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A + for The A-Word: The most authentic look at Autism on screen.

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I worked for several years with a succession of autistic children—which mostly means boys—kids who were mainstreamed in regular education classrooms, with a classroom aide assigned to shadow them. That was me, the shadow. 

We also lived next door to a family who had an autistic son who became one of our son’s closest playmates, until we moved away at the end of elementary school. Chris, with his funny idiosyncrasies is the source of some very sweet memories, as well as moments of high drama. That’s what you get with autism, children who can be deeply involved when their needs and passions are directed and shared but who can sometimes find it frustrating when those needs are brushed aside. 

It’s typical for an autistic child to want to talk about dinosaurs—or whatever the passion is—and be frustrated while the rest of the kids have moved on to another topic. The autistic child is focused on that stegasaurus and exactly how cool it is, just not quite getting that the others don't shar…

Interviewing Jane Wells

I've been skittish for a week knowing today was coming. I had an appointment to interview a journalist for 805Living magazine. We're doing a new page for the end of the book featuring local people of note, be they celebrities or interesting, influential folks who live in the Conejo Valley area. My interview was with Jane Wells, an Emmy award winning, Peabody prize winning, super successful broadcast journalist on MSNBC.
And, yes I was nervous. It's not as though I've tried to pass myself off as a journalist. I'm not! I like to write personal essays, short stories, the occasional article and yes, I might have to interview someone in regards to that but HEY! Jane Wells reported on the OJ Case for pete's sake. What the heck did I know about interviewing someone like her?
In reality, the piece is intended to be fun and light, so there really shouldn't have been any pressure ... except the pressure I pile on myself!
I'd requested a bio which she emailed me and I went over it and over it.
I went over and over my questions.
I went over and over my wardrobe.
Finally I was ready. Jeans with a black shirt, brown suede boots and coat. Writerly, but fairly fashionable.
The nifty little digital recorder my husband gifted me with, tucked into one of the small inner pockets of my purse. Tres cute.
And I was on my way.
And you know what, as soon as I saw her, peering quizzically at me, as if to say, Is that you, I realized that it was going to go okay. Which, I'm happy to say, it did. The results will be in the April issue of 805 Living, if you live in our neck of the woods I hope you'll try and pick up the magazine and check it out.


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