Waiting for Pizza | photo © Susan Etlinger
[image: Leo and me sitting in a restaurant book. We are both
smiling, and Leo is hugging my arm.]
I'm Shannon Des Roches Rosa. This is me and my teenage son Leo. He's so awesome that this blog often revolves around him, though these days you're more likely to find me on Twitter @shannonrosa than blogging. He has two rock star/guest star sisters, big (Isobel, or Iz) and little (J., formerly 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, parenting, and being a big nerd in this space since 2003. I also write about these topics as the managing editor at Thinking Person's Guide to Autism.

My writing, speaking, and interviews can also be found at The Washington PostKPCC AirTalk, Organization for Autism Research, The Doctors TV showThe Establishment, Spectrumio9, BuzzFeed CommunitiesWoman's DayHuffington 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: Steve SilbermanMike Buckholtz, Maia Szalavitz, Holly Robinson Peete, Sam CraneAmy Sequenzia, Colin Meloy, John Elder Robison, Dr. Paul Offit, 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 (and am currently working on the second edition), co-authored a chapter in Autistic Community and the Neurodiversity Movement: Stories from the Frontline, wrote a story in 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 four BlogHer conferences, as well as at INSAR, the National Autistic Society, the Morgan Autism Center, and lots of other schools and conferences. Please contact me if you'd like me to speak at your school or conference.


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 a mama bear approach to autism acceptance: take your pity elsewhere. Leo and I have work to do.

Last update: 10/20/2019


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 J. 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.