My Shaynanigans

Photo by Shayla Hearn


My name is Shayla and I hail from the Pacific Northwest. I am mom to an army of three girls, ages five, two, and one.

My oldest was diagnosed with autism last year. Her name is Finley. She is Miss Observant. Peanut butter connoisseur. Crafter. Dinosaur aficionado. Lover of swings, bubbles, and sand. Genuine and honest. Avid reader. She is my little warrior and every day she teaches me something new.

It is her story I want to share. Our journey with her as we embark down the path of autism. And I want to do so honestly. That means with the good sometimes comes the bad.

Our story is a human one. I want to help bring awareness and understanding by inviting you into our world, to see as we see. I hope our journey can aid you with yours. You are not alone.

Want to know more about me? Here is a list. I like lists.


        1. I hate tomatoes, but love ketchup. Ketchup could go on just about anything.
        2. I am afraid of heights, but jumped out of an airplane anyway. Same thing with scary rides at amusement parks…they scare the bejesus out of me but I just have to go on them.
        3. I am completely addicted to using Burt’s Bees lip balm. I am never without it.
        4. I have watched every episode of Frasier I don’t know how many times. That show just cracks me up.
        5. By the time I read a non-digital clock, I need to add a couple of minutes.
        6. I could say the alphabet backward before I could say it forward.
        7. I ALWAYS confuse my left and right. My husband instinctively knows to turn left when I say go right.
        8. I own a guitar that I would love to learn to play, but I am too impatient to do it.
        9. I love to use random numbers on the microwave. 29 seconds, not 30. 12 seconds, not 10. I have no explanation for why.
        10. When I was little I wanted to be a Solid Gold dancer when I grew up. That or Wonder Woman. I’m going to check these off my list now because last night I danced hard to Itsy Bitsy Spider then flew my butt upstairs to bed in my invisible plane.
        11. I cannot stand the sound of finger nails scratching on paper bags. I won’t even touch them on the off-chance one of my finger nails will accidentally run across it. I just cringed thinking about it.
        12. I am a performer trapped in the body of someone with severe stage fright and no amount of alcohol will change that.



Photo credit: Shayla Hearn

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About Jodi Murphy

I am the founder of Geek Club Books, autism storytelling through mobile apps for awareness, acceptance and understanding. My mission is to use the art of storytelling and technology to entertain and educate for the social good. I am a 'positive' autism advocate, mother of an awesome adult on the autism spectrum, lifestyle journalist, and marketing specialist.


  1. Hi Shayla,
    Jodi introduced me to your column, and I’m glad she did. It’s a beautiful post. Simple and clear in its honesty. Thanks for inviting all of us into your journey. (Loved #9 on your list, too).

    • Elaine,

      Thank you so much for joining our family on our little journey. It is so nice to connect to others this way. I think one day it will mean the world to Finley to see people like you reaching out.

      Thank you,

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