I am Valerie, mother to Jess who is an adult with multiple disabilities including autism, cortical vision impairment, and developmental disability. I am also mother to a daughter majoring in American Sign Language / English Interpreting, and to a son entering his 4th year of med school.
I am a nurse and I bleed compassion. Nature is not my playground but instead is my sanctuary. Photography, art, music, and gardening are my passions. Anyone that ever said I was stubborn knew what they were talking about.
I began blogging as a continuation of my long-term advocacy stint. There are adults with autism who are self-advocating. Jess is not able to independently be a self-advocate. But, I wanted her to have a voice, I wanted her story to be told, and I wanted to help Jess spread the joy of her autism. She couldn’t do that without me being her bridge.
Equally important to me is helping other families and parents who are experiencing life like I do. By sharing stories, videos, and snippets of our daily lives I hope that others can relate and see that they are not alone. This life is hard and it takes a toll. There are daily ups and downs and there are constant struggles. Days are too full and everything is tiring. I love that there is a community of people out there that understand my life and I understand theirs.
Researching and writing Jessica’s history triggered a pendulum of emotions ranging from anger, frustration, and disappointment, to personal failure and guilt. Being open and public with my feelings is new territory for me but I have made progress on becoming more comfortable with it.
I invite you to learn more about us! Jessica’s history is thoroughly documented here. Have questions? Contact me here and I will try to answer. Is there a topic you would like to address? I am always open to suggestions.
My road has been long, bumpy, and full of pot holes. However, with faith, effort, and strength, I have persevered.