them through the process of raising special needs children. My goal is simple: to assure that special needs individuals will have the best chance to seek the future of their choosing like every other member of society.


I will be writing updates on situations, answering the age-old questions of "who, what, where, when and how" they have been handled. I may even tell a funny or two. I sincerely hope that something I pen here helps those who visit. If you have a question don't be afraid to ask. My approach is simple. And you can find the answers to all the following questions on my blog: 

What are the relevant/important issues and helpful therapies needed so that a child can access their “free and appropriate education” (FAPE) in the “least restrictive environment” (LRE)?

Where can the best services be found?

Who are the appropriate advice providers?

Why are certain programs not helpful and may actually be a hindrance to progress?

When is it appropriate to evaluate and reorganize a support system?

How can an effective program be created?


If you are looking for quick answers, a “magic pill,” or someone to tell you it’s someone else’s responsibility, you will not find that here. You will not find “woe-is-me” parenting either. What you will get is practical guidance for raising a child with special needs and integrating them into the real world. If you ask what have I learned in the over 20 years of  advocacy, I will not hesitate to tell you that it is best to: Live your life. Simply live it. Enjoy it. Revel in your children's successes. Figure out how to help them through their failures. Support those whom you love. Find ways to make the most of every minute of every day. Don't put off the important things. Stand up for your child. Remember that you know your child best. You are their best champion/advocate. Do what is right and honest. Don't be afraid to alienate anyone who isn't a positive influence in your life or your child’s life. Have patience. Have self-respect. Be kind. And above all BE BRAVE.


Remember not to predict what will be; take each day, each moment, in its own time; then one day you will look back and be pleased to see just how far your child has come.


* Please note, that while the current DSM has rolled Asperger’s syndrome into the general autism spectrum disorder diagnosis, I  respect the call by many Autistic Self-Advocates to retain the separate category of Asperger’s syndrome when discussing individuals and their needs.  For purposes of IEPs and school related documents, it should be borne in mind that the school districts generally follow the DSM and the relevant state regulations.

Also please note that I use person first language. Both of my sons who are on the autism spectrum prefer that language. Their opinion on this matter is the only one I care about. I follow their lead.


Disclaimer: Although Elise  is a member of a Bar you should not consider anything written in this blog as a substitute for legal advice. Lawyers are often needed in connection with special needs matters, including situations involving allegations of discrimination, claims against school districts or governmental agencies, and estate planning to provide or plan for unique special needs financial requirements. 

The information contained on this blog is not a substitute for professional medical advice such as from a medical doctor, psychiatrist, counselor or therapist of any kind. It also does not constitute legal, medical, financial or actuarial advice nor is it intended to constitute such advice.

Any decisions you make, and the consequences, are your own. 
The Information is intended to be general, practical information with respect to common issues associated with supporting a child on the autism spectrum or supporting a child with a learning disability. You do not have to use the Information, and if you choose to do so, you accept personal responsibility for the outcome. Results are not guaranteed. Elise takes no responsibility for the actions, choices, or decisions taken, or made, by any reader. 

This website and its contents are provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement.

Reproduction, distribution, republication, and/or retransmission of material contained within this website are prohibited unless the prior written permission has been obtained.

Please be sure to visit my old blog also known as Raising Asperger's Kids for all archived material written before 4/23/10 http://asd2mom.wordpress.com

Contact: practicalautism@gmail.com