About

I'm Shannon Des Roches Rosa, AKA Squid Rosenberg back when this blog was pseudonymous. << This is me goofing around with my handsome son Leo, who is now a teenager. He's so awesome that this blog revolves around him. He has two rock star/guest star sisters, big (Isobel, or Iz) and little (Mali). I'm married to and adore the kids' dad, Seymour, whose online science producer job is weep-with-envy cool, damn him.

I've been writing about autism and parenting in this space since 2003. Right now, the heavy rotation topics are autism acceptance and undertanding, iPads, and vaccines. I also write about those topics as a founding editor at Thinking Person's Guide to Autism (along with co-editors Jennifer Byde Myers, Carol Greenburg, and Emily Willingham) and as a BlogHer contributing editor for parenting kids with disabilities.

My writing, speaking, and interviews can be found at Huffington Post, The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, CBC Radio, Family Circle, KQED, Special Education Guide, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Shot of PreventionAl Jazeera, and the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life -- among other places.

I've interviewed some amazing people: Amy Sequenzia, Colin Meloy, John Elder Robison, Dr. Paul Offit, Brenda Rothman, and heaps of other compelling sorts: autistic individuals, parents, professionals, and more.

I co-edited and contributed to the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism book, contributed to the My Baby Rides the Short Bus book, and co-edited and contributed to the Can I Sit With You? and Can I Sit With You Too? Books.

I was a speaker and moderator at three BlogHer conferences (soon to be four). I also speak at lots of other schools and conferences. Please contact me if you'd like me to speak at your school or conference.

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I started this blog in July 2003, initially to process the emotional thunderstorms that followed my son's autism diagnosis, while my husband and I sifted through the various autism therapies, treatments, and cures!! being offered at the time. My original blog title was "The Adventures of Leelo the Soon-to-Be-Not Autistic Boy and His Potty-Mouthed Mom," if you can believe it.

I used to be afraid of autism because I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know any autistic people. I came from outside the disability community, and I believed what the media told me about autism. Including, at the time, that there was a link between vaccines and autism (long since debunked).

It is my hope that, by helping spread understanding about autism through stories like my family's, we can erode that fear. That if we treat autistic people like my son with the respect they deserve and do our best to understand that Leo lives a full, happy life and is no one’s cautionary tale, we'll ideally help more folks realize autistic people have always been part of society, that autism is a neurological difference rather than a disease, and we’ll end up with greater acceptance of autistic people.

Thanks to excellent role models in the autistic, autism professional, and autism parenting communities, my own initial bewilderment about being the parent of a kid with disabilities long ago metamorphosed into mama bear fuck-you righteousness: take your pity elsewhere. Leo and I have work to do.

Last update: 7/13/2014

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Squid D'Artagnan Rosenberg is a pseudonym that I no longer use. I still use pseudonyms for my husband Seymour, and children Isobel (Iz), and Mali. Leo has been in so many news features and videos and articles under his real world nickname that I no longer bother with his former (self-appointed) pseudonym Leelo. That is my lopsided preference for the writing on this blog. Pseudonymity, however, is not the concern it used to be (hi, Mom!).

I migrated from an original to a comment-enabled Blogger template in 2008, and in doing so severed access to five 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.

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