About the author

Laura Shumaker is a nationally recognized writer, autism and disabilities advocate. Her essays have appeared in many places, including the New York Times, CNN, NPR, and in a popular autism and disabilities blog for The San Francisco Chronicle. She’s the mother of three terrific sons, and her oldest son, Matthew, is the subject of her book A Regular Guy: Growing Up with Autism.


  1. Brandi Reed says

    I am VERY proud of my autist son (who is my only child). It hurts me when other children are mean to him and do not play with him because he is different. However, he knows that I am always more than willing to play with him and put my life aside (as I have for 9 years now for him) to be with him. I do believe that the reason he is so high funtioning is because of my unconditional love for him. I have him helping me in the kitchen he has chores that he must do everyday before he gets to watch any television. He is also not aloud to use his autism as an excuse to get his own way or get himself out of trouble. I understand that my method is unorthodox but parents of adult autisics have told me that this will help him function better as an adult and possibly be able to live on his own someday. I am thankful for the support of local and national organizations (espcialy Special Olympics who my son was swimming for a couple of years ago and made some friend like himself) who helped me out when I was single parent just finding out about his disability.
    There may not be a cure. But, with the right upbringing and unconditional love I believe that there is a chance for these children. They are wonderful people and my heart goes out to them.

  2. mary says

    Our don was diagnosed st almost 4 years old.At that time it was just starting to be discussed and we had first been told many other diagnosis as well. So…after many many hard head banging trials and tribulations ( my son banging hid head in fits of anger, then me banging my head thinking how can I keep going and no help) our son is now 21. Yep still living with us. School system let him and us down. Isp meetings ..what a joke…we had to end up calling Ada. And civil rights just to get help getting through an isp meeting. He graduated from high school in s church that had computers and aides to assist in school work. Yes I had to drive him there everyday to and from school. What a crock. Our son is SO smart and so high functioning its scary. He knows computers inside and out. Can probably

  3. Kendra says

    I have a young adult son with ASD. I too became his whole life and focus of my life. I was his mother, father, natural support provide, his only friend (and years later–him, mine),personal attendent, personal assistant, his voice and etc. Now as I am preparing him to journey on his own and spread his wings to fly, I find myself in a co-dependant relationship with my son. It has become so bitter sweet in my reflection of emotions. I have to relearn how to join the nuero-typical world and mainstream. I need to acquire skills to socialize with my peers. Being a only caretaker for my son has had its downside. I feel that society has isolated not only my son, but myself as well.

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