Autism Daddy

What is most noticeable about parents who have children diagnosed with severe autism is their ability to be humble, frank, and among other things, patient — especially with people who don’t understand the realities of autism. Started by 46-year old Frank Campana, whose son 13-year old son Kyle has severe autism, the Autism Daddy blog is a candid take on the day-to-day of parenting an autistic child. Campana’s Q&A section is very informative for people who also have autistic children as well as those who have limited exposure to it.

The blog covers everything from how to deal with doctors, blood draws, to how to keep your marriage strong through the challenges of raising an autistic child.

Frank Campana has been chosen by Utah Valley University to give a presentation called “Things No One Ever Told Me After My Kid Was Diagnosed with Autism” to over 500 people which received positive reviews.  Though this site’s moniker suggests it’s for dads, it’s helpful for mothers and others as well.

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Bird on the Street

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The more we hear about autism, the less it seems people understand – which is why it’s important we spotlight and feature blogs that realistically touch on the subject of autism and special needs.

In one word, Bird on the Street can be heart-wrenching: for good times and for bad. “Katy Bird” (as her husband calls her) writes a blog that is informative, conversational, and compelling because it so deeply personalizes this mother’s struggles and joys. Perhaps her Southern roots give her the ability to draw the reader in with her storytelling style of writing, which is equal parts sorrow and playful humor.  

Though Katy is not raising a child with autism, her personal experience raising a child with cerebral palsy translates across medical conditions. From dealing with the prejudices, stares, and misconceptions of other people, to the sometimes isolating nature of raising a child with special needs, Katy’s blog will in many ways ring true with parents of autism.

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Autistic Speaks

What separates this blog from the other two is that it is written in the perspective of someone who is autistic. Lydia’s blog, oftentimes described as a look at autism from the “inside out”, will evoke a visceral response from those who are parents, caregivers, as well as those who are autistic. There are many blogs that journal the lives of the caregivers of autistic or special needs children, but very few that come from this viewpoint.

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Lydia details everything from spending 15 months in a nursing home for autistic patients to an autism specialist informing her that her development would peak at 21-years old. Through it all, Lydia prevailed.  

As of last year, Lydia carries a B.S. in Elementary Education and an M.A. in English & Creative Writing. Through her documentation of her journey in life (and through ERs), the reader will root for her and share in her triumphs.

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Four Plus an Angel

fourThe first thing you may notice about Four Plus an Angel blog is the writing of Jessica Watson. A highly adept author with multiple bylines in Cosmo, the New York Times, and the like, Jessica also happens to be a mother of four (a fifth was lost to her, hence the name of the blog).  The blog not only chronicles the story of her oldest daughter Ashlyn, who was diagnosed with autism 12 years ago, it details the story of how she lost one of her triplets in painful emotional detail. For parents who have experienced loss in their lives, Watson’s blog is an essential read. Most importantly, Four Plus an Angel dwells only in Jessica’s ability to hold onto hope instead of sorrow.

A majority of bloggers address the difficulty for parents and their male autistic children; Four Plus an Angel is helpful to parents who find themselves in the rarer position of raising an autistic girl. With this blog, you can commune with Jessica and her oldest daughter Ashlyn as she details their lives together in beautiful pictures and writing. Her site is simple and classic, and the writing matches that theme.

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Just ten, even five years ago, websites like these didn’t exist. Because of blogs like these, there has grown a slew of wonderful stories, articles, and a camaraderie amongst children and adults with autism and the people who care for them. But these are just a few blogs that are a great addition to your daily read. For a longer list of bloggers, visit: