The professionals whose advice I first sought about my son Jesse didn’t tell me very much at all. The challenges of providing for a son with physical and mental disabilities would eventually lead me on a journey , from concerned mother, to psychologist and family therapist, to becoming the founder and president of a counseling center, the New Learning Therapy Center in Fairfield, CT, dedicated to meeting psycho-educational and therapeutic needs for a whole community.
People resisted giving me a specific diagnosis or telling me much of anything. Even Jesse’s pediatrician knew something was wrong but didn’t tell me.
I discovered that many parents were experiencing the same confusion and lack of knowledge.
The emotional shocks and practical experiences that grew out of my reactions eventually led me to write about them in a book published in 2008 entitled: Attics of the Mind: The Story of a Mother and Her Special Son. Being a mother to a special needs child like Jesse was the accelerator. It got me started on all the satisfying efforts that came later.
This site is for families with an autistic or other developmentally delayed members of their family and for professionals who work with them.
It is my hope that a greater understanding of this population’s needs through the life cycle will lead to more resources for them. There was then and still is today an even greater than ever need for understanding the issues of families raising a special needs child.
As a professional and a mother who has examined and dealt with the psychological, emotional and practical issues involved over the family lifespan, I offer on this site discussion with other family members and professionals who wish to write to me about their experiences, questions or comments. I offer an outline of issues that can be discussed in other forums, such as workshops, seminars and conferences.
Lastly, I offer my book and the companion piece recently developed, the documentary I produced in which members of my family talk about their evolving relationship to my son Jesse.