Autism Vacation: Not Quite a Piece of Cake
Here is my latest piece for Psychology Today, “Autism Vacation: Not Quite a Piece of Cake.” Enjoy! (Source: Susan's Blog)
Source: Susan's Blog - August 3, 2020 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Connection and Autism: It May Not Be What You Think
You can read my June 2020 Psychology Today column here. (Source: Susan's Blog)
Source: Susan's Blog - June 16, 2020 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Susie ’ s Little Day Program
I was caught off guard by the Coronavirus just like everyone else. I look back now in horror at all the times I sat right next to people — even a sneezing guy on an airplane — and wandered around blithely without a mask. At the beginning of March, though, it all changed. I was picking Nat up from his day program on a Thursday for a doctor’s appointment, but while waiting for him to collect his things, I noticed how few people were in the room, and how few vans there were outside. I asked Paul, his dear friend and case manager, and Paul said that people were not coming in because of the virus. Suddenly...
Source: Susan's Blog - May 18, 2020 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Quarantined: Spending Time With My Adult Autistic Son
I hope you enjoy this new post I wrote for Psychology Today. It’s been quite a time staying home with Nat these three weeks! (Source: Susan's Blog)
Source: Susan's Blog - March 30, 2020 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Special Needs Voting Social Story
VOTING IS REALLY IMPORTANT. HERE’S HOW TO DO IT Copyright 10/25/18 by Susan Senator All rights reserved ALL ABOUT VOTING Voting is making choices. Voting is a wonderful thing to do if you are grown up. Voting is VERY IMPORTANT FOR ANYONE LIVING IN THE UNITED STATES. The choices are for different people who want to be in charge of the rules we follow. These are called Elected Officials. The choices on the voting form are also for some rules that all people must follow. These are called Questions. WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT THE VOTING PLACE? We go into the building. At the first table, ____________ says his name SLOWLY and ...
Source: Susan's Blog - February 17, 2020 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Nat Solves the Autism Puzzle Piece
I give you my latest column for Psychology Today. Enjoy!   (Source: Susan's Blog)
Source: Susan's Blog - January 31, 2020 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

More About GHOST
While on my bike ride the other day, I had a revelation about how to begin implementing GHOST, which I first described in Psychology Today. First I came up with what the acronym means: G.H.O.S.T: Group Home Oversight & Support Team. The way it would work is, the parents and guardians of group home residents swear an alliance of the soul with each other and vow to check in on the others’ child in the parent’s absence/death. Weekly visits. And if you can’t, you must get someone else who gives a shit to do it in your place. I don’t know what the incentive would be since we don’t all have trus...
Source: Susan's Blog - December 23, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Change Vs. Accept? Read My Latest For Psychology Today
How much should we autism parents struggle to “change” our children’s behavior, to channel it to more “normal” pursuits? Are we stifling the real person by doing so? You can read the piece here. (Source: Susan's Blog)
Source: Susan's Blog - December 13, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

I ’ m Offering A Writing Workshop Online
The process for producing a publishable piece: Nailing the essay-length work This two-part class will give you the basic tools for crafting opeds, personal narrative, book proposals, pitch letters, beginning memoirs. You will also have plus opportunity for peer review and one free session of my editing. 2 Saturday mornings in January, TBD DAY ONE Overview: The essay, what it is used for: Pitch letters Opeds Summary of book for an agent Persuasion   The three most important goals for an essay To catch the reader’s eye To get the reader to keep reading To “win,” i.e., to fully convey your point...
Source: Susan's Blog - December 4, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Psychology Today: The Near Impossibility of Family Balance
Here is my latest post for Psychology Today. Enjoy! (Source: Susan's Blog)
Source: Susan's Blog - November 30, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Nat is 30
Even back in 2005 when Making Peace With Autism came out, I knew that I’d made a terrible mistake with the opening sentence: “The hardest day of the year for me is Nat’s birthday, November 15.” How could I have thought such a thing, much less published it for everyone to see? What if Nat saw? Realistically, he wouldn’t because he doesn’t read books like that. But still. Imagine a child seeing that. Further on I wrote: Of course, Ned and I are happy to celebrate Nat’s birthday, going to great lengths to come up with presents that catch his quicksilver attention and baking a cake sla...
Source: Susan's Blog - November 13, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

What Does Independence Look Like For My Adult Autistic Son?
Here is the latest column for Psychology Today. Enjoy! (Source: Susan's Blog)
Source: Susan's Blog - October 10, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

The Universe According To Me
When is enough, enough?  When do we let go and then grab onto something new? As I get older I need to be able to answer that question and not look back. I had a particularly good day at work today — I teach writing at Northeastern University — which means I got really really tired. My hour of teaching three days a week is a time period when all of my usual creative energy is compacted into those moments. If you know me at all, you know then that this is a lot of creative energy concentrated and distilled in the best, purest thinking version of me. And like the Laws of Conservation of Matter and Energy, onc...
Source: Susan's Blog - October 3, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

A New Year, A New Family Member — or Two
Recently I hosted a family party — my mom’s 80th — which was just immediate family and close relatives. It was great reconnecting with cousins and with my Aunt Georgia and Mom’s brother Gerard, and Aunt Rhoda, Dad’s older sister. I think Mom felt the same way. She seemed on a high the whole day. I was particularly excited about this because it was one of the few times we had really celebrated just Mom, and not as part of a really magnificent couple with my dad (82). We celebrate the two of them a lot, because they have a pretty extraordinary relationship, having started dating when she was 1...
Source: Susan's Blog - September 20, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Already Missing New Orleans
“…Ole Mississippi, she’s callin’ my name.” Just got back from a trip to New Orleans for our anniversary. We stayed in a glorious old hotel, the Monteleone. Our room was smallish but very sumptuous, with a wall of windows looking over the rooftops out to the Mississippi.  Ben had given us a book about haunted New Orleans and we found out that there were twelve spirits in our hotel, one of whom hung out on our floor! Never saw him or felt his presence though. They had a nice pool on the roof, and just off the lobby was the Carousel Bar, that actually rotates. First day there we ate beigne...
Source: Susan's Blog - July 7, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Someone Called the Police on Nat
The day they called the police on Nat: my latest post in Psychology Today. (Source: Susan's Blog)
Source: Susan's Blog - June 30, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Fun is a Superpower
Magic isn’t real in the sense that someone can *poof* disappear or have three wishes or suddenly be “beautiful” as in magazine-pretty (Ned’s term). But real magic is about spinning straw into gold, by which I mean creating something fascinating and special out of the ordinary. On my bike rides I go to tiny spots in ordinary neighborhoods where I am entering whole worlds. I imagine and crave to be at these places, and that makes me want to get on my bike. So it’s not exercise, it’s play. I look to my right, on Old Orchard Road, and I squint a little, and that lawn there becomes like a mea...
Source: Susan's Blog - May 29, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

But Maybe Autism Parents Can Let Go?
What’s the other side of the “I can never die?” plaint of the autism parent? I’ve done a lot of writing about the need for more protections of our vulnerable guys who do not live with us. Even so, for many of us that is not a sustainable solution. And we are not the center of the issue, even though we love our children and want to protect them. No, they themselves are. And it is their right as human beings to claim their independence if that is what they wish. So — perhaps we parents can take a lesson from — of all things — the story of Abraham and Isaac. Not the sacrifice part &md...
Source: Susan's Blog - May 13, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Why Autism Parents Say “ I Can Never Die ”
Here is my 13th column for Psychology Today. It’s been a great year writing for them! This column is about why autism parents say “I can never die.“ (Source: Susan's Blog)
Source: Susan's Blog - April 28, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Light it up blue or red? We need a whole rainbow
Today is World Autism Acceptance/Awareness Day. Do you light it up blue? Wear red? (Answer: I only wear what looks good on me.) Seriously, I have nothing against the Blue. Or the Red. Not so for others in my community. The Blue is deplored by many because people in our community have a beef with Autism Speaks, the original Blue Puzzle Piece organization. The antipathy ranges from how AS funds are spent, to awful Public Service Announcements from their early beginning, to the fact that research is mostly about cause and not direct support. Causation research is by implication about eradicating autism. This feels like a thre...
Source: Susan's Blog - April 2, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Albert Camus ’ Search For Autism Housing
As an autism mom trying to build Nat’s future, I ought to know by now that it is always darkest before the dawn, that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. How many times do I have to learn that? The problem is, because this is real life, real people, I am always suffused with the fear that this time the bad stuff is going to last. And then, after a terrible phase of hopelessness and anger, of digging in the dark caves of despair, I stumble upon a tiny idea that is like a crack in the rock. I then test it out with a deluge of emails to my mentors. I latch onto their kind and wise responses and I find the wa...
Source: Susan's Blog - March 28, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

When the Fork in the Road is Actually a Knife
When Nat was 10, he was offered a choice in classrooms, where Nat’s alleged functioning level and behavior were the deciding factors. If we chose Door A, Nat would be consigned to a “pragmatics” classroom. Separate, low expectations, ADLs, making change. If we chose Door B, the Director told us, “imagine the opportunities that would open to him.” Academics. Inclusion. Friends. “But,” he said gravely, “he must keep those behaviors under control.” Oh how that classroom sparkled and seduced me, like the Sirens to Odysseus. So I chose it with great hope and trepidation. But...
Source: Susan's Blog - March 21, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

There ’ s No Place Like (Forever) Home in Autism Adulthood
“Live in ‘parment.'” Back when Nat was transitioning out of school, at the beginning of his adulthood, we were able to learn from him that he wanted to liven in an apartment. For a year leading up to his turning 22, I searched for apartments that he could share with a roommate or two, and a live-in caregiver. I took him along. I don’t know which of us was more excited. I figured we’d fund it through Social Security and Adult Foster Care (a live-in caregiver who’d get a small tax-free stipend). Nat loved the city life he’d always lived, and so we wanted to duplicate this as closely ...
Source: Susan's Blog - March 18, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Listening to an autistic person
Here is my latest post in Psychology Today, about listening to what Nat has to say. (Source: Susan's Blog)
Source: Susan's Blog - February 27, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Closing Time
I didn’t even notice the sign at first, I just pushed the heavy door open and walked up to the cash register to order. Jimmy Owens, the barrista who greets you with “Hihowaya?” pointed to the door, and there it was in black and white. Peet’s in Coolidge Corner would be closing its doors on January 25th. “What? Why?” I sputtered, but I kind of already knew. Just like the Chestnut Hill Peet’s that closed last year, the volume of business in Coolidge Corner Peet’s probably did not justify its operation anymore. Corporate metrics. But although our Peet’s is technically part...
Source: Susan's Blog - January 31, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

The (Dis)Comfort Zone
I realized recently that I rarely stray outside my comfort zone. It takes such an effort for me to keep going to classes, for example, or anything at night. Parties on weekends are a supreme effort at times, though I’m usually glad I went. But why is there such an effort behind going out, forward? Anxiety runs in my family, I believe all of us but Ned suffer from it. Mine comes in waves, where the terrible times make me feel like old wood, about to crack and splinter. I think Nat’s is like this, too. When he was a baby and had some new food in front of him, he said, “Don’t worry hot dogs.” Try...
Source: Susan's Blog - January 14, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Connecting is everything
I talked about you today. I was thinking about our new agreement, that we follow the schedules carefully, use the timer, and stay consistent. We didn’t make this a formal agreement, of course, it was one suggested by Miyabe and Elaine, and then underlined by your insistence to keep the world from becoming chaos. I’ve always known you wanted that, but it was my belief back then that we had to make you flexible, that we wanted to be able to be our impulsive selves, to be a family of five, and not just three. I wanted your brothers lives and rights to be as strong and vital as yours. I also learned a long time ago...
Source: Susan's Blog - January 10, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

From Tribal Fusion Bellydance to Tolstoy
I’ve always been fascinated by extreme opposites working together at the same time. I love the way classical, orderly Enlightenment Europe morphed into its opposite, stormy, histrionic Romanticism. In philosophy, music, poetry, and painting. Late eighteenth century rationalism caves into moody sturm und drang of the early nineteenth century. The symmetry of Mozart into the surprises of Beethoven. Voltaire, Rousseau and then Hegel to Marx. Whew. That was a long time ago, in history and in my life. I thought those interests of mine had gone underground in the last few decades of my life, disappearing into autism advoca...
Source: Susan's Blog - January 8, 2019 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Timer heals all things
When Nat was five he started his life at the May School in Arlington. The May is a behavioral school, dedicated to positive reinforcement such as earning tokens towards desirables, taking small incremental steps towards goals, and scrupulous attention to “behaviors.” The May people jumped right in to getting Nat’s attention, which is one of the first lessons taught in behavioral schools. I was very heartened to see Nat learning how to pay attention to people. Nat’s first May teacher was joyful and kind. She focused her bright eyes on Nat and got him to listen to her sometimes. At the May Nat learned...
Source: Susan's Blog - December 24, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Motherhood OCD
About 25 years ago, I suffered from acute Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It took the form of going back and checking. Really ugly stuff, I’m not going to describe it here. Until I had a very wise therapist who really understood — that, combined with Prozac, and the day came where I felt the tormented tickle of “you better turn around and look,” yet I walked on. Moving forward is particularly difficult for me because I often still dip into obsessive-compulsive disorder. Now it is not the way it was back then, it is more of an idling, stalling engine. It stays put, rather than whipping me backwards. I...
Source: Susan's Blog - December 19, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Relationship OCD
You got the cool water, when the fever runs high. — Paul Simon About 25 years ago, I suffered from acute Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It took the form of going back and checking. Really ugly stuff, I’m not going to describe it here. Until I had a very wise therapist who really understood — that, combined with Prozac, and the day came where I felt the tormented tickle of “you better turn around and look,” yet I walked on. Moving forward is particularly difficult for me because I often still dip into obsessive-compulsion disorder. Now it is not the way it was back then, it is more of an idling...
Source: Susan's Blog - December 19, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

The Insidious and Omnipresent Infantilization of Disabled Adults
Here is my latest post for the Psychology Today blog, about how common it is to infantilize people with disabilities; how I recognized this attitude in myself. An experience with MUSE was, as it so often is, my muse for the piece. (Source: Susan's Blog)
Source: Susan's Blog - November 27, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

CNN ’ s Article on Nat and Voting
CNN just published a print story of the voting booklet that I made for Nat for this election. I tried to figure out just what he would need to understand, in order to vote like a responsible citizen. I did guide him to consider being a Democrat, the same as I do for my other two sons, because it is my responsibility as their mother to make sure the actions they take have only a positive impact on their lives. But I have created a more general, more neutral format of the booklet that I will share here and hopefully others with developmental and cognitive disabilities will use it and be able to vote:  Voting-Public Vers...
Source: Susan's Blog - November 5, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Vote Blue, Your Country ’ s Lifeblood is At Stake
On this ugly rainy day I find my mind turning to the potentially ugly future. Over the years that I’ve written in my blog I have made no secret of the fact that I’m both Jewish and a Liberal Democrat. I am in mourning for the Jews that were shot yesterday in Pittsburgh. Two of them were developmentally disabled. One was actually a Holocaust survivor. Six others were innocent human beings. I live in Massachusetts, I believe in publicly funded social programs like Welfare, supports for the disabled, elderly, poor, and addicted. I believe in funding public education and special education and bilingual education. I...
Source: Susan's Blog - October 29, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Autumn Chill
Fall is the empty nest time of year; even the trees must deal with the fact of their seeds dropping off to start new lives. And I am an old mother, dealing with my children’s departure for years. My son Nat has lived away from us for eleven years. But this particular autumn I find myself unable to shake my sadness, the feeling that there has been a permanent shift, and that I’m not ready for it. Like many families, Nat, who is my oldest moved into a residential school at 17. Unlike many families, this was a school for students with severe autism.  The move out of the home is so dreaded by most autism famil...
Source: Susan's Blog - October 25, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Inclusion and our Social Contract
“As soon as any man says of the affairs of the State “What does it matter to me?” the State may be given up for lost.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract “There is nothing better than the encouragement of a good friend.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau My children have all crossed the threshold into adulthood. My youngest son Ben is settling deeply into a happy life as an art student in Savannah. He is happier than I have ever seen him, living according to his goals and talents. His art is a wild and wonderful combination of wisdom and wit way beyond his twenty years. My middle son ...
Source: Susan's Blog - September 5, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Hodor is My Hero
Here is my latest Psychology Today column, a mother’s take on Game of Thrones‘ portrayal of disability and why Hodor is my hero. (Source: Susan's Blog)
Source: Susan's Blog - July 25, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

He ’ s with the band
They showed up one evening, at my friend Eswar’s house. He was hosting a bunch of musicians that night, an impromptu concert. He himself was going to play the violin with his son. That in in itself was a good enough reason for us to be there, to see Sri — whom we’d known since he was little, who had befriended Nat because Nat tickled him – play the violin with his dad. Sri has autism, like Nat. This musical ability blew my mind. I didn’t even know the two women – clearly they were the teachers — were together. Elaine, was petite, with long dark hair and a violin tucked under her ch...
Source: Susan's Blog - July 13, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Stuck in Time
Darkness during the brightest day Showed up, surprising me. A soft pain, like a bruise The kind you don’t know where it came from But now it’s there and you have to just wait for it to get worse. Or it’s like a bug, flying small around the room, bumping into windows and walls Until it lands. And then —  I understand. It’s you. You’re all gone. Well, okay, not gone. Still here, but really there. It’s cruel, that now that I can see, really see you — because you are there now, in space. But when you were here, with me, so close I could only feel. So back then I was the bug,...
Source: Susan's Blog - July 5, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Stuck
Darkness during the brightest day Showed up, surprised me, a soft pain, like a bruise You don’t know where it came from But now it’s there and you have to just wait Wait I do know It started in my belly. Dead. Center. Flying small around the room, like a bug it bumps windows and walls Until it lands. And then I understand. It’s you. You’re gone. Well, not gone. Still here, but really there. Kind of cruel, that now that I can see, really see you — because you are there now When you were here, with me, so close I could only feel. So back then I was the bug, bumping around you, smelling, feeling,...
Source: Susan's Blog - July 5, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Don ’ t Call My Autistic Son “ Buddy ”
Don’t Call My Autistic Son “Buddy.” This is the subject of my latest Psychology Today column, which you can find here. (Source: Susan's Blog)
Source: Susan's Blog - June 14, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Life will, uh, find a way
I had a bike accident a few days ago. I got “doored.” I had just completed a 19 mile ride, my usual summer route, when I decided to finish up riding on a road near my house, parallel to the park I usually ride in. I don’t know what made me change up the route, which took me next to a whole lane of parked cars; maybe just the desire to do something a tiny bit different from the park path. The driver’s side door of the Mercedes swung out, just like that, and I yelled, “NO!” but there is no stopping the laws of physics. I felt myself moving through space, I heard the crack of my helmet, the...
Source: Susan's Blog - June 12, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

I ’ m Biking For The MUSE Foundation
I am doing my first charity ride, September 1, in an organization called Bike to the Beach. Bike to the Beach pulls autism philanthropies together under their widespread umbrella so that multiple autism causes can come together and raise a good deal of money while networking with each other and raising awareness. My team is Team MUSE Foundation. MUSE, which stands for Music, Unity and Social Expansion, is a non-profit that is all about community inclusion and social opportunities through musical instruction and performance. I joined the board of MUSE in December 2017. I go to every rehearsal because Nat is part of MUSE. Na...
Source: Susan's Blog - June 10, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Thought For Food
Why down? Why now? No reason on earth. The mind just roams, searching, digging for the reason for the sad, ostensibly to pounce on it, crush it, make it so flat as to disappear it. But — the law of conservation of matter — so that can’t happen. Or is sadness an energy, rather than matter? Doesn’t matter. Somehow there is food attached. Or Food, as a big concept. Food I just ate. Food I want to eat. Food I can’t eat. Hours until I can eat again. And then it all falls to that: hours. There are hours worth of what I am supposed to do but really that I can postpone so why do it when I don’t ...
Source: Susan's Blog - June 4, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Hall of Fame Speech
I was inducted into my high school Hall of Fame today! It was a lovely ceremony, with three other inductees from other graduating classes. The bond we shared was public service and giving back to the community. I feel so honored and honestly blown away by the thoughtful ceremony and the achievements of the others there. By the way, my high school is named after former U.S. Senator Brien McMahon, and so we were the McMahon Senators! You can imagine how interesting that was for me… Here is the speech I gave today, drawing from certain life lessons of two of my favorite teachers: “Get out of your culture,”...
Source: Susan's Blog - June 3, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Wood that it were clearer
Yesterday I had to pick up Nat from his day program so that he could get to his band rehearsal and voice lesson by 6. His usual routine was unavailable because the group home needed the van for an event, so there was no way to take Nat to his practice. Nat was ready the moment I showed up, of course. Someone is always hanging around the entrance and everyone knows me there by now, so the grapevine gets to Nat before I do. He walked right past me, to the car. I started up with conversational attempts because I have a problem with no talking. I do this, because I think it’s right, too. Even though — or possibly b...
Source: Susan's Blog - May 25, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Healthcare Crisis in Autism Adulthood
In early May I wrote another piece for Psychology Today and you can read it here. (Source: Susan's Blog)
Source: Susan's Blog - May 4, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Musical Instruction and Performance: A Game-Changer for Autism
I have just published a piece in Psychology Today, about music being a game-changer for autistic adults. I based the piece on both anecdotal and personal experience (with Nat and his rock band), as well as research. (Source: Susan's Blog)
Source: Susan's Blog - April 16, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Autism Adulthood
Salon.com published an excerpt (“Someone Hurt My Son”) from my book’s updated edition. You can read the excerpt here. It is an essay about what happened when Nat came home for the 4th of July two years ago and we discovered a fist-sized bruise on his chest and broken ribs. The new (April 3!) edition of Autism Adulthood: Insights and Creative Strategies for a Fulfilled Life, is now available everywhere. The new edition has some new interviews, a new chapter on trauma and healing, and many new resources. And a new cover! (Source: Susan's Blog)
Source: Susan's Blog - April 5, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

The Lonely Witch
Near a small village where the river flowed into a deep narrow valley lived a young witch woman with hair as black and as long as a winter’s night. She lived with a cat the color of smoke, in a curious house painted a strange blue such as no one had ever seen before in this village of brick huts. Though the woman was a witch, the people were not afraid of her, for she had never set an evil spell in anyone’s memory. She made music, and she made magic. Her music was sweet and high pitched, like the hum of honeybees. And the only magic she practiced was making potions for the townspeople’s ills. If someone h...
Source: Susan's Blog - February 4, 2018 Category: Child Development Authors: Susan Senator Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs