Spring is Here! Summer Kinard with her Children (Autistic Gardening)

The Post:


Learning in the Garden: Interview with Mary Riddle


“A garden can teach you anything.”     – Mary Riddle



Q (Summer Kinard) –

I have read a lot about how picky eaters will often be more willing to try foods that they grow. Does that pattern hold true?

A (Mary Riddle) – 

YES! … I know this isn’t true for every child with every vegetable, but creating emotional connections to their food through growing, harvesting, and preparing makes them far more likely to try it. We create as many opportunities for low-pressure tries as we can. 

Q (Summer Kinard) –

What would you say is your favorite insight from learning in the garden?

A (Mary Riddle) –

I always like to remind kids and adults alike that failing is a valuable way to learn. Nobody has a “green thumb” or a “black thumb.” We all accidentally kill plants, but curious learners will try to figure out why, learn from those experiences, and try again. That’s the fun and intrigue in gardening.


Two Kids. Two Undiagnosed Disabilities.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. – from St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians chapter 13

God is able to provide grace to parents in this situation.

Trust Him.

Summer Kinard: Practical Ideas for involving special needs children in prayer and liturgy. And for calming them

Visual images help us pray with the heart and the mind. This post provides visual cards that can be printed out. To access:

Simple Prayer Printables

More visual aids for participation in Divine Liturgy:

Flexible Orthodox Liturgy Visual Schedule

Mermaid sequined weighted lap pads, and other toys that provide visual, touch, and pressure sensory input:

5 Sensory Fidgets That Are NOT Spinners

Montel Medley. Brian Shnelle. Autism. Graduation! Employment?

Montel Medley received a dual college degree from Towson University in mathematics and computer science on May 24, 2019. An article from The Telegraph by Ovetta Wiggins describes his journey to this point:

Diagnosed with autism at 3, he became high school valedictorian. Today he graduates from college.

An article from the Towson University webpage from May 27, 2019 includes a pictuere of Montel receiving his degree: Diagnosed with autism at 3, now he’s a TU alum Towson has a center for students with autism: Hussman Center for Adults with Autism 

Another person on the autism spectrum also graduated from college in May: Brian Schnelle’s Story: A Celebration 12 Years in the Making

After this, the quest for a job, which has been found to be problematic. It has been found that nearly half of 25-year-olds with autism have never held a paying job. AUTISMSPEAKS.COM  In June 2014, only 19.3 percent of people with disabilities in the U.S. were participating in the labor force – working or seeking work. Of those, 12.9 percent were unemployed, meaning only 16.8 percent of the population with disabilities was employed. (By contrast, 69.3 percent of people without disabilities were in the labor force, and 65 percent of the population without disabilities was employed.) (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014)

Here are some online websites that tackle this: VeryWellHealth.com: 10 Things You Need to Know About Autism and Employment – Planning and Resources for Success . . . . MarketWatch.com: Most college grads with autism can’t find jobs. This group is fixing that. . . . . Inc.: 50,000 People With Autism Need Jobs This Year. Here’s Why You Should Hire Them There is a growing number of adults on the autism spectrum who want to enter the workforce but can’t. Meet the entrepreneurs trying to solve the challenge. . . . . OCALI.com: The Employee with Autism Spectrum Disorder . . . . IntegratedAdvisor.org: Autism Employment Advisors – Helping organizations identify, recruit and retain qualified professionals on the autism spectrum . . . . Fortune.com: Where Autistic Workers Thrive


Software firms are actively seeking ‘neurodiverse’ employees


Top Autism Jobs: Choosing the Best Careers for People With Autism

27 Companies Who Hire Adults With Autism

Why Working Is Harder Than It Looks for Many People with Autism

St. Nicholas Program Special Needs Family Camp, Emlenton, PA June 12 – 15, 2020

My son’s disability defines him; I have a disability (like it’s my job); I’m not your inspiration, thank You very much.

Don’t take the title of the following article at face value; this mother, in the final analysis, expands on her definition of her son. To access:

My Son’s Disability Defines Him (and why I’m okay with that)

But how will this son choose to define himself when he becomes an adult? 

An adult woman with cerebral palsy gives this matter consideration. The title is her short answer; she expands on it in the following post:

i have a disability (like it’s my JOB).

Another woman chafes at the idea that just because she is disabled, and has struggled to make a life for herself, she is thereby an inspiration to us all. She refuses to define herself as “an inspiration.” Listen to her explain this in the following You Tube video: 


Please Stop Spreading ‘Inspiration Porn’ About Disability

I will.


Mary Evelyn: Caring for a young child with Spina Bifida (Q&A)


Mary Evelyn, A Greek Orthodox Christian, published four posts concerning Spina Bifida, that is, caring for a young child with Spina Bifida.

She shares her experiences with her son Simeon. These posts are  informative and heartfelt,  as well as lighthearted, which is Mary Evelyn’s way.

To access:

Spina Bifida: Q & A (Week 1)

Spina Bifida: Q & A (Week 2)

Spina Bifida: Q&A (Week 3), othewise titled . . . 

Diagnosis: Severe Hottie

Spina Bifida: Q&A (Week 4)

Three stories from You Tube:


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March 2020

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