Aspergers Syndrome and the ‘Can’t Love’ Myth

I don’t need flowers, candy, cards or a special day to know that I am loved, especially by my son with Aspergers Syndrome. There’s a myth that people with autism can’t show love. But they can. You just have to notice because it won’t be expressed in ways you might expect. It may be subtle but it’s there and it shines brightly when you pay close attention. During his high school years, my son was on a class trip. We were encouraged to send notes, letters, and cards of encouragement while the he was away. He must have been 14 or 15 at the … [Read more...]

What is the Impact of “Old School” Thinking?

It’s been 21 years since my son was in 5th grade, but the memory of what his science teacher did to him is still fresh in my mind. While he was at his first elementary school, we didn’t know he was on the autism spectrum. What we did know was that he had some learning disabilities which made it difficult for him to function in a traditional classroom without extra support. “Old School” Thinking My son loved to learn! But he struggled at a traditional school with teachers who practiced “old school” teaching methods. In 5th grade, more written … [Read more...]

Who’ll Be at the Autism Society Convention?

By Jonathan Murphy (As told to Jodi Murphy for the upcoming Autism Society Convention) When you encounter me today, the man you see before you is a galaxy’s distance away from the boy I used to be. I was the kid in the corner pacing back and forth, the boy who wanted to go unnoticed and left to live inside my own mind’s palace. I wouldn’t look you in the eye. I just didn’t have the confidence to peer into your soul. The eyes are piercing gateways and it was just too difficult for me to ‘see’ you. So I’d have to look to your left or right in … [Read more...]

Why I’ll Be Forever Grateful to the Inclusive World of Theater

The 2016 Tony Awards opened with an emotional speech by host, James Corden, on behalf of the theater community to speak out about the hateful shooting in Orlando. “Hate will never win. Together we have to make sure of that.” I have long admired and adored the theater community—especially the creative forces who write, perform, and direct shows that celebrate and honor the rich diversity of humanity. Through my experience, I have found the theater community to be inclusive and accepting of people who are outside society’s norms, including … [Read more...]

The Galactic Power of a Horrible Hug!

How can you help your child overcome the fear of the unknown? This was the question I asked myself when Jonathan was going to start his next school year at a brand new school. Why did we change schools? Well, his first school just wasn’t a good fit for him academically or socially. We didn’t know it at the time, but he was on the autism spectrum and the school just wasn’t geared for those who learned differently. And the students weren’t very accepting of kids who were different. So we found a wonderful school our unique boy—a safe haven … [Read more...]

I Made a Wish For Autism

Today is my birthday and I'm celebrating a wish I made for the autism community almost three years ago. I wanted the world to see what I see when I meet someone with autism—whether online or in person—and that's a glorious individual! Someone with the same heart and soul found in every human being yet wrapped in a fascinating, unique package. But wanting isn't enough to make it happen and so I knew I must take action if I ever had a chance for my wish to come true. I searched for ways for our family to make a difference, racking my brain for … [Read more...]

Did I Fail as a Parent with My ‘Other’ Child?

An Interview with My Grown Up Neurotypical Daughter Editor's Note: An excerpt of this interview was published on The Mighty. Here is the full interview with my daughter, Molly. What I hope you take away from this is that you, dear parent, are doing the best you can. If you come from a place of love−and I know that you are−your children with and without special needs are going to become the amazing adults you dream of them becoming! I wish there was a manual with the exact formula for being an awesome parent. No, I wish that there was a … [Read more...]

A Mighty Mission to Educate and Empower!

Find out the inspiration behind an organization that aims to educate and empower. BY Ingrid Simone, Toca Boca Executive Editor Article originally published in Toca Boca Magazine When Jodi Murphy’s son, Jonathan, was 9, he would pace in the corner, have one-way conversations and avoid eye contact. Now, at age 29, Jodi says, “he’s a guy who can command the stage, make you laugh, entertain and engage you with a twinkle in his eye.” It hasn’t been an easy road. Jonathan has Asperger syndrome. Jodi’s years of advocating for and supporting … [Read more...]

3 Reasons Our Son’s Autism Diagnosis is an Open Book

To reveal or not reveal? I know so many of us parents struggle with whether or not they should openly reveal their child’s autism diagnosis. Since autism is often a hidden disability, many limit who knows to the immediate family and the professionals working directly with their children. It’s not the decision we made. And when I say decision, we never sat down and even talked about whether to reveal or not to reveal. For us, talking about our son’s autism diagnosis isn’t an issue. Now we don’t just blurt it out, “Hey, nice to meet you, my … [Read more...]

Update on Our Horrible Hug, an Autism App for Children

We're one step closer to the final production and release of our Mighty League, Vol. 2: The Horrible Hug, an autism app for children. In our last update, we shared our autism storyboard, the process our illustrator uses to sketch out the story. Since then, he's finished the illustrations and we couldn't be more excited! They are colorful, whimsical and fun. We are positive that this new autism app, based on a true story, is going to delight and captivate the hearts and minds of children (and their parents and teachers) while we educate them … [Read more...]