Hi, I'm Shannon Des Roches Rosa AKA Squid Rosenberg, and holy hell,  I'll be updating this sad outdated About page by December 2010. 

Until then, please browse all the things I've written or said about autism & iPads, and peruse my guests posts and interviews round up


Important Autism Links:

  1. New autism families need hope and support more than anything else. Feel free to pass on my open letter to any parent who thinks their child may have autism.
  2. A child's autism diagnosis can make parents desperate and vulnerable in their search for support. Be careful about identifying and avoiding autism cults.
  3. We were on fear-induced vaccination hiatus for three years, but now vaccinate all of our children, Leelo included.
  4. Jenny McCarthy means well, but her partisan take on autism and vaccines is doing many children a grave disservice.
  5. I also write about parenting special needs children as a BlogHer community editor.

I have been blogging about autism and parenting since July 2003, initially to provide a pressure release valve during the emotional thunderstorms that followed my son's autism diagnosis, and while my husband and I sifted through the various autism therapies, treatments, and cures!! being offered at the time.

"Autism" is helpful as a general shoehorn term for school districts or insurance companies, and to help facilitate accommodations in hotels, theme parks, airlines, etc. Otherwise, people with autism are as varied as any other population. We try to focus less on Leelo's autism and more on the areas in which our son needs help learning to be independent.

My original title was "The Adventures of Leelo the Soon-to-Be-Not Autistic Boy and His Potty-Mouthed Mom," if you can believe it. But 2003 was a geologic era away, with regards to autism information, approaches, and awareness, as well as my own attitude. I have long since turned my energies away from theoretical and unproven "cures" and focused my attention on the cute, sweet, challenging boy of the present. My own initial bewilderment about being the parent of a special needs child long ago metamorphosed into mama bear fuck-you righteousness: take your pity elsewhere.

We have had access to some of the best autism therapies, support, and approaches available. I continue to blog largely because I feel it is my obligation to document Leelo's progress for other families and professionals who either cannot afford or get their school district to pay for the help we have, or who may not have considered some of the methods we use.

I also firmly believe that blogging can make a difference in the real world. Readers of my blog have funded equipment for our school district's occupational therapy program, helped my daughter Iz raise money that was hand-delivered to an education project in Cambodia, and contributed hugely to the content and success of the Can I Sit With You? book/blog project that I run with Jennyalice from jennyalice.blogspot.com.

If you know a parent of a child with autism, please ask them how they are doing. I get heartsick each time I hear parents of special needs children talk about how isolated they feel. If you have a friend or acquaintance with a special needs child, please believe me that they could use your support no matter how competent and independent they may seem, how much help you think they already have, and despite how uncomfortable you may feel in asking.

At the moment we are spending most of our time in our backyard, in Leelo's beloved pool and on his trampoline. We put every last bit of our resources into this house, but it was worth it: Leelo now has the space and more of the resources he needs, his sisters have their own separate space if they need it, and our house is enticing enough that our friends and their children want to visit -- and can stay over. The latter factor is increasingly important, as it is becoming difficult for us to socialize when Leelo is off his home turf, and we don't want him to become the odd boy in the high tower.


Squid D'Artagnan Rosenberg is a pseudonym, as are the names I use for my husband Seymour, and children Isobel (Iz), Leelo, and Mali. That is my preference for the writing on this blog. Anonymity, however, is not the concern it used to be (hi, Mom!).

You can reach me at shannonrosa/@/yahoo.com, or at twitter.com/shannonrosa. My Facebook account is private.

This blog is also my sole personal journal, and as such is not always tuned to the autism channel.

I occasionally do reviews for products and services that I think my family and readers might enjoy or find useful -- but on a separate blog, Squidalicious Reviews. I am always honest in both my opinions on the products, in disclosing exactly how they came into my hot little hands, and whether or not I was compensated for the review.

I migrated from an original to a comment-enabled Blogger template in 2008, and in doing so severed access to 5 years worth of HaloScan comments. If anyone knows how to import those comments into the current version of Blogger, let me know. The raw file is sitting on my desktop, mewling.