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N EWS FROM THE N EST IN THIS SPRING ISSUE: Spring 2014 Issue No. 3 Signswww.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-0-2" src="pdf-obj-0-2.jpg">
N EWS FROM THE N EST IN THIS SPRING ISSUE: Spring 2014 Issue No. 3 Signswww.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-0-4" src="pdf-obj-0-4.jpg">

NEWS FROM THE NEST

IN THIS SPRING ISSUE:

Spring 2014

Issue No. 3

Signs of Spring & Hope

PAGE 2 A Letter From the Founder: Signs of Spring & Hope

PAGES 3-4 Updates from Recent Events

PAGES 5-6 Calendar of Upcoming Events

PAGES 7-8 Community Spotlight: NC Rose of Tralee, Carolina RailHawks, Todd Cohen

PAGE 9 How Can We Best Support Autism Parents Who Are Struggling? by Shawna H.

PAGES 10-12 Autism Awareness is Broken, by Rob Gorski

PAGES 13-16 Learning to be a Father by Letting Go of My Son,

By Jeff Hall

PAGES 17-18 A Marriage on the Spectrum, By Bess Clark

PAGE 19 Confessions of an Autism Mom, By Robin Green

PAGE 20 Chef Steve’s Favorite Farm to Fork Recipes

PAGES 21-24 The Freckled Gardener

PAGES 25-26 Erin’s Crafty Corner

PAGES 27-31

Announcements

PAGES 32-34 Items for Sale: All proceeds benefit 3IJF

PAGES 35-36 Thank you to our Wonderful Donors!

PAGE 37 Nest Egg Fund: Help feather our nest!

PAGE 38 Meet our Board of Directors & Advisors

“As long as there are bluebirds, there will be miracles and a way to find happiness.”
“As long as there are
bluebirds, there will be
miracles and a way to
find happiness.”
~Shirl Brunell

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST PAGE 2 A Letter from the Founder SIGNS OF SPRING & HOPE
NEWS FROM THE NEST PAGE 2 A Letter from the Founder SIGNS OF SPRING & HOPE

NEWS FROM THE NEST

PAGE 2

A Letter from the Founder

SIGNS OF SPRING & HOPE

Dear Friends,

W elcome to our Spring 2014 edition of News From the Nest, the quarterly newsletter for 3 Irish Jewels Farm! This is our favorite season, considering we are all about eggs

and nests around here. Signs of beautiful spring are everywhere around me. Robins are dotting my yard in greater abundance, bluebird couples are lining my fence staring at each other with admiration, I’m needing to refill the birdseed in my feeders daily, shoots of yellow daffodils are poking their sunshiny heads out of the earth to smile at me, and the flowering trees are beginning to show glorious shades of pink and white buds, kindly letting my hay fever know that it’s time to start sneezing again. And of course, nothing could be more representative of spring - and of 3 Irish Jewels Farm - than finding an unexpected eastern bluebird’s nest inside one of the nesting boxes in my backyard. Signs of hope and the potential of exciting adventures are everywhere around us, if we just stop and take notice.

Erin O’Loughlin, Founder & President

Erin O’Loughlin, Founder & President

We are on a journey at 3 Irish Jewels Farm. And our journey takes me back to those bluebird eggs in my backyard. There will come a day in the near future when it will be time for those babies to struggle and gasp their way out of their confining eggs. And then one sunny day, a vibrant blue sky will offer inviting temptations for the new birds to step out of their comfort zone. The scents of damp earth and new grass will stir their senses and they will naturally spread their wings to the unmistakeable feeling of new potential. As with all exciting new adventures, the best is yet to come for 3 Irish Jewels Farm. It is our dream that our future farm will provide a strong and protective nest for those who need its support. May it allow everyone who walks through its doors to spread their wings and soar. We’re getting there!

As with all journeys, growth and transformation happens. And something interesting started to evolve while I was putting together this Spring issue of our newsletter. A theme started to take place, as I asked my columnists to turn in their articles. Mainly that theme is this: Autism is a spectrum disorder,

therefore those who are affected by autism need a spectrum of

options...

and we're not there yet. What also

started to emerge through my research and some heated conversations with various folks, is the fact that the autism community is very polarized and well, frankly, I'm tired of it. I have managed to line up several guest columnists to talk about their different experiences with autism first-hand. A mom of an adult child with severe autism, a dad with 3 autistic children ranging from Asperger Syndrome to severe autism, a woman married to a man with Asperger Syndrome, a dad who struggled with the personal decision to place his older autistic son into a group home, and a mom with autism who is raising three children - two with autism (one with Aspergers, one with severe autism). I do not for one second take lightly the fact that they took a huge risk and opened up their personal lives, and their souls, so that we can all catch a glimpse into their worlds, and thereby gain a better - and very real - understanding of autism. My goal behind providing this eclectic collection of columnists is this: It is time for all of us within the autism community to stop bickering. It is time for all of us to find common ground and to advocate for one another. You will find that after reading each of these stories, every person has a very different experience in living with autism - whether it be personally, with a loved one, or both. And whether our experience with autism is on the lower end of the spectrum, the higher end, or both - somehow, we have to find some common ground as a community and support one another. Then, and only then, can we expect the rest of our community to advocate for those with autism.

As you can see, this season’s newsletter got rather long. But in my biased opinion, I think it’s chock full of some really amazing writing and an explosion for the senses. In fact, calling it a “newsletter” doesn’t really do it justice this time around - I prefer to call it a beautiful publication this season. It results from my own personal experiences of seeking support as a parent of a child on the lower end of the spectrum, and as a passionate entrepreneur who is trying desperately to get something off of the ground to help families and individuals affected by autism in a significant way. So, I hope that this edition will stir up some discussion and discourse. It’s time to get real. So fix yourself a cup of your favorite beverage, pull up a comfy chair, and enjoy. Perhaps you will discover some treasures within.

Warmly,

“Signs of hope and the potential of exciting adventures are everywhere around us, if we just stop and take notice.”

NEWS FROM THE NEST PAGE 2 A Letter from the Founder SIGNS OF SPRING & HOPE

Erin O’Loughlin

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST PAGE 3 “May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and mayy insi g hts from the conference can be found here in this news release. Also in January, I had the huge honor of talkin g to all of the students at Kestrel Heights Elementary School about autism, differences and 3 Irish Jewels Farm. It's part of my all-time favorite part of this career - talking to our future. They then presented me with $1,550 from their Change for Change fundraiser they have been working on for the past month, in honor of 3IJF. Words just cannot explain how humbled I am and how proud I am of these young strong citizens. They are the ones who give me the most hope NEVER underestimate the power of unified, untainted young minds. Erin On Januar y 19th, I attended the Greater Raleigh Emerald Society Winter Ball at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel with Colm O’Loughlin (board member), Andrew Moriarty (3IJF Vice President) & Jennifer Moriarty. We had a great time and the Emerald Society raised $1,000 for 3 Irish Jewels Farm at the Ball! On January 24th, Todd Cohen wrote a great article about 3 Irish Jewels Farm in the Trian g le Business Journal called Residential Farm Community to Serve Kids & Adults with Autism. F ebruary ... We were very honored to have 3 Irish Jewels Farm highlighted in the February’s Southern Nei g hbor ma g azine in their feature on Equine Therapy: Special Horses Helping Special People . Jennifer & Andrew Moriarty (3IJF Vice President), & Colm O’Loughlin 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-2-2" src="pdf-obj-2-2.jpg">
NEWS FROM THE NEST PAGE 3 “May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may
NEWS FROM THE NEST
PAGE 3
“May your blessings outnumber the
shamrocks that grow,
and may trouble avoid you
wherever you go.”
~Irish Blessing
Updates from Recent Events
Kestrel Heights
WHAT HAVE WE BEEN UP TO?
Elementary check
for individuals living
presentation to
J anuary
...
I attended a 3-day national
with disabilities.
3IJF
conference at Extraordinary Ventures in
Thank you Kestrel
Chapel Hill, "Employing Adults on the
Heights students, Ms.
Autism Spectrum: A Conference on
Renita Webb (principal) and
Pioneering Small Business Models." The goal
Meaghan Parrott for organizing all of this.

for this conference was to spark a national

movement where families affected by autism

and local entrepreneurs tackle the

unemployment crisis now affecting tens of

thousands of adults with autism through small

business solutions. The summit charted the

pathway so that more parents-turned-

entrepreneurs and small business leaders will

be able to create meaningful job opportunities

for young adults across the spectrum one

person, one family, one group and one

community at a time. Some of the key insights

from the conference can be found here in this

Also in January, I had the huge honor of

talking to all of the students at Kestrel

differences and 3 Irish Jewels Farm. It's part

of my all-time favorite part of this career -

talking to our future. They then presented me

with $1,550 from their Change for Change

fundraiser they have been working on for the

past month, in honor of 3IJF. Words just

cannot explain how humbled I am and how

proud I am of these young strong citizens.

They are the ones who give me the most hope

NEVER underestimate the power

of unified, untainted young

minds.

Erin
Erin

On January 19th, I attended the

Society Winter Ball at the

Sheraton Raleigh Hotel with

Colm O’Loughlin (board

member), Andrew Moriarty

(3IJF Vice President) &

Jennifer Moriarty. We had a

great time and the Emerald

Society raised $1,000 for 3

Irish Jewels Farm at the Ball!

On January 24th, Todd Cohen wrote a great

article about 3 Irish Jewels Farm in the

Triangle Business Journal called Residential

F

ebruary

...

We were very honored to

have 3 Irish Jewels Farm highlighted in

the February’s Southern Neighbor

magazine in their feature on Equine Therapy:

NEWS FROM THE NEST PAGE 3 “May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and mayy insi g hts from the conference can be found here in this news release. Also in January, I had the huge honor of talkin g to all of the students at Kestrel Heights Elementary School about autism, differences and 3 Irish Jewels Farm. It's part of my all-time favorite part of this career - talking to our future. They then presented me with $1,550 from their Change for Change fundraiser they have been working on for the past month, in honor of 3IJF. Words just cannot explain how humbled I am and how proud I am of these young strong citizens. They are the ones who give me the most hope NEVER underestimate the power of unified, untainted young minds. Erin On Januar y 19th, I attended the Greater Raleigh Emerald Society Winter Ball at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel with Colm O’Loughlin (board member), Andrew Moriarty (3IJF Vice President) & Jennifer Moriarty. We had a great time and the Emerald Society raised $1,000 for 3 Irish Jewels Farm at the Ball! On January 24th, Todd Cohen wrote a great article about 3 Irish Jewels Farm in the Trian g le Business Journal called Residential Farm Community to Serve Kids & Adults with Autism. F ebruary ... We were very honored to have 3 Irish Jewels Farm highlighted in the February’s Southern Nei g hbor ma g azine in their feature on Equine Therapy: Special Horses Helping Special People . Jennifer & Andrew Moriarty (3IJF Vice President), & Colm O’Loughlin 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-2-140" src="pdf-obj-2-140.jpg">

Jennifer &

Andrew

Moriarty

(3IJF Vice

President),

& Colm

O’Loughlin

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST PAGE 4 “Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has
NEWS FROM THE NEST
PAGE 4
“Behold, my friends, the spring is come;
the earth has gladly received the
embraces of the sun, and we shall soon
see the results of their love!”
~Sitting Bull
3IJF Vendor
Updates from Recent Events,
Booth
Continued
On February 27th, Ellen Macri, a longtime 3IJF
Also, thanks to Kelly’s generosity
supporter, hosted an Origami Owl Jewelry party
in spreading the word about 3IJF,
at her house with Angie Abromitis and Beth
we gained two other corporate
Raymond with Purple Creek. Partial proceeds
sponsors: Celtic Complexion and
went to 3 Irish Jewels Farm, it was well
Trali Irish Pub in Morrisville.
attended, and we all had a
We can’t wait to explore the
wonderful, much needed
possibilities ahead of us with
girl’s night out.
these new partnerships.
Also in February, 3 Irish
Jewels Farm gained
M arch...
On the 3rd,
several new and exciting
we were again
corporate sponsors and
highlighted by Todd Cohen
partners. First of all,
in Philanthropy North Carolina: Farm to
I'm so excited to
Serve Kids and Adults with Autism.
announce that the
Carolina RailHawks and
Booth season has officially started, and on
3IJF Board members with NC
Rose of Tralee contestants,
Caroline Kirby & Nancy
Collins Boyce
3 Irish Jewels Farm will be
March 15th, we set up our vendor booth at the
partners for the 2014 soccer season! More
Raleigh St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival.
details about this exciting partnership can be
We enjoyed a gorgeous spring day, and we
found below in the Announcements section of
had a blast visiting with many of our friends
our newsletter. I also received a phone call
and supporters there, such as the Ancient
from Tracy O’Doherty, Chairperson with the
Order of Hibernians, the Greater Raleigh
NC Rose of Tralee Centre. The NC Rose
Emerald Society, the Carolina Railhawks, the
Centre is part of the Rose of Tralee
NC Rose of Tralee and Tir Na Nog Irish Pub,
International Festival in Ireland, and the NC
to name a few.
Rose of Tralee has chosen 3 Irish Jewels
Farm as their main charity this year. Make
Finally, I’m proud to say that we have raised
sure to check out our Announcements section
almost $10,000 since our last newsletter went out
and Community Spotlight section below to
in December, putting us well over $302,000 total.
learn more about the NC Rose of Tralee.
NC Rose of Tralee contestants,
Caroline Kirby & Nancy Collins
Boyce, with Alex Rhodes, manager
with the Carolina RailHawks

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 5 Calendar of Upcoming Events March 2014 Sunday Monday Tuesday
NEWS FROM THE NEST !
PAGE 5
Calendar of
Upcoming Events
March 2014
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
Friday
Saturday
1
2
3 4
5
6
7 8
3IJF Board
AOH St.
Meeting
Patrick’s Day
Party
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
Keeping the
St. Patrick’s
Farm
Day Parade/
Workshop
Festival
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
St. Patrick’s
Day
Rose of Tralee
Celebration at
Selection @ Tir
Trali Irish Pub,
Na Nog
Morrisville
23
24 25
26
27
28
29
FRED
FRED
Conference -
Conference -
Los Angeles
Los Angeles
30
31
3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 6 Calendar of Upcoming Events April 2014 Sunday Monday Tuesday
NEWS FROM THE NEST !
PAGE 6
Calendar of
Upcoming Events
April 2014
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday Thursday
Friday
Saturday
1
2
3
4 5
All About
3IJF Board
Autism Expo
Meeting
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
All About
Autism Expo
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
3 Irish Jewels
Good Friday
Farm Night w/
the RailHawks!
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
Easter Sunday
27
28
29
30
3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 7 Community Spotlight: THREE COMMUNITY MEMBERS WHO WE THINK SHOULDNC Rose of Tralee THE ROSE OF TRALEE International Festival is one of Ireland's largest and longest running festivals. It is based around the selection of the Rose of Tralee, an international event that encompasses young women of Irish descent from Ireland and around the world. The International Festival held in August every year is comprised of many elements, including the Rose of Tralee Selection live TV show, family carnival and street entertainment, circus and funfair, fashion show, live open air concerts, workshops, street market and firework displays. In recent years the Festival has grown to much more than a week of events in August. In summary, a Rose entrant takes part in a Rose Selection in her local area, if selected takes part in the Regional Festival, and if selected from there takes part in the International Festival. There are now nearly 70 Rose events, held in the months leading up to the International Festival. Last year, the very first North Carolina Rose, Jessica Giggey was selected to North Carolina at the Regional Festival and again in Tralee in August. Jessica, a graduate of NC State University, was dynamic ambassador for our state, and encompassed the heart and spirit of the festival. The Rose of Tralee carries out a range of activities during the year as ambassador for the Festival and the worldwide Irish community. In addition, her fellow Roses continue to represent the Festival in their local communities. This year, The North Carolina Rose of Tralee and Centre has chosen to support 3 Irish Jewels Farm as our Charity Partner. Our 2014 North Carolina Rose will help to promote 3 Irish Jewels Farm through various community events throughout the year, and bring awareness to the need for residential care for adults with autism in our state. Please join us at Tir na nOg Irish Pub in Raleigh on March 22nd at 6 pm for a great evening of Irish food, music and lovel y Roses. Tickets are $10 at http:// roseoftraleenc.ticketleap.com/ncroseoftralee/ . A portion of the proceeds from this event will g o to support 3IJF. Please email roseoftraleenc@gmail.com with any questions. Carolina RailHawks Carolina RailHawks is an American professional soccer team based in Cary, NC. Founded in 2006, the team plays in the North American Soccer League (NASL), the second tier of the American Soccer Pyramid . The team plays its home games at WakeMed Soccer Park , where they have played since 2007. The team's colors are orange, white and blue. Their current head coach is Colin Clarke and the club is owned by Traffic Sports USA . The team's official name, logo and colors (orange, white and blue) were announced on July 19, 2006 at the halftime interval of the 2006 USL All-Star Match. The club logo features a stylized shied with a depiction of a "Railhawk", soaring above a railway line, overlaid with the Carolina RailHawks wordmark and a soccer ball. The RailHawk is a fictitious bird of prey that combines the speed and power of the locomotive with the aggressive and fierce nature of a hawk. Cary originally grew out from a depot on the New Bern, NC Hillsborough, NC rail line and the CSX and Amtrak lines run directly across from the team's grounds. Hawks are indigenous to the area. The name "RailHawks" was chosen as part of a name-the-team contest which was won by W. Jarrett Campbell, a soccer blogger and founder of the Triangle Soccer Fanatics , the team's independent supporters club. Campbell received two lifetime season tickets as his prize. Continued 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-6-2" src="pdf-obj-6-2.jpg">
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 7 Community Spotlight: THREE COMMUNITY MEMBERS WHO WE THINK SHOULDNC Rose of Tralee THE ROSE OF TRALEE International Festival is one of Ireland's largest and longest running festivals. It is based around the selection of the Rose of Tralee, an international event that encompasses young women of Irish descent from Ireland and around the world. The International Festival held in August every year is comprised of many elements, including the Rose of Tralee Selection live TV show, family carnival and street entertainment, circus and funfair, fashion show, live open air concerts, workshops, street market and firework displays. In recent years the Festival has grown to much more than a week of events in August. In summary, a Rose entrant takes part in a Rose Selection in her local area, if selected takes part in the Regional Festival, and if selected from there takes part in the International Festival. There are now nearly 70 Rose events, held in the months leading up to the International Festival. Last year, the very first North Carolina Rose, Jessica Giggey was selected to North Carolina at the Regional Festival and again in Tralee in August. Jessica, a graduate of NC State University, was dynamic ambassador for our state, and encompassed the heart and spirit of the festival. The Rose of Tralee carries out a range of activities during the year as ambassador for the Festival and the worldwide Irish community. In addition, her fellow Roses continue to represent the Festival in their local communities. This year, The North Carolina Rose of Tralee and Centre has chosen to support 3 Irish Jewels Farm as our Charity Partner. Our 2014 North Carolina Rose will help to promote 3 Irish Jewels Farm through various community events throughout the year, and bring awareness to the need for residential care for adults with autism in our state. Please join us at Tir na nOg Irish Pub in Raleigh on March 22nd at 6 pm for a great evening of Irish food, music and lovel y Roses. Tickets are $10 at http:// roseoftraleenc.ticketleap.com/ncroseoftralee/ . A portion of the proceeds from this event will g o to support 3IJF. Please email roseoftraleenc@gmail.com with any questions. Carolina RailHawks Carolina RailHawks is an American professional soccer team based in Cary, NC. Founded in 2006, the team plays in the North American Soccer League (NASL), the second tier of the American Soccer Pyramid . The team plays its home games at WakeMed Soccer Park , where they have played since 2007. The team's colors are orange, white and blue. Their current head coach is Colin Clarke and the club is owned by Traffic Sports USA . The team's official name, logo and colors (orange, white and blue) were announced on July 19, 2006 at the halftime interval of the 2006 USL All-Star Match. The club logo features a stylized shied with a depiction of a "Railhawk", soaring above a railway line, overlaid with the Carolina RailHawks wordmark and a soccer ball. The RailHawk is a fictitious bird of prey that combines the speed and power of the locomotive with the aggressive and fierce nature of a hawk. Cary originally grew out from a depot on the New Bern, NC Hillsborough, NC rail line and the CSX and Amtrak lines run directly across from the team's grounds. Hawks are indigenous to the area. The name "RailHawks" was chosen as part of a name-the-team contest which was won by W. Jarrett Campbell, a soccer blogger and founder of the Triangle Soccer Fanatics , the team's independent supporters club. Campbell received two lifetime season tickets as his prize. Continued 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-6-4" src="pdf-obj-6-4.jpg">

NEWS FROM THE NEST!

PAGE 7

Community Spotlight:

THREE COMMUNITY MEMBERS WHO WE THINK SHOULD BE RECOGNIZED ...

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 7 Community Spotlight: THREE COMMUNITY MEMBERS WHO WE THINK SHOULDNC Rose of Tralee THE ROSE OF TRALEE International Festival is one of Ireland's largest and longest running festivals. It is based around the selection of the Rose of Tralee, an international event that encompasses young women of Irish descent from Ireland and around the world. The International Festival held in August every year is comprised of many elements, including the Rose of Tralee Selection live TV show, family carnival and street entertainment, circus and funfair, fashion show, live open air concerts, workshops, street market and firework displays. In recent years the Festival has grown to much more than a week of events in August. In summary, a Rose entrant takes part in a Rose Selection in her local area, if selected takes part in the Regional Festival, and if selected from there takes part in the International Festival. There are now nearly 70 Rose events, held in the months leading up to the International Festival. Last year, the very first North Carolina Rose, Jessica Giggey was selected to North Carolina at the Regional Festival and again in Tralee in August. Jessica, a graduate of NC State University, was dynamic ambassador for our state, and encompassed the heart and spirit of the festival. The Rose of Tralee carries out a range of activities during the year as ambassador for the Festival and the worldwide Irish community. In addition, her fellow Roses continue to represent the Festival in their local communities. This year, The North Carolina Rose of Tralee and Centre has chosen to support 3 Irish Jewels Farm as our Charity Partner. Our 2014 North Carolina Rose will help to promote 3 Irish Jewels Farm through various community events throughout the year, and bring awareness to the need for residential care for adults with autism in our state. Please join us at Tir na nOg Irish Pub in Raleigh on March 22nd at 6 pm for a great evening of Irish food, music and lovel y Roses. Tickets are $10 at http:// roseoftraleenc.ticketleap.com/ncroseoftralee/ . A portion of the proceeds from this event will g o to support 3IJF. Please email roseoftraleenc@gmail.com with any questions. Carolina RailHawks Carolina RailHawks is an American professional soccer team based in Cary, NC. Founded in 2006, the team plays in the North American Soccer League (NASL), the second tier of the American Soccer Pyramid . The team plays its home games at WakeMed Soccer Park , where they have played since 2007. The team's colors are orange, white and blue. Their current head coach is Colin Clarke and the club is owned by Traffic Sports USA . The team's official name, logo and colors (orange, white and blue) were announced on July 19, 2006 at the halftime interval of the 2006 USL All-Star Match. The club logo features a stylized shied with a depiction of a "Railhawk", soaring above a railway line, overlaid with the Carolina RailHawks wordmark and a soccer ball. The RailHawk is a fictitious bird of prey that combines the speed and power of the locomotive with the aggressive and fierce nature of a hawk. Cary originally grew out from a depot on the New Bern, NC Hillsborough, NC rail line and the CSX and Amtrak lines run directly across from the team's grounds. Hawks are indigenous to the area. The name "RailHawks" was chosen as part of a name-the-team contest which was won by W. Jarrett Campbell, a soccer blogger and founder of the Triangle Soccer Fanatics , the team's independent supporters club. Campbell received two lifetime season tickets as his prize. Continued " id="pdf-obj-6-19" src="pdf-obj-6-19.jpg">

THE ROSE OF TRALEE International Festival is one of Ireland's largest and longest running festivals. It is based around the selection of the Rose of Tralee, an international event that encompasses young women of Irish descent from Ireland and around the world.

The International Festival held in August every year is comprised of many elements, including the Rose of Tralee Selection live TV show, family carnival and street entertainment, circus and funfair, fashion show, live open air concerts, workshops, street market and firework displays.

In recent years the Festival has grown to much more than a week of events in August. In summary, a Rose entrant takes part in a Rose Selection in her local area, if selected takes part in the Regional Festival, and if selected from there takes part in the International Festival. There are now nearly 70 Rose events, held in the months leading up to the International Festival.

Last year, the very first North Carolina Rose, Jessica Giggey was selected to North Carolina at the Regional Festival and again in Tralee in August. Jessica, a graduate of NC State University, was dynamic ambassador for our state, and encompassed the heart and spirit of the festival.

The Rose of Tralee carries out a range of activities during the year as ambassador for the Festival and the worldwide Irish community. In addition, her fellow Roses continue to represent the Festival in their local communities.

This year, The North Carolina Rose of Tralee and Centre has chosen to support 3 Irish Jewels Farm as our Charity Partner. Our 2014 North Carolina Rose will help to promote 3 Irish Jewels Farm through various community events throughout the year, and bring awareness to the need for residential care for adults with autism in our state.

Please join us at Tir na nOg Irish Pub in Raleigh on March 22nd at 6 pm for a great evening of Irish food, music and lovely Roses. Tickets are $10 at http:// roseoftraleenc.ticketleap.com/ncroseoftralee/. A portion of the proceeds from this event will go to support 3IJF. Please email roseoftraleenc@gmail.com with any questions.

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 7 Community Spotlight: THREE COMMUNITY MEMBERS WHO WE THINK SHOULDNC Rose of Tralee THE ROSE OF TRALEE International Festival is one of Ireland's largest and longest running festivals. It is based around the selection of the Rose of Tralee, an international event that encompasses young women of Irish descent from Ireland and around the world. The International Festival held in August every year is comprised of many elements, including the Rose of Tralee Selection live TV show, family carnival and street entertainment, circus and funfair, fashion show, live open air concerts, workshops, street market and firework displays. In recent years the Festival has grown to much more than a week of events in August. In summary, a Rose entrant takes part in a Rose Selection in her local area, if selected takes part in the Regional Festival, and if selected from there takes part in the International Festival. There are now nearly 70 Rose events, held in the months leading up to the International Festival. Last year, the very first North Carolina Rose, Jessica Giggey was selected to North Carolina at the Regional Festival and again in Tralee in August. Jessica, a graduate of NC State University, was dynamic ambassador for our state, and encompassed the heart and spirit of the festival. The Rose of Tralee carries out a range of activities during the year as ambassador for the Festival and the worldwide Irish community. In addition, her fellow Roses continue to represent the Festival in their local communities. This year, The North Carolina Rose of Tralee and Centre has chosen to support 3 Irish Jewels Farm as our Charity Partner. Our 2014 North Carolina Rose will help to promote 3 Irish Jewels Farm through various community events throughout the year, and bring awareness to the need for residential care for adults with autism in our state. Please join us at Tir na nOg Irish Pub in Raleigh on March 22nd at 6 pm for a great evening of Irish food, music and lovel y Roses. Tickets are $10 at http:// roseoftraleenc.ticketleap.com/ncroseoftralee/ . A portion of the proceeds from this event will g o to support 3IJF. Please email roseoftraleenc@gmail.com with any questions. Carolina RailHawks Carolina RailHawks is an American professional soccer team based in Cary, NC. Founded in 2006, the team plays in the North American Soccer League (NASL), the second tier of the American Soccer Pyramid . The team plays its home games at WakeMed Soccer Park , where they have played since 2007. The team's colors are orange, white and blue. Their current head coach is Colin Clarke and the club is owned by Traffic Sports USA . The team's official name, logo and colors (orange, white and blue) were announced on July 19, 2006 at the halftime interval of the 2006 USL All-Star Match. The club logo features a stylized shied with a depiction of a "Railhawk", soaring above a railway line, overlaid with the Carolina RailHawks wordmark and a soccer ball. The RailHawk is a fictitious bird of prey that combines the speed and power of the locomotive with the aggressive and fierce nature of a hawk. Cary originally grew out from a depot on the New Bern, NC Hillsborough, NC rail line and the CSX and Amtrak lines run directly across from the team's grounds. Hawks are indigenous to the area. The name "RailHawks" was chosen as part of a name-the-team contest which was won by W. Jarrett Campbell, a soccer blogger and founder of the Triangle Soccer Fanatics , the team's independent supporters club. Campbell received two lifetime season tickets as his prize. Continued " id="pdf-obj-6-45" src="pdf-obj-6-45.jpg">

Carolina RailHawks is an American professional soccer team based in Cary, NC. Founded in 2006, the team plays in the North American Soccer League (NASL), the second tier of the American Soccer Pyramid. The team plays its home games at WakeMed Soccer Park, where they have played since 2007. The team's colors are orange, white and blue. Their current head coach is Colin Clarke and the club is owned by Traffic Sports USA. The team's official name, logo and colors (orange, white and blue) were announced on July 19, 2006 at the halftime interval of the 2006 USL All-Star Match. The club logo features a stylized shied with a depiction of a "Railhawk", soaring above a railway line, overlaid with the Carolina RailHawks wordmark and a soccer ball.

The RailHawk is a fictitious bird of prey that combines the speed and power of the locomotive with the aggressive and fierce nature of a hawk. Cary originally grew out from a depot on the New Bern, NC Hillsborough, NC rail line and the CSX and Amtrak lines run directly across from the team's grounds. Hawks are indigenous to the area. The name "RailHawks" was chosen as part of a name-the-team contest which was won by W. Jarrett Campbell, a soccer blogger and founder of the Triangle Soccer Fanatics, the team's independent supporters club. Campbell received two lifetime season tickets as his prize.

Continued

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 8 Community Spotlight, Cont’d We are so excited to announceTodd Cohen Todd Cohen is founder and principal of Philanthropy North Carolina, which provides news, writing, communications support and advisory services for nonprofits, foundations and businesses that serve the charitable sector. Todd spent much of his career as a reporter and editor for weekly and daily newspapers, including The News & Observer in Raleigh, and for the past 23 years has reported on the charitable world. At The News & Observer, he reported on city and state government and politics; education; regulated industries, including insurance, telecommunications and electric utilities; and business. Before that, he worked as a correspondent for The Boston Globe, edited two weekly newspapers in the Boston suburbs, and was a reporter and editor at The Chapel Hill Newspaper. In 1991, as business editor at The News & Observer, he began writing a weekly column on nonprofits. Two years later, he launched the Philanthropy Journal, a publication of The News and Observer Foundation that was the first statewide newspaper in the U.S. to report on nonprofits and foundations. He served as its editor and publisher through April 2012. Initially focusing on North Carolina, the Philanthropy Journal soon expanded to include coverage of national issues about nonprofits and philanthropy. It also sponsored statewide conferences on nonprofits and philanthropy, as well as a series of conferences throughout the U.S. on nonprofits and technology. Todd is a long-time contributor to Triangle Business Journal, The Business Journal in Greensboro, and Charlotte Business Journal, writing a local nonprofit column for each of those business weeklies. He also writes the "Givers" column for Walter, the magazine published by The News & Observer. He was a long- time contributor to The NonProfit Times, and was a philanthropy stringer for The New York Times. He also is a frequent resource for reporters from local, state, national and international news organizations, and has been a speaker at hundreds of conferences, workshops, webinars and other nonprofit gatherings. Todd is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he served as editor of The Daily Tar Heel, and the New England School of Law in Boston. 3 Irish Jewels is honoring Todd this quarter because he graciously wrote two different articles hi g hli g htin g our future p ro g rams in both the Triangle Business Journal and Philanthropy NC . And for that, we are honored and very thankful. ********** 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-7-2" src="pdf-obj-7-2.jpg">
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 8 Community Spotlight, Cont’d We are so excited to announceTodd Cohen Todd Cohen is founder and principal of Philanthropy North Carolina, which provides news, writing, communications support and advisory services for nonprofits, foundations and businesses that serve the charitable sector. Todd spent much of his career as a reporter and editor for weekly and daily newspapers, including The News & Observer in Raleigh, and for the past 23 years has reported on the charitable world. At The News & Observer, he reported on city and state government and politics; education; regulated industries, including insurance, telecommunications and electric utilities; and business. Before that, he worked as a correspondent for The Boston Globe, edited two weekly newspapers in the Boston suburbs, and was a reporter and editor at The Chapel Hill Newspaper. In 1991, as business editor at The News & Observer, he began writing a weekly column on nonprofits. Two years later, he launched the Philanthropy Journal, a publication of The News and Observer Foundation that was the first statewide newspaper in the U.S. to report on nonprofits and foundations. He served as its editor and publisher through April 2012. Initially focusing on North Carolina, the Philanthropy Journal soon expanded to include coverage of national issues about nonprofits and philanthropy. It also sponsored statewide conferences on nonprofits and philanthropy, as well as a series of conferences throughout the U.S. on nonprofits and technology. Todd is a long-time contributor to Triangle Business Journal, The Business Journal in Greensboro, and Charlotte Business Journal, writing a local nonprofit column for each of those business weeklies. He also writes the "Givers" column for Walter, the magazine published by The News & Observer. He was a long- time contributor to The NonProfit Times, and was a philanthropy stringer for The New York Times. He also is a frequent resource for reporters from local, state, national and international news organizations, and has been a speaker at hundreds of conferences, workshops, webinars and other nonprofit gatherings. Todd is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he served as editor of The Daily Tar Heel, and the New England School of Law in Boston. 3 Irish Jewels is honoring Todd this quarter because he graciously wrote two different articles hi g hli g htin g our future p ro g rams in both the Triangle Business Journal and Philanthropy NC . And for that, we are honored and very thankful. ********** 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-7-4" src="pdf-obj-7-4.jpg">

NEWS FROM THE NEST!

PAGE 8

Community Spotlight, Cont’d

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 8 Community Spotlight, Cont’d We are so excited to announceTodd Cohen Todd Cohen is founder and principal of Philanthropy North Carolina, which provides news, writing, communications support and advisory services for nonprofits, foundations and businesses that serve the charitable sector. Todd spent much of his career as a reporter and editor for weekly and daily newspapers, including The News & Observer in Raleigh, and for the past 23 years has reported on the charitable world. At The News & Observer, he reported on city and state government and politics; education; regulated industries, including insurance, telecommunications and electric utilities; and business. Before that, he worked as a correspondent for The Boston Globe, edited two weekly newspapers in the Boston suburbs, and was a reporter and editor at The Chapel Hill Newspaper. In 1991, as business editor at The News & Observer, he began writing a weekly column on nonprofits. Two years later, he launched the Philanthropy Journal, a publication of The News and Observer Foundation that was the first statewide newspaper in the U.S. to report on nonprofits and foundations. He served as its editor and publisher through April 2012. Initially focusing on North Carolina, the Philanthropy Journal soon expanded to include coverage of national issues about nonprofits and philanthropy. It also sponsored statewide conferences on nonprofits and philanthropy, as well as a series of conferences throughout the U.S. on nonprofits and technology. Todd is a long-time contributor to Triangle Business Journal, The Business Journal in Greensboro, and Charlotte Business Journal, writing a local nonprofit column for each of those business weeklies. He also writes the "Givers" column for Walter, the magazine published by The News & Observer. He was a long- time contributor to The NonProfit Times, and was a philanthropy stringer for The New York Times. He also is a frequent resource for reporters from local, state, national and international news organizations, and has been a speaker at hundreds of conferences, workshops, webinars and other nonprofit gatherings. Todd is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he served as editor of The Daily Tar Heel, and the New England School of Law in Boston. 3 Irish Jewels is honoring Todd this quarter because he graciously wrote two different articles hi g hli g htin g our future p ro g rams in both the Triangle Business Journal and Philanthropy NC . And for that, we are honored and very thankful. ********** " id="pdf-obj-7-16" src="pdf-obj-7-16.jpg">

We are so excited to announce that 3 Irish Jewels Farm and the Carolina RailHawks will be partners for the 2014 soccer season! This means that all 3IJF supporters will be able to receive 20% off all individual home game ticket purchases. When purchasing your tickets online, simply enter 3IJF when prompted, or call Alex Rhodes at 919-459-8141,

to avoid online ticketing fees. Also, the RailHawks will be hosting a 3 Irish Jewels Farm Night at their first home game for the 2014 season on April 19th!

(See details in the announcements section below).

So you will be seeing our booth at the games a few

times, along with our names being announced on the PA at each game. So come to the games and show your support for both the Carolina RailHawks & 3 Irish Jewels Farm!

Todd Cohen is founder and principal of Philanthropy North Carolina, which provides news, writing, communications support and advisory services for nonprofits, foundations and businesses that serve the charitable sector.

Todd spent much of his career as a reporter and editor for weekly and daily newspapers, including The News & Observer in Raleigh, and for the past 23 years has reported on the charitable world.

At The News & Observer, he reported on city and state government and politics; education; regulated industries, including insurance, telecommunications and electric utilities; and business. Before that, he worked as a correspondent for The Boston Globe, edited two weekly newspapers in the Boston suburbs, and was a reporter and editor at The Chapel Hill Newspaper.

In 1991, as business editor at The News & Observer, he began writing a weekly column on nonprofits. Two years later, he launched the Philanthropy Journal, a publication of The News and Observer Foundation that was the first statewide newspaper in the U.S. to report on nonprofits and foundations. He served as its editor and publisher through April 2012.

Initially focusing on North Carolina, the Philanthropy Journal soon expanded to include coverage of national issues about nonprofits and philanthropy. It also sponsored statewide conferences on nonprofits and philanthropy, as well as a series of conferences throughout the U.S. on nonprofits and technology. Todd is a long-time contributor to Triangle Business Journal, The Business Journal in Greensboro, and Charlotte Business Journal, writing a local nonprofit column for each of those business weeklies. He also writes the "Givers" column for Walter, the magazine published by The News & Observer. He was a long- time contributor to The NonProfit Times, and was a philanthropy stringer for The New York Times.

He also is a frequent resource for reporters from local, state, national and international news organizations, and has been a speaker at hundreds of conferences, workshops, webinars and other nonprofit gatherings.

Todd is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he served as editor of The Daily Tar Heel, and the New England School of Law in Boston.

3 Irish Jewels is honoring Todd this quarter because he graciously wrote two different articles highlighting our future programs in both the Triangle Business Journal and Philanthropy NC. And for that, we are honored and very thankful.

**********

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 8 Community Spotlight, Cont’d We are so excited to announceTodd Cohen Todd Cohen is founder and principal of Philanthropy North Carolina, which provides news, writing, communications support and advisory services for nonprofits, foundations and businesses that serve the charitable sector. Todd spent much of his career as a reporter and editor for weekly and daily newspapers, including The News & Observer in Raleigh, and for the past 23 years has reported on the charitable world. At The News & Observer, he reported on city and state government and politics; education; regulated industries, including insurance, telecommunications and electric utilities; and business. Before that, he worked as a correspondent for The Boston Globe, edited two weekly newspapers in the Boston suburbs, and was a reporter and editor at The Chapel Hill Newspaper. In 1991, as business editor at The News & Observer, he began writing a weekly column on nonprofits. Two years later, he launched the Philanthropy Journal, a publication of The News and Observer Foundation that was the first statewide newspaper in the U.S. to report on nonprofits and foundations. He served as its editor and publisher through April 2012. Initially focusing on North Carolina, the Philanthropy Journal soon expanded to include coverage of national issues about nonprofits and philanthropy. It also sponsored statewide conferences on nonprofits and philanthropy, as well as a series of conferences throughout the U.S. on nonprofits and technology. Todd is a long-time contributor to Triangle Business Journal, The Business Journal in Greensboro, and Charlotte Business Journal, writing a local nonprofit column for each of those business weeklies. He also writes the "Givers" column for Walter, the magazine published by The News & Observer. He was a long- time contributor to The NonProfit Times, and was a philanthropy stringer for The New York Times. He also is a frequent resource for reporters from local, state, national and international news organizations, and has been a speaker at hundreds of conferences, workshops, webinars and other nonprofit gatherings. Todd is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he served as editor of The Daily Tar Heel, and the New England School of Law in Boston. 3 Irish Jewels is honoring Todd this quarter because he graciously wrote two different articles hi g hli g htin g our future p ro g rams in both the Triangle Business Journal and Philanthropy NC . And for that, we are honored and very thankful. ********** 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-7-66" src="pdf-obj-7-66.jpg">
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 8 Community Spotlight, Cont’d We are so excited to announceTodd Cohen Todd Cohen is founder and principal of Philanthropy North Carolina, which provides news, writing, communications support and advisory services for nonprofits, foundations and businesses that serve the charitable sector. Todd spent much of his career as a reporter and editor for weekly and daily newspapers, including The News & Observer in Raleigh, and for the past 23 years has reported on the charitable world. At The News & Observer, he reported on city and state government and politics; education; regulated industries, including insurance, telecommunications and electric utilities; and business. Before that, he worked as a correspondent for The Boston Globe, edited two weekly newspapers in the Boston suburbs, and was a reporter and editor at The Chapel Hill Newspaper. In 1991, as business editor at The News & Observer, he began writing a weekly column on nonprofits. Two years later, he launched the Philanthropy Journal, a publication of The News and Observer Foundation that was the first statewide newspaper in the U.S. to report on nonprofits and foundations. He served as its editor and publisher through April 2012. Initially focusing on North Carolina, the Philanthropy Journal soon expanded to include coverage of national issues about nonprofits and philanthropy. It also sponsored statewide conferences on nonprofits and philanthropy, as well as a series of conferences throughout the U.S. on nonprofits and technology. Todd is a long-time contributor to Triangle Business Journal, The Business Journal in Greensboro, and Charlotte Business Journal, writing a local nonprofit column for each of those business weeklies. He also writes the "Givers" column for Walter, the magazine published by The News & Observer. He was a long- time contributor to The NonProfit Times, and was a philanthropy stringer for The New York Times. He also is a frequent resource for reporters from local, state, national and international news organizations, and has been a speaker at hundreds of conferences, workshops, webinars and other nonprofit gatherings. Todd is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he served as editor of The Daily Tar Heel, and the New England School of Law in Boston. 3 Irish Jewels is honoring Todd this quarter because he graciously wrote two different articles hi g hli g htin g our future p ro g rams in both the Triangle Business Journal and Philanthropy NC . And for that, we are honored and very thankful. ********** 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-7-68" src="pdf-obj-7-68.jpg">

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST PAGE 9 L ast week I wrote a blog entry about ahttp://inneraspie.blogspot.com / . “In order to get a real, meaningful change in how we view autism we must learn to address it as a whole, and not only the times that make us feel warm and fuzzy. 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-8-2" src="pdf-obj-8-2.jpg">
NEWS FROM THE NEST PAGE 9 L ast week I wrote a blog entry about a
NEWS FROM THE NEST
PAGE 9
L
ast week I wrote a blog entry about a
poor parenting moment I had. I laid it all
out. It wasn't anything way out there. It
Needing support.
Needing reassurance.
Wanting some advice.
Needing to know they're not alone.
Upset, and overwhelmed.
I know that we as a community have

How Can We Best Support Autism Parents Who Are Struggling? By Shawna H.

was about a moment of struggle that I had when my Beans was having a what I call 'not having it day' that was in more of the week than a day. He was not having clothes, and not wanting to move when asked. I was late for everything that week, and some things were really important. Days on end like that had me at the end of my rope. I yelled at him, and tried to pick him up, which did not go well, since he's about the size of me. One day a few days ago he decided he was going to just park it on the middle of the parking lot. Just booomp, and there he is. Solid as a rock. Nothing I can do to change it. He's just there until he decides not to be. There's not a doubt in my mind if he was smaller any parent would just pick him up, and move him. The thing is as his body grows, cognitively he isn't.

In any event, I posted that post knowing that in the autism community there had to be others struggling with the same thing. Maybe their children wasn't as old as mine, but they had to experience this behavior, and at times of constant struggles I am sure that most parents have yelled. Yet, when I posted that entry I got very little feedback. When I did, it was mostly hinting at pity for me, or maybe disdain? I am not sure, but I do know I got little support. It was awkward, and the way I felt judged was not helping, so I took it down.

This got me to thinking, and wondering.

When did it become a taboo to say you're struggling with your special needs child?

If I were to post about some awesome new thing one of my boys did I would get all sorts of feedback. That is a good thing. Letting others know that we are happy for them is always a good thing. It's also not everywhere that we can talk about our children's little milestones, and know that other people are really appreciating what we're talking about. Other autism parents know how great some of those little things are.

However, we need to be able to remove the taboo of an autism parent being able to say that they're having a bad day.

Encountering something we don't know how to/ can't handle.

worked really hard to advocate positively for autism awareness, but that cannot overshadow the fact that sometimes living with autism, whether it be first or secondhand, is hard. I have even heard from autistics themselves that say they're ignored when they ask for help, because it tends to shatter the autism parents idea of them. They want to see the autistic person as an inspiration. I know as we move away from the deficit model of autism we need to really not go too far into the other direction, and ignore the real needs of parents, and autistic people who still need support, especially in a society that has not yet achieved the plateau of acceptance, and inclusion of disabilities.

  • I fear we leave parents struggling in shame when

they don't feel like they have a handle of being an autism mom like everyone seems to when we never talk about our less than stellar parenting moments. When we tend to look the other way when autism parents are needing help, or support we can't foster the positive changes we aspire to. In order to get a real, meaningful change in how we view autism we must learn to address it as a whole, and not only the times that make us feel warm and fuzzy. Otherwise, it is just superficial change that skips any problem solving.

So, I am the first one to admit, as much as I know about autism, As much as I know about advocacy. As much as I tend to be the last one to lose my cool. I don't always have it all together.

Sometimes, I yell.

Sometimes, I do things that I know better than to do, but in the heat of the moment I lost my common sense, and made the whole situation worse.

Sometimes, I don't know what to do.

Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed that I take the easy way out.

Sometimes, I need advice, help, and a new way to look at things, and that is okay.

Shawna H. is a stay at home mom with Asperger Syndrome. She has 3 kids, CJ (age 15, who is dyslexic), Bubby (age 12, who has mild autism), Beans (age 10, who has severe Autism). She homeschools Beans, due to an unfortunate incident at his previous school. She loves being a mom and blogs about her adventures in parenting in an atypical household at The Introverted Matriarch:

“In order to get a real, meaningful change in how we view autism we must learn to address it as a whole, and not only the times that make us feel warm and fuzzy.

NEWS FROM THE NEST PAGE 9 L ast week I wrote a blog entry about ahttp://inneraspie.blogspot.com / . “In order to get a real, meaningful change in how we view autism we must learn to address it as a whole, and not only the times that make us feel warm and fuzzy. 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-8-51" src="pdf-obj-8-51.jpg">

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 10 Autism Awareness is Broken WE MUST FIND A COMMONLost and Tired. Autism and my Family I ’m the father of 3 Autistic boys. My boys are each in different places on the spectrum (ranging from low functioning to high functioning) so I have very unique experience and perspective that most don’t have. Gavin and Elliott are our Aspergers kids. Gavin is “functioning” but not “high functioning.” He also has a host of other mental health issues, most notably schizoeffective disorder. Elliott is our middle child and is “very high functioning.” Most people unfamiliar with what Aspergers actually is, would not know that Elliott has any problems but he does. His issues mostly revolve around anxiety. Gavin will most likely never be able to function independently without supervision. Elliott should be quiet successful in life, as he is more enhanced by Autism then hampered. Emmett is our youngest and he is Autistic. He is “low functioning” and significantly developmentally delayed. He is pre-verbal meaning he does have a few words but little to no language skills. He was believed to be non-verbal but has picked up a few words so pre- verbal is more accurate. He is violent and aggressive, but sweet and beautiful. Emmett is EASILY the MOST DIFFICULT challenge I have ever faced ... My wife and I have been walking this journey for 10 years together so far. I have become an expert (as much as possible) on my children’s disorders and yes, they are disorders. So I do have some ... knowledge and experience in this area. But I’m not claiming to be an expert and these opinions are that of my own. As a father to three boys with autism, I have a vested interest in helping to make autism awareness work. These are a few of my thoughts. Autism awareness in it’s current form There has been a lot of debate over whether or not autism awareness is effective. I would argue that currently it’s not effective but not for the reasons people think. Many people will say that society just doesn’t care. While that may be partially true I don’t think that’s the problem. There is a fracture within the autism community itself. We have parents with Aspergers kids (like myself) saying things like “Autism does not define my child.” Then we have parents of much lower functioning kids (again, like myself) that don’t say much at all because we are just too exhausted, beaten down and demoralized. Now, I’m going to say this knowing full well how it’s going to sound but I think it needs to be discussed. Raising a child with Aspergers (again which I’m personally doing), while not without it’s challenges, isn’t even remotely similar to raising a truly non/pre- verbal Autistic child. You have to understand that there is a huge difference. Again, I can say this as I am personally doing both. I have NO experience in raising a truly non-verbal autistic child and I can’t even imagine how difficult that is. This is the problem in my opinion. All we really ever hear are the “fluff” pieces about Aspergers from parents and large organizations. Honestly, they aren’t wrong because many of these kids will grow up to be successful or at least independent and God bless them for that. However, the problem is that these examples become the public image for autism and these parents its voice. It just doesn’t portray autism in an accurate light and it sends out a less then accurate message. Truly low functioning autistic kids and their parents don’t share the same positive experiences or hope for the future. From personal experience I can tell you how demoralizing it is for me to hear people say things like “ Autism doesn’t define who my child is ” or something similar. The truth is, that maybe for them it doesn’t, but walk a mile in my shoes (or anyone else who’s dealing with low functioning autism) and you’ll likely walk away singing a different tune. I mean no disrespect by this at all. I just see things from both sides. For my part, I assumed that the experience I gained raising Gavin and Elliott would prepare me for Emmett but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I could not believe how infinitely more difficult it was with Emmett and that’s after 9 years of raising Gavin, who breaks the mold in just about all areas. Honestly, it’s a night and day difference. How can we expect autism awareness? How can we as members of the autism community ever expect the world to understand, when we can’t even be on the same page ourselves? We preach to the world that every autistic child is different and that’s very true. However, these words become empty if we fail to apply them within our own autism community. As parents we make the mistake of generalizing things much the same way our kids do. We generalize our experience with autism and its impact on the family and transpose that across the board. In other words, we assume that other people’s experience mirrors that of our own. That’s a very dangerous and damaging assumption. If we are making that mistake how can we expect the rest of the world to be any different? Continued 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-9-2" src="pdf-obj-9-2.jpg">
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 10 Autism Awareness is Broken WE MUST FIND A COMMONLost and Tired. Autism and my Family I ’m the father of 3 Autistic boys. My boys are each in different places on the spectrum (ranging from low functioning to high functioning) so I have very unique experience and perspective that most don’t have. Gavin and Elliott are our Aspergers kids. Gavin is “functioning” but not “high functioning.” He also has a host of other mental health issues, most notably schizoeffective disorder. Elliott is our middle child and is “very high functioning.” Most people unfamiliar with what Aspergers actually is, would not know that Elliott has any problems but he does. His issues mostly revolve around anxiety. Gavin will most likely never be able to function independently without supervision. Elliott should be quiet successful in life, as he is more enhanced by Autism then hampered. Emmett is our youngest and he is Autistic. He is “low functioning” and significantly developmentally delayed. He is pre-verbal meaning he does have a few words but little to no language skills. He was believed to be non-verbal but has picked up a few words so pre- verbal is more accurate. He is violent and aggressive, but sweet and beautiful. Emmett is EASILY the MOST DIFFICULT challenge I have ever faced ... My wife and I have been walking this journey for 10 years together so far. I have become an expert (as much as possible) on my children’s disorders and yes, they are disorders. So I do have some ... knowledge and experience in this area. But I’m not claiming to be an expert and these opinions are that of my own. As a father to three boys with autism, I have a vested interest in helping to make autism awareness work. These are a few of my thoughts. Autism awareness in it’s current form There has been a lot of debate over whether or not autism awareness is effective. I would argue that currently it’s not effective but not for the reasons people think. Many people will say that society just doesn’t care. While that may be partially true I don’t think that’s the problem. There is a fracture within the autism community itself. We have parents with Aspergers kids (like myself) saying things like “Autism does not define my child.” Then we have parents of much lower functioning kids (again, like myself) that don’t say much at all because we are just too exhausted, beaten down and demoralized. Now, I’m going to say this knowing full well how it’s going to sound but I think it needs to be discussed. Raising a child with Aspergers (again which I’m personally doing), while not without it’s challenges, isn’t even remotely similar to raising a truly non/pre- verbal Autistic child. You have to understand that there is a huge difference. Again, I can say this as I am personally doing both. I have NO experience in raising a truly non-verbal autistic child and I can’t even imagine how difficult that is. This is the problem in my opinion. All we really ever hear are the “fluff” pieces about Aspergers from parents and large organizations. Honestly, they aren’t wrong because many of these kids will grow up to be successful or at least independent and God bless them for that. However, the problem is that these examples become the public image for autism and these parents its voice. It just doesn’t portray autism in an accurate light and it sends out a less then accurate message. Truly low functioning autistic kids and their parents don’t share the same positive experiences or hope for the future. From personal experience I can tell you how demoralizing it is for me to hear people say things like “ Autism doesn’t define who my child is ” or something similar. The truth is, that maybe for them it doesn’t, but walk a mile in my shoes (or anyone else who’s dealing with low functioning autism) and you’ll likely walk away singing a different tune. I mean no disrespect by this at all. I just see things from both sides. For my part, I assumed that the experience I gained raising Gavin and Elliott would prepare me for Emmett but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I could not believe how infinitely more difficult it was with Emmett and that’s after 9 years of raising Gavin, who breaks the mold in just about all areas. Honestly, it’s a night and day difference. How can we expect autism awareness? How can we as members of the autism community ever expect the world to understand, when we can’t even be on the same page ourselves? We preach to the world that every autistic child is different and that’s very true. However, these words become empty if we fail to apply them within our own autism community. As parents we make the mistake of generalizing things much the same way our kids do. We generalize our experience with autism and its impact on the family and transpose that across the board. In other words, we assume that other people’s experience mirrors that of our own. That’s a very dangerous and damaging assumption. If we are making that mistake how can we expect the rest of the world to be any different? Continued 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-9-4" src="pdf-obj-9-4.jpg">
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 10 Autism Awareness is Broken WE MUST FIND A COMMONLost and Tired. Autism and my Family I ’m the father of 3 Autistic boys. My boys are each in different places on the spectrum (ranging from low functioning to high functioning) so I have very unique experience and perspective that most don’t have. Gavin and Elliott are our Aspergers kids. Gavin is “functioning” but not “high functioning.” He also has a host of other mental health issues, most notably schizoeffective disorder. Elliott is our middle child and is “very high functioning.” Most people unfamiliar with what Aspergers actually is, would not know that Elliott has any problems but he does. His issues mostly revolve around anxiety. Gavin will most likely never be able to function independently without supervision. Elliott should be quiet successful in life, as he is more enhanced by Autism then hampered. Emmett is our youngest and he is Autistic. He is “low functioning” and significantly developmentally delayed. He is pre-verbal meaning he does have a few words but little to no language skills. He was believed to be non-verbal but has picked up a few words so pre- verbal is more accurate. He is violent and aggressive, but sweet and beautiful. Emmett is EASILY the MOST DIFFICULT challenge I have ever faced ... My wife and I have been walking this journey for 10 years together so far. I have become an expert (as much as possible) on my children’s disorders and yes, they are disorders. So I do have some ... knowledge and experience in this area. But I’m not claiming to be an expert and these opinions are that of my own. As a father to three boys with autism, I have a vested interest in helping to make autism awareness work. These are a few of my thoughts. Autism awareness in it’s current form There has been a lot of debate over whether or not autism awareness is effective. I would argue that currently it’s not effective but not for the reasons people think. Many people will say that society just doesn’t care. While that may be partially true I don’t think that’s the problem. There is a fracture within the autism community itself. We have parents with Aspergers kids (like myself) saying things like “Autism does not define my child.” Then we have parents of much lower functioning kids (again, like myself) that don’t say much at all because we are just too exhausted, beaten down and demoralized. Now, I’m going to say this knowing full well how it’s going to sound but I think it needs to be discussed. Raising a child with Aspergers (again which I’m personally doing), while not without it’s challenges, isn’t even remotely similar to raising a truly non/pre- verbal Autistic child. You have to understand that there is a huge difference. Again, I can say this as I am personally doing both. I have NO experience in raising a truly non-verbal autistic child and I can’t even imagine how difficult that is. This is the problem in my opinion. All we really ever hear are the “fluff” pieces about Aspergers from parents and large organizations. Honestly, they aren’t wrong because many of these kids will grow up to be successful or at least independent and God bless them for that. However, the problem is that these examples become the public image for autism and these parents its voice. It just doesn’t portray autism in an accurate light and it sends out a less then accurate message. Truly low functioning autistic kids and their parents don’t share the same positive experiences or hope for the future. From personal experience I can tell you how demoralizing it is for me to hear people say things like “ Autism doesn’t define who my child is ” or something similar. The truth is, that maybe for them it doesn’t, but walk a mile in my shoes (or anyone else who’s dealing with low functioning autism) and you’ll likely walk away singing a different tune. I mean no disrespect by this at all. I just see things from both sides. For my part, I assumed that the experience I gained raising Gavin and Elliott would prepare me for Emmett but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I could not believe how infinitely more difficult it was with Emmett and that’s after 9 years of raising Gavin, who breaks the mold in just about all areas. Honestly, it’s a night and day difference. How can we expect autism awareness? How can we as members of the autism community ever expect the world to understand, when we can’t even be on the same page ourselves? We preach to the world that every autistic child is different and that’s very true. However, these words become empty if we fail to apply them within our own autism community. As parents we make the mistake of generalizing things much the same way our kids do. We generalize our experience with autism and its impact on the family and transpose that across the board. In other words, we assume that other people’s experience mirrors that of our own. That’s a very dangerous and damaging assumption. If we are making that mistake how can we expect the rest of the world to be any different? Continued 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-9-6" src="pdf-obj-9-6.jpg">

NEWS FROM THE NEST!

PAGE 10

Autism Awareness is Broken

WE MUST FIND A COMMON GROUND

By Rob Gorski

Rob Gorski, Father to 3 children with autism and creator of award winning blog Lost and Tired.

Autism and my Family

  • I ’m the father of 3 Autistic boys. My boys are each in different places on the spectrum (ranging from low functioning to high functioning) so I have very unique experience and perspective

that most don’t have.

Gavin and Elliott are our Aspergers kids. Gavin is “functioning” but not “high functioning.” He also has a host of other mental health issues, most notably schizoeffective disorder. Elliott is our middle child and is “very high functioning.” Most people unfamiliar with what Aspergers actually is, would not know that Elliott has any problems but he does. His issues mostly revolve around anxiety. Gavin will most likely never be able to function independently without supervision. Elliott should be quiet successful in life, as he is more enhanced by Autism then hampered.

Emmett is our youngest and he is Autistic. He is “low functioning” and significantly developmentally delayed. He is pre-verbal meaning he does have a few words but little to no language skills. He was believed to be non-verbal but has picked up a few words so pre- verbal is more accurate. He is violent and aggressive, but sweet and beautiful. Emmett is EASILY the MOST DIFFICULT challenge I have ever faced ...

My wife and I have been walking this journey for 10 years together

so far. I have become an expert (as much as possible) on my

children’s disorders

and yes, they are disorders. So I do have some

... knowledge and experience in this area. But I’m not claiming to be an expert and these opinions are that of my own. As a father to three boys with autism, I have a vested interest in helping to make autism awareness work. These are a few of my thoughts.

Autism awareness in it’s current form

There has been a lot of debate over whether or not autism awareness is effective. I would argue that currently it’s not effective but not for the reasons people think. Many people will say that society just doesn’t care. While that may be partially true I don’t think that’s the problem. There is a fracture within the autism community itself.

We have parents with Aspergers kids (like myself) saying things like “Autism does not define my child.” Then we have

parents of much lower functioning kids (again, like myself) that don’t say much at all because we are just too exhausted, beaten down and demoralized.

Now, I’m going to say this knowing full well how it’s going to sound but I think it needs to be discussed. Raising a child with Aspergers

(again which I’m personally doing), while not without it’s challenges, isn’t even remotely similar to raising a truly non/pre- verbal Autistic child. You have to understand that there is a huge difference. Again, I can say this as I am personally doing both. I have NO experience in raising a truly non-verbal autistic child and I can’t even imagine how difficult that is.

This is the problem in my opinion. All we really ever hear are the “fluff” pieces about Aspergers from parents and large organizations. Honestly, they aren’t wrong because many of these kids will grow up to be successful or at least independent and God bless them for that. However, the problem is that these examples become the public image for autism and these parents its voice. It just doesn’t portray autism in an accurate light and it sends out a less then accurate message.

Truly low functioning autistic kids and their parents don’t share the same positive experiences or hope for the future. From personal experience I can tell you how demoralizing it is for me to hear people say things like “Autism doesn’t define who my child is” or something similar. The truth is, that maybe for them it doesn’t, but walk a mile in my shoes (or anyone else who’s dealing with low functioning autism) and you’ll likely walk away singing a different tune.

I mean no disrespect by this at all. I just see things from both sides. For my part, I assumed that the experience I gained raising Gavin and Elliott would prepare me for Emmett but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I could not believe how infinitely more difficult it was with Emmett and that’s after 9 years of raising Gavin, who breaks the mold in just about all areas. Honestly, it’s a night and day difference.

How can we expect autism awareness?

How can we as members of the autism community ever expect the world to understand, when we can’t even be on the same page ourselves? We preach to the world that every autistic child is different and that’s very true. However, these words become empty if we fail to apply them within our own autism community. As parents we make the mistake of generalizing things much the same way our kids do.

We generalize our experience with autism and its impact on the family and transpose that across the board. In other words, we assume that other people’s experience mirrors that of our own. That’s a very dangerous and damaging assumption. If we are making that mistake how can we expect the rest of the world to be any different?

Continued

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 11 Autism Awareness is Broken , Continued Why is autismPink Letter . To say that this is disturbing is as big of an understatement as the letter itself is hateful and disgusting. I could go on and on. We are quick to assign blame to the public for not being “autism aware” and we fail to understand that autism awareness starts at home, within the autism community itself. I just don’t see how we can, in good conscious, hold people outside the autism community accountable for things that we are guilty of ourselves. There is so much judgement and animosity within the autism community that we should be ashamed. We should know better. We spend so much time focusing on everyone else in the world being “autism aware,” we don’t see what’s going on at home. It’s a forest for the tree’s kinda thing. Before we can expect the world to understand and accept those with autism, we need to understand and accept as well. We need to remember that every person with autism is unique and not a copy or clone of anyone else. In the same token, we have to be cognizant that every family raising a child with autism can and very often will, have a profoundly different experience. Every family faces different challenges, some more than others. Put more simply, just because our children share a diagnosis doesn’t mean that they are the same. We need to remember this. We need to reach across our superficial differences and focus on our fundamental similarities. Despite our different beliefs, I truly believe that we all want what’s best for our kids. That means that we have something very, very important in common. Simply because we don’t agree on what causes autism doesn’t mean that we can’t present a unified front. Just because someone doesn’t have autism themselves, shouldn’t mean that they can’t help or even be an advocate. I’ve always felt like the only prerequisite for advocating was a willingness to learn and the ability to care. I have to believe that we are able to find some common ground. I have to believe that we can use that common ground to build a platform in which we can show the world all the different faces and voices of Autism .. It’s of vital importance that we listen to what the adult autistic community has to say. They can teach us so much, especially about our own children. Lastly, I truly believe that everyone should have a voice. Everyone’s experience with autism is very likely to be different and while there may be similarities, no two stories will be exactly the same. We need everyone that has a story, to feel comfortable sharing their stories without fearing judgement or ridicule, especially from people who should understand. If we want the world to be more Autism Aware, we need to lead by example. How can we fix autism awareness? I think the solution is much simpler then one might think. However, while it may be simple, it won’t be easy. It will require us to be honest with both ourselves and others in ways that we may be uncomfortable with at first because we aren’t used to sharing our lives in this manner. That said, if we aren’t honest about our experiences, then how can we possibly expect the rest of the world to understand what autism can really be like and how it can really impact our children and families. My personal approach to autism awareness is to share our story, sometimes in a brutally honest fashion. It wasn’t easy to do at first. We had spent a great deal of time hiding just how difficult things were because we knew that the truth was overwhelming to the people in our lives. It’s often overwhelming, uncomfortable and even depressing to read, but at the same time, it’s the truth and my family lives it EVERY SINGLE DAY . I realized that if I continued to hide the truth or “sugar coat” the challenges, struggles and heartache we were experiencing with autism, I would be doing a disservice to both my family and those around us. All I ever accomplished by hiding the truth or not being honest about our struggles, was to give people the wrong impression of what we’re going through. How could anyone ever understand just how challenging life is for some of my kids or even just how challenging things are for us, as their special needs parents, if I wasn’t honest about it. Continued 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-10-2" src="pdf-obj-10-2.jpg">
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 11 Autism Awareness is Broken , Continued Why is autismPink Letter . To say that this is disturbing is as big of an understatement as the letter itself is hateful and disgusting. I could go on and on. We are quick to assign blame to the public for not being “autism aware” and we fail to understand that autism awareness starts at home, within the autism community itself. I just don’t see how we can, in good conscious, hold people outside the autism community accountable for things that we are guilty of ourselves. There is so much judgement and animosity within the autism community that we should be ashamed. We should know better. We spend so much time focusing on everyone else in the world being “autism aware,” we don’t see what’s going on at home. It’s a forest for the tree’s kinda thing. Before we can expect the world to understand and accept those with autism, we need to understand and accept as well. We need to remember that every person with autism is unique and not a copy or clone of anyone else. In the same token, we have to be cognizant that every family raising a child with autism can and very often will, have a profoundly different experience. Every family faces different challenges, some more than others. Put more simply, just because our children share a diagnosis doesn’t mean that they are the same. We need to remember this. We need to reach across our superficial differences and focus on our fundamental similarities. Despite our different beliefs, I truly believe that we all want what’s best for our kids. That means that we have something very, very important in common. Simply because we don’t agree on what causes autism doesn’t mean that we can’t present a unified front. Just because someone doesn’t have autism themselves, shouldn’t mean that they can’t help or even be an advocate. I’ve always felt like the only prerequisite for advocating was a willingness to learn and the ability to care. I have to believe that we are able to find some common ground. I have to believe that we can use that common ground to build a platform in which we can show the world all the different faces and voices of Autism .. It’s of vital importance that we listen to what the adult autistic community has to say. They can teach us so much, especially about our own children. Lastly, I truly believe that everyone should have a voice. Everyone’s experience with autism is very likely to be different and while there may be similarities, no two stories will be exactly the same. We need everyone that has a story, to feel comfortable sharing their stories without fearing judgement or ridicule, especially from people who should understand. If we want the world to be more Autism Aware, we need to lead by example. How can we fix autism awareness? I think the solution is much simpler then one might think. However, while it may be simple, it won’t be easy. It will require us to be honest with both ourselves and others in ways that we may be uncomfortable with at first because we aren’t used to sharing our lives in this manner. That said, if we aren’t honest about our experiences, then how can we possibly expect the rest of the world to understand what autism can really be like and how it can really impact our children and families. My personal approach to autism awareness is to share our story, sometimes in a brutally honest fashion. It wasn’t easy to do at first. We had spent a great deal of time hiding just how difficult things were because we knew that the truth was overwhelming to the people in our lives. It’s often overwhelming, uncomfortable and even depressing to read, but at the same time, it’s the truth and my family lives it EVERY SINGLE DAY . I realized that if I continued to hide the truth or “sugar coat” the challenges, struggles and heartache we were experiencing with autism, I would be doing a disservice to both my family and those around us. All I ever accomplished by hiding the truth or not being honest about our struggles, was to give people the wrong impression of what we’re going through. How could anyone ever understand just how challenging life is for some of my kids or even just how challenging things are for us, as their special needs parents, if I wasn’t honest about it. Continued 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-10-4" src="pdf-obj-10-4.jpg">

NEWS FROM THE NEST!

PAGE 11

Autism Awareness is Broken, Continued

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 11 Autism Awareness is Broken , Continued Why is autismPink Letter . To say that this is disturbing is as big of an understatement as the letter itself is hateful and disgusting. I could go on and on. We are quick to assign blame to the public for not being “autism aware” and we fail to understand that autism awareness starts at home, within the autism community itself. I just don’t see how we can, in good conscious, hold people outside the autism community accountable for things that we are guilty of ourselves. There is so much judgement and animosity within the autism community that we should be ashamed. We should know better. We spend so much time focusing on everyone else in the world being “autism aware,” we don’t see what’s going on at home. It’s a forest for the tree’s kinda thing. Before we can expect the world to understand and accept those with autism, we need to understand and accept as well. We need to remember that every person with autism is unique and not a copy or clone of anyone else. In the same token, we have to be cognizant that every family raising a child with autism can and very often will, have a profoundly different experience. Every family faces different challenges, some more than others. Put more simply, just because our children share a diagnosis doesn’t mean that they are the same. We need to remember this. We need to reach across our superficial differences and focus on our fundamental similarities. Despite our different beliefs, I truly believe that we all want what’s best for our kids. That means that we have something very, very important in common. Simply because we don’t agree on what causes autism doesn’t mean that we can’t present a unified front. Just because someone doesn’t have autism themselves, shouldn’t mean that they can’t help or even be an advocate. I’ve always felt like the only prerequisite for advocating was a willingness to learn and the ability to care. I have to believe that we are able to find some common ground. I have to believe that we can use that common ground to build a platform in which we can show the world all the different faces and voices of Autism .. It’s of vital importance that we listen to what the adult autistic community has to say. They can teach us so much, especially about our own children. Lastly, I truly believe that everyone should have a voice. Everyone’s experience with autism is very likely to be different and while there may be similarities, no two stories will be exactly the same. We need everyone that has a story, to feel comfortable sharing their stories without fearing judgement or ridicule, especially from people who should understand. If we want the world to be more Autism Aware, we need to lead by example. How can we fix autism awareness? I think the solution is much simpler then one might think. However, while it may be simple, it won’t be easy. It will require us to be honest with both ourselves and others in ways that we may be uncomfortable with at first because we aren’t used to sharing our lives in this manner. That said, if we aren’t honest about our experiences, then how can we possibly expect the rest of the world to understand what autism can really be like and how it can really impact our children and families. My personal approach to autism awareness is to share our story, sometimes in a brutally honest fashion. It wasn’t easy to do at first. We had spent a great deal of time hiding just how difficult things were because we knew that the truth was overwhelming to the people in our lives. It’s often overwhelming, uncomfortable and even depressing to read, but at the same time, it’s the truth and my family lives it EVERY SINGLE DAY . I realized that if I continued to hide the truth or “sugar coat” the challenges, struggles and heartache we were experiencing with autism, I would be doing a disservice to both my family and those around us. All I ever accomplished by hiding the truth or not being honest about our struggles, was to give people the wrong impression of what we’re going through. How could anyone ever understand just how challenging life is for some of my kids or even just how challenging things are for us, as their special needs parents, if I wasn’t honest about it. Continued " id="pdf-obj-10-17" src="pdf-obj-10-17.jpg">

Why is autism awareness broken?

My thoughts still go to all the different factions that have formed within the autism community and how said factions seem to divide us. We have the classic vaccine division, where you either believe that vaccines save lives or ruin them. There are still people promoting acceptance and understanding (which isn’t a bad thing), as well as those that want to cure autism.

We have parents of high functioning kids with autism and parents of lower functioning kids with autism that are sadly unaware of the challenges that are present in each others situations. There are judgements being hurled back and forth because neither side understands the other.

There are even autistic adults that believe unless you have autism, you have no right to advocate, even for your own children. They feel this very, very… um… passionately.

At the same time, it seems that no one bothers to listen to what adults with autism have to say. Can we really blame them for being upset or feeling ignored?

Then of course we have the infamous Pink Letter. To say that this is disturbing is as big of an understatement as the letter itself is hateful and disgusting.

I could go on and on.

We are quick to assign blame to the public for not being “autism aware” and we fail to understand that autism awareness starts at home, within the autism community itself. I just don’t see how we can, in good conscious, hold people outside the autism community accountable for things that we are guilty of ourselves. There is so much judgement and animosity within the autism community that we should be ashamed. We should know better.

We spend so much time focusing on everyone else in the world being “autism aware,” we don’t see what’s going on at home. It’s a forest for the tree’s kinda thing.

Before we can expect the world to understand and accept those with

autism, we need to understand and accept as well. We need to remember that every person with autism is unique and not a copy or clone of anyone else. In the same token, we have to be cognizant that every family raising a child with autism can and very often will, have a profoundly different experience. Every family faces different challenges, some more than others.

Put more simply, just because our children share a diagnosis doesn’t mean that they are the same. We need to remember this.

We need to reach across our superficial differences and focus on

our fundamental similarities. Despite our different beliefs, I truly believe that we all want what’s best for our kids. That means that we have something very, very important in common.

Simply because we don’t agree on what causes autism doesn’t mean that we can’t present a unified front. Just because someone doesn’t have autism themselves, shouldn’t mean that they can’t help or even be an advocate. I’ve always felt like the only prerequisite for advocating was a willingness to learn and the ability to care.

  • I have to believe that we are able to find some common ground. I

have to believe that we can use that common ground to build a

platform in which we can show the world all the different faces and voices of Autism ..

It’s of vital importance that we listen to what the adult autistic community has to say. They can teach us so much, especially about our own children.

Lastly, I truly believe that everyone should have a voice. Everyone’s experience with autism is very likely to be different and while there

may be similarities, no two stories will be exactly the same. We need everyone that has a story, to feel comfortable sharing their stories without fearing judgement or ridicule, especially from people who should understand.

If we want the world to be more Autism Aware, we need to lead by example.

How can we fix autism awareness?

  • I think the solution is much simpler then one might think. However,

while it may be simple, it won’t be easy. It will require us to be

honest with both ourselves and others in ways that we may be uncomfortable with at first because we aren’t used to sharing our

lives in this manner. That said, if we aren’t honest about our experiences, then how can we possibly expect the rest of the world to understand what autism can really be like and how it can really impact our children and families.

My personal approach to autism awareness is to share our story, sometimes in a brutally honest fashion. It wasn’t easy to do at first. We had spent a great deal of time hiding just how difficult things were because we knew that the truth was overwhelming to the people in our lives.

It’s often overwhelming, uncomfortable and even depressing to read, but at the same time, it’s the truth and my family lives it EVERY SINGLE DAY. I realized that if I continued to hide the truth or “sugar coat” the challenges, struggles and heartache we were experiencing with autism, I would be doing a disservice to both my family and those around us.

All I ever accomplished by hiding the truth or not being honest about our struggles, was to give people the wrong impression of what we’re going through. How could anyone ever understand just how challenging life is for some of my kids or even just how challenging things are for us, as their special needs parents, if I wasn’t honest about it.

Continued

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 12 Autism Awareness is Broken , Continued Let’s be honestReality Autism statement. What will be yours? “I’m sorry if reading about my life makes you uncomfortable. However, my purpose is to educate people about autism and it’s impact on, at least my family. I know it’s often times depressing and difficult to read. With that said, I ask that you remember just one thing. You are only reading about it. In the end, you can walk away and return to your life. I, on the other hand, along with my family, live this every single day with no exception. This is my reality. Hear this. I will no longer pretend things are okay or sugar coat the truth simply to make you more comfortable with my life. If it bothers you that much, then simply don’t read it. I will not compromise the purpose or mission of this blog or my message, simply because you are uncomfortable with my truth.” *********** 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-11-2" src="pdf-obj-11-2.jpg">
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 12 Autism Awareness is Broken , Continued Let’s be honestReality Autism statement. What will be yours? “I’m sorry if reading about my life makes you uncomfortable. However, my purpose is to educate people about autism and it’s impact on, at least my family. I know it’s often times depressing and difficult to read. With that said, I ask that you remember just one thing. You are only reading about it. In the end, you can walk away and return to your life. I, on the other hand, along with my family, live this every single day with no exception. This is my reality. Hear this. I will no longer pretend things are okay or sugar coat the truth simply to make you more comfortable with my life. If it bothers you that much, then simply don’t read it. I will not compromise the purpose or mission of this blog or my message, simply because you are uncomfortable with my truth.” *********** 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-11-4" src="pdf-obj-11-4.jpg">

NEWS FROM THE NEST!

PAGE 12

Autism Awareness is Broken, Continued

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 12 Autism Awareness is Broken , Continued Let’s be honestReality Autism statement. What will be yours? “I’m sorry if reading about my life makes you uncomfortable. However, my purpose is to educate people about autism and it’s impact on, at least my family. I know it’s often times depressing and difficult to read. With that said, I ask that you remember just one thing. You are only reading about it. In the end, you can walk away and return to your life. I, on the other hand, along with my family, live this every single day with no exception. This is my reality. Hear this. I will no longer pretend things are okay or sugar coat the truth simply to make you more comfortable with my life. If it bothers you that much, then simply don’t read it. I will not compromise the purpose or mission of this blog or my message, simply because you are uncomfortable with my truth.” *********** " id="pdf-obj-11-17" src="pdf-obj-11-17.jpg">

Let’s be honest with ourselves for just a minute here. There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to remain positive in the face of everything autism brings to the table. However, the truth of the matter is that all the happy thoughts and positive attitude in the world won’t make my kids any less autistic, or their lives or our lives for that matter, any less challenging.

While we are being honest here, sugar coating the truth, or trying to hide the challenges my wife and I face together, as special needs parents, won’t make them any easier. In fact it only serves to complicate matters and promote a feeling of isolation because no one would know what we were going through. Does that make sense?

As members of the autism community, we must be honest with ourselves and each other. Admitting that we are frustrated, overwhelmed, beaten down, terrified, demoralized or just “Lost and Tired,” as a result of our Autistic child’s behavior doesn’t make us bad parents. It certainly does not mean that our children are bad or we don’t love them. It’s simply an unpleasant truth… it’s also the reality of the situation.

In fact, I would go so far as to argue, that being honest with ourselves and everyone else, shows just how much we actually do love our children and demonstrates great courage and a steadfast determination to making the world a better place for our kids. Being honest about our experiences not only helps to educate the public by showing the world that everyone’s experience with autism is profoundly dynamic but it serves as a reminder to the autism community itself that autism is different for every person and every family and that is all too often overlooked.

By sharing our experiences openly, honestly and emotionally we are showing the world what autism actually is by letting the world view it through our eyes and witness the many ways it actually impacts our families (both good and bad).

The goal of autism awareness

I think the goal of autism awareness should be to help the public become autism aware by presenting autism in a “non-clinical” fashion and in a relatable way.

Honestly, anyone can read the facts about autism in a book or online. However, accurate and multifaceted first hand accounts are few and far between. In my opinion, when we share our inner most personal thoughts, fears, hopes, experiences, joy and heartbreak, we allow someone to step into our shoes and relate to situation, even if only for a moment. That moment, brief as it may be, is so critical to our goal of spreading effective Autism Awareness.

The one thing we all have (as human beings) in common is a love and devotion for our children. This is something that binds all of us together on the most basic of levels. What’s truly amazing about us, as human beings, is our ability to relate to and empathize with a complete stranger when a child is involved. Sharing our stories in a way that helps people to relate is so important to spreading autism

awareness. In that brief moment when an emotional connection is made the seeds of awareness are planted. We can then help those seeds naturally take root and grow by continuing to share our stories and nurturing that emotional connection. Autism awareness that grows under these conditions is awareness in it’s purest and most effective form.

How can you help Autism Awareness?

The current approach to autism awareness is broken and misguided. The general approach to autism awareness currently, is very “clinical” and lacking a personal connection. It sometimes even feels forced on people. Not only do I not agree with this approach but it’s clearly not working.

It is basic human nature to reject or resist things that we perceive as being forced upon us. Nobody wants to told what to think, do or feel. If autism awareness is to take root and spread we must keep that in mind.

I’m sure we have all heard the saying “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.” I think the same principle applies here as well. We can shove all the clinical information and static autism facts we want down people’s throats but we can’t force them to care. Autism by it’s very nature, is profoundly dynamic.

This is my pledge to autism awareness…My Reality Autism

This is my Reality Autism statement. What will be yours?

“I’m sorry if reading about my life makes you uncomfortable. However, my purpose is to educate people about autism and it’s impact on, at least my family.

I know it’s often times depressing and difficult to read. With that said, I ask that you remember just one thing. You are only reading about it. In the end, you can walk away and return to your life. I, on the other hand, along with my family, live this every single day with no exception. This is my reality.

Hear this. I will no longer pretend things are okay or sugar coat the truth simply to make you more comfortable with my life.

If it bothers you that much, then simply don’t read it. I will not compromise the purpose or mission of this blog or my message, simply because you are uncomfortable with my truth.”

***********

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 13 Learning to be a Father by Letting Go ofwmjehall.com . T hree years and 31 days ago, I made a decision that I swore I would never make. I dropped my firstborn son off at a state run program in a mental hospital, admitting to him and to the world that our family was no longer the best place for him, and that someone else was better equipped to meet his needs than my wife and I. I institutionalized my son. William was always special. He was born on New Year’s Eve 1998, our second child, our first boy. He had big blue eyes and blonde hair. He was a big, round ball of chubby cuteness. By the time he was 9 months old, he hadn’t started babbling yet. He liked being in his swing. Really liked it. A lot. He wanted to swing all the time. Hours at a time. The motor burned out. He loved his pacifier and would not sleep without it. By the time he had his one year checkup, Barbara was concerned enough about his development to ask the pediatrician about it. It’s all good, the doc said. Boys are different than girls. Rates of development differ. Nothing to worry about. Barbara said, yep. I know all that. But something isn’t right. She got up and left the office. A few days later she was at another appointment and saw a flyer on the wall. The poster was for Project Child Find, which was offering a free screening for kids like William. Kids who were different. William would get a screening, and by the time he was 18 months old he had attended his first therapy sessions for what was being described as sensory integration and pervasive developmental disorder. Disorder. It hurt to hear. The first time we would hear that William wasn’t just different, he was abnormal. Wrong. At least that is how I heard it. As he got older, there were more therapy sessions, and groups, and talks with doctors. When he was 2 ½ , he was in a group with 4 other kids. The group met with their therapist in a special room at Womack Army Medical Center (we lived on Fort Bragg). The other kids in the group were like William. They didn’t make eye contact. They flopped and flapped. They became agitated if one of their toys was taken. We began talking to the other parents who joined us in observing the group behind the two way mirror. It was a conversation that special needs parents will recognize. You see, not unlike elementary kids comparing Pokemon or middle schools boys talking football teams or high school kids talking about whatever the hell it is they talk about, we special needs parents compare diagnoses. “Is that your son?” “Yep, red shirt. Your daughter?” “Yes. Pink boots. What’s your son’s diagnosis?” “PDD and sensory integration. Yours?” “Autism.” We asked another parent. Then another. Then another. Autism. ASD. Autism. Of course, that was not something we had to worry about. The therapist had told us that William didn’t have autism. He was just in this group because he had a “commonality of challenges.” He wasn’t autistic. I mean, I had seen Rainman. William couldn’t or wouldn’t talk, much less do amazing math tricks. Daphne, the group leader, had clearly seen parental denial before. She was very patient. She had a suggestion. I have something I would like for you to fill out she said. It is called CARS   —   the childhood autism rating scale. Fill it out, and we’ll talk about it. When we got home, we filled out the form. You could almost hear the ominous movie music playing in the background as we marked 4 after 3 after 4. We looked at one another, coming to the same conclusion at the same time. William’s got autism. And we have a lot to learn. Fast forward a few years. We are world class autism experts. We became ace advocates. William was the first pre-K student with special needs at Fort Bragg to get a full day program WITH a one- on-one aide written into his IFSP. By school age he moved into a self-contained classroom and had amazing teachers and therapists. But our life was ruled by autism. William didn’t sleep. He didn’t talk. He wouldn’t potty train. When we went to McDonald’s as a family we always had to take extra money, because it was inevitable that William would walk up to someone’s table and take their french fries. If it was a sit-down restaurant he would start fussing and whining as soon as we sat down. He didn’t understand why the food wasn’t there. Eventually we stopped going out. There were so many things that we couldn’t do. Go to church together. Sit and watch our younger son’s soccer game together. Attend birthday parties. All of our plans were subject to William’s mood, whether or not staff was available and whether we could afford to cover them. All of this was complicated by something else. Army life. Life with William was hard. Lots of time, lots of hospitals and therapists. Not enough time for each other or our other kids. Constant worry that we weren’t doing enough to help William deal with his challenges, weren’t giving him enough. But we had love, and we always found ways to laugh. Many days our life was good, and when it was we would smile. Because although life was challenging it was what we knew. Continued 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-12-2" src="pdf-obj-12-2.jpg">
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 13 Learning to be a Father by Letting Go ofwmjehall.com . T hree years and 31 days ago, I made a decision that I swore I would never make. I dropped my firstborn son off at a state run program in a mental hospital, admitting to him and to the world that our family was no longer the best place for him, and that someone else was better equipped to meet his needs than my wife and I. I institutionalized my son. William was always special. He was born on New Year’s Eve 1998, our second child, our first boy. He had big blue eyes and blonde hair. He was a big, round ball of chubby cuteness. By the time he was 9 months old, he hadn’t started babbling yet. He liked being in his swing. Really liked it. A lot. He wanted to swing all the time. Hours at a time. The motor burned out. He loved his pacifier and would not sleep without it. By the time he had his one year checkup, Barbara was concerned enough about his development to ask the pediatrician about it. It’s all good, the doc said. Boys are different than girls. Rates of development differ. Nothing to worry about. Barbara said, yep. I know all that. But something isn’t right. She got up and left the office. A few days later she was at another appointment and saw a flyer on the wall. The poster was for Project Child Find, which was offering a free screening for kids like William. Kids who were different. William would get a screening, and by the time he was 18 months old he had attended his first therapy sessions for what was being described as sensory integration and pervasive developmental disorder. Disorder. It hurt to hear. The first time we would hear that William wasn’t just different, he was abnormal. Wrong. At least that is how I heard it. As he got older, there were more therapy sessions, and groups, and talks with doctors. When he was 2 ½ , he was in a group with 4 other kids. The group met with their therapist in a special room at Womack Army Medical Center (we lived on Fort Bragg). The other kids in the group were like William. They didn’t make eye contact. They flopped and flapped. They became agitated if one of their toys was taken. We began talking to the other parents who joined us in observing the group behind the two way mirror. It was a conversation that special needs parents will recognize. You see, not unlike elementary kids comparing Pokemon or middle schools boys talking football teams or high school kids talking about whatever the hell it is they talk about, we special needs parents compare diagnoses. “Is that your son?” “Yep, red shirt. Your daughter?” “Yes. Pink boots. What’s your son’s diagnosis?” “PDD and sensory integration. Yours?” “Autism.” We asked another parent. Then another. Then another. Autism. ASD. Autism. Of course, that was not something we had to worry about. The therapist had told us that William didn’t have autism. He was just in this group because he had a “commonality of challenges.” He wasn’t autistic. I mean, I had seen Rainman. William couldn’t or wouldn’t talk, much less do amazing math tricks. Daphne, the group leader, had clearly seen parental denial before. She was very patient. She had a suggestion. I have something I would like for you to fill out she said. It is called CARS   —   the childhood autism rating scale. Fill it out, and we’ll talk about it. When we got home, we filled out the form. You could almost hear the ominous movie music playing in the background as we marked 4 after 3 after 4. We looked at one another, coming to the same conclusion at the same time. William’s got autism. And we have a lot to learn. Fast forward a few years. We are world class autism experts. We became ace advocates. William was the first pre-K student with special needs at Fort Bragg to get a full day program WITH a one- on-one aide written into his IFSP. By school age he moved into a self-contained classroom and had amazing teachers and therapists. But our life was ruled by autism. William didn’t sleep. He didn’t talk. He wouldn’t potty train. When we went to McDonald’s as a family we always had to take extra money, because it was inevitable that William would walk up to someone’s table and take their french fries. If it was a sit-down restaurant he would start fussing and whining as soon as we sat down. He didn’t understand why the food wasn’t there. Eventually we stopped going out. There were so many things that we couldn’t do. Go to church together. Sit and watch our younger son’s soccer game together. Attend birthday parties. All of our plans were subject to William’s mood, whether or not staff was available and whether we could afford to cover them. All of this was complicated by something else. Army life. Life with William was hard. Lots of time, lots of hospitals and therapists. Not enough time for each other or our other kids. Constant worry that we weren’t doing enough to help William deal with his challenges, weren’t giving him enough. But we had love, and we always found ways to laugh. Many days our life was good, and when it was we would smile. Because although life was challenging it was what we knew. Continued 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-12-4" src="pdf-obj-12-4.jpg">

NEWS FROM THE NEST!

PAGE 13

Learning to be a Father by Letting Go of my Son By Jeff Hall

Jeff Hall is a writer and father of 4 who currently lives in Chapel Hill, NC. More of Jeff's writing can be seen at wmjehall.com.

T hree years and 31 days ago, I made a decision that I swore I would never make. I dropped my firstborn son off at a state run program in a mental hospital, admitting to him and to

the world that our family was no longer the best place for him, and that someone else was better equipped to meet his needs than my wife and I.

I institutionalized my son.

William was always special. He was born on New Year’s Eve 1998, our second child, our first boy. He had big blue eyes and blonde hair. He was a big, round ball of chubby cuteness. By the time he was 9 months old, he hadn’t started babbling yet. He liked being in his swing. Really liked it. A lot. He wanted to swing all the time. Hours at a time. The motor burned out. He loved his pacifier and would not sleep without it. By the time he had his one year checkup, Barbara was concerned enough about his development to ask the pediatrician about it. It’s all good, the doc said. Boys are different than girls. Rates of development differ. Nothing to worry about. Barbara said, yep. I know all that. But something isn’t right. She got up and left the office. A few days later she was at another appointment and saw a flyer on the wall. The poster was for Project Child Find, which was offering a free screening for kids like William. Kids who were different.

William would get a screening, and by the time he was 18 months old he had attended his first therapy sessions for what was being described as sensory integration and pervasive developmental disorder. Disorder. It hurt to hear. The first time we would hear that William wasn’t just different, he was abnormal. Wrong. At least that is how I heard it.

As he got older, there were more therapy sessions, and groups, and talks with doctors. When he was 2½, he was in a group with 4 other kids. The group met with their therapist in a special room at Womack Army Medical Center (we lived on Fort Bragg). The other kids in the group were like William. They didn’t make eye contact. They flopped and flapped. They became agitated if one of their toys was taken. We began talking to the other parents who joined us in observing the group behind the two way mirror. It was a conversation that special needs parents will recognize. You see, not unlike elementary kids comparing Pokemon or middle schools boys talking football teams or high school kids talking about whatever the hell it is they talk about, we special needs parents compare diagnoses.

“Is that your son?” “Yep, red shirt. Your daughter?” “Yes. Pink boots. What’s your son’s diagnosis?” “PDD and sensory integration. Yours?” “Autism.”

We asked another parent. Then another. Then another. Autism. ASD. Autism. Of course, that was not something we had to worry about. The therapist had told us that William didn’t have autism. He was just in this group because he had a “commonality of challenges.” He wasn’t autistic. I mean, I had seen Rainman. William couldn’t or wouldn’t talk, much less do amazing math tricks.

Daphne, the group leader, had clearly seen parental denial before. She was very patient. She had a suggestion. I have something I would like for you to fill out she said. It is called CARSthe childhood autism rating scale. Fill it out, and we’ll talk about it. When we got home, we filled out the form. You could almost hear the ominous movie music playing in the background as we marked 4 after 3 after 4. We looked at one another, coming to the same conclusion at the same time.

William’s got autism. And we have a lot to learn.

Fast forward a few years. We are world class autism experts. We became ace advocates. William was the first pre-K student with special needs at Fort Bragg to get a full day program WITH a one- on-one aide written into his IFSP. By school age he moved into a self-contained classroom and had amazing teachers and therapists.

But our life was ruled by autism.

William didn’t sleep. He didn’t talk. He wouldn’t potty train. When we went to McDonald’s as a family we always had to take extra money, because it was inevitable that William would walk up to someone’s table and take their french fries. If it was a sit-down restaurant he would start fussing and whining as soon as we sat down. He didn’t understand why the food wasn’t there. Eventually we stopped going out.

There were so many things that we couldn’t do. Go to church together. Sit and watch our younger son’s soccer game together. Attend birthday parties.

All of our plans were subject to William’s mood, whether or not staff was available and whether we could afford to cover them.

All of this was complicated by something else. Army life.

Life with William was hard. Lots of time, lots of hospitals and therapists. Not enough time for each other or our other kids. Constant worry that we weren’t doing enough to help William deal with his challenges, weren’t giving him enough.

But we had love, and we always found ways to laugh. Many days our life was good, and when it was we would smile. Because although life was challenging it was what we knew.

Continued

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 13 Learning to be a Father by Letting Go ofwmjehall.com . T hree years and 31 days ago, I made a decision that I swore I would never make. I dropped my firstborn son off at a state run program in a mental hospital, admitting to him and to the world that our family was no longer the best place for him, and that someone else was better equipped to meet his needs than my wife and I. I institutionalized my son. William was always special. He was born on New Year’s Eve 1998, our second child, our first boy. He had big blue eyes and blonde hair. He was a big, round ball of chubby cuteness. By the time he was 9 months old, he hadn’t started babbling yet. He liked being in his swing. Really liked it. A lot. He wanted to swing all the time. Hours at a time. The motor burned out. He loved his pacifier and would not sleep without it. By the time he had his one year checkup, Barbara was concerned enough about his development to ask the pediatrician about it. It’s all good, the doc said. Boys are different than girls. Rates of development differ. Nothing to worry about. Barbara said, yep. I know all that. But something isn’t right. She got up and left the office. A few days later she was at another appointment and saw a flyer on the wall. The poster was for Project Child Find, which was offering a free screening for kids like William. Kids who were different. William would get a screening, and by the time he was 18 months old he had attended his first therapy sessions for what was being described as sensory integration and pervasive developmental disorder. Disorder. It hurt to hear. The first time we would hear that William wasn’t just different, he was abnormal. Wrong. At least that is how I heard it. As he got older, there were more therapy sessions, and groups, and talks with doctors. When he was 2 ½ , he was in a group with 4 other kids. The group met with their therapist in a special room at Womack Army Medical Center (we lived on Fort Bragg). The other kids in the group were like William. They didn’t make eye contact. They flopped and flapped. They became agitated if one of their toys was taken. We began talking to the other parents who joined us in observing the group behind the two way mirror. It was a conversation that special needs parents will recognize. You see, not unlike elementary kids comparing Pokemon or middle schools boys talking football teams or high school kids talking about whatever the hell it is they talk about, we special needs parents compare diagnoses. “Is that your son?” “Yep, red shirt. Your daughter?” “Yes. Pink boots. What’s your son’s diagnosis?” “PDD and sensory integration. Yours?” “Autism.” We asked another parent. Then another. Then another. Autism. ASD. Autism. Of course, that was not something we had to worry about. The therapist had told us that William didn’t have autism. He was just in this group because he had a “commonality of challenges.” He wasn’t autistic. I mean, I had seen Rainman. William couldn’t or wouldn’t talk, much less do amazing math tricks. Daphne, the group leader, had clearly seen parental denial before. She was very patient. She had a suggestion. I have something I would like for you to fill out she said. It is called CARS   —   the childhood autism rating scale. Fill it out, and we’ll talk about it. When we got home, we filled out the form. You could almost hear the ominous movie music playing in the background as we marked 4 after 3 after 4. We looked at one another, coming to the same conclusion at the same time. William’s got autism. And we have a lot to learn. Fast forward a few years. We are world class autism experts. We became ace advocates. William was the first pre-K student with special needs at Fort Bragg to get a full day program WITH a one- on-one aide written into his IFSP. By school age he moved into a self-contained classroom and had amazing teachers and therapists. But our life was ruled by autism. William didn’t sleep. He didn’t talk. He wouldn’t potty train. When we went to McDonald’s as a family we always had to take extra money, because it was inevitable that William would walk up to someone’s table and take their french fries. If it was a sit-down restaurant he would start fussing and whining as soon as we sat down. He didn’t understand why the food wasn’t there. Eventually we stopped going out. There were so many things that we couldn’t do. Go to church together. Sit and watch our younger son’s soccer game together. Attend birthday parties. All of our plans were subject to William’s mood, whether or not staff was available and whether we could afford to cover them. All of this was complicated by something else. Army life. Life with William was hard. Lots of time, lots of hospitals and therapists. Not enough time for each other or our other kids. Constant worry that we weren’t doing enough to help William deal with his challenges, weren’t giving him enough. But we had love, and we always found ways to laugh. Many days our life was good, and when it was we would smile. Because although life was challenging it was what we knew. Continued 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-12-65" src="pdf-obj-12-65.jpg">

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 14 Learning to be a Father by Letting Go ofhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HR7qo3S_57o#t=66 As the video came to an end I was close to tears. There he was. My baby boy. Struggling to make sense of a life impacted by a differently wired brain and not understanding where I was, or why I was there. I wasn’t even sure that I knew anymore. And I heard him in my mind. Daddddaaaaddddddaaaa. “What do you think?” The question jarred me back to reality. “I am not sure I understand your question, sir.” I had a lot of experience dealing with senior officers. I was not used to personal questions from them. “What exactly are you asking me?” “What do you think about what you saw?” “I think that it was hard to watch, and I wish I was at home sir.” “You have a stellar record. What do you want to do?” Continued 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-13-2" src="pdf-obj-13-2.jpg">
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 14 Learning to be a Father by Letting Go ofhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HR7qo3S_57o#t=66 As the video came to an end I was close to tears. There he was. My baby boy. Struggling to make sense of a life impacted by a differently wired brain and not understanding where I was, or why I was there. I wasn’t even sure that I knew anymore. And I heard him in my mind. Daddddaaaaddddddaaaa. “What do you think?” The question jarred me back to reality. “I am not sure I understand your question, sir.” I had a lot of experience dealing with senior officers. I was not used to personal questions from them. “What exactly are you asking me?” “What do you think about what you saw?” “I think that it was hard to watch, and I wish I was at home sir.” “You have a stellar record. What do you want to do?” Continued 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-13-4" src="pdf-obj-13-4.jpg">

NEWS FROM THE NEST!

PAGE 14

Learning to be a Father by Letting Go of my Son, Continued

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 14 Learning to be a Father by Letting Go ofhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HR7qo3S_57o#t=66 As the video came to an end I was close to tears. There he was. My baby boy. Struggling to make sense of a life impacted by a differently wired brain and not understanding where I was, or why I was there. I wasn’t even sure that I knew anymore. And I heard him in my mind. Daddddaaaaddddddaaaa. “What do you think?” The question jarred me back to reality. “I am not sure I understand your question, sir.” I had a lot of experience dealing with senior officers. I was not used to personal questions from them. “What exactly are you asking me?” “What do you think about what you saw?” “I think that it was hard to watch, and I wish I was at home sir.” “You have a stellar record. What do you want to do?” Continued " id="pdf-obj-13-17" src="pdf-obj-13-17.jpg">

And when William smiles it can melt your heart and light the room.

But William got really worked up when it was time for me to go. When he saw the bags come out for another one of dad’s deployments the tantrums would start. You could see the anger and frustration build. I would pack and worry and wonder what would happen when I was gone. I would head off to combat and Barbara and the other kids would prepare for their own kind of war. We would purposely leave room on William’s medications so that when

  • I deployed we could increase his meds. We would try to make sure

that we had staff lined up, that teachers were told when I would be

leaving. We would talk to the kids, and prepare them. We tried to explain, and tried even harder to understand, that William was already dealing with things that made him feel overwhelmed. He was bombarded with lights and noises and textures that made just functioning day-to-day a challenge. His brain couldn’t make words to express what he felt on the inside and his feelings could only be expressed physically.

When we were all together he could sense that the world was difficult but somehow right, and that he was loved and supported. But we weren’t all together. Because I had to leave. Afghanistan. Iraq. Uzbekistan. South Korea. Even 6 months in New Jersey. “Garden State” my ass. I was gone all the time. From 9-11 until I left the military in 2007 I was home for 20 months. While I was gone playing Army games, at home all hell would break loose. William would be easily angered, and physically lash out at whomever was nearby. He bit and banged his head and destroyed furniture. We still hesitate to buy nice things.

In 2007, it was time to leave again. I was part of a team that would be training the Iraqi army. I had to attend 7 months of training at Fort Riley, Kansas before I deployed for 18 months. Two years away from home. It started like it always did. The bags. The fussing. The fear. But it wouldn’t end that way.

  • I had just arrived back at the barracks at Fort Riley from a day of training. My cell phone buzzed. It was Barbara, calling from home.

“Hey babe. What’s up?” “Same old. I just wanted to give you a heads up.” “About what?” “I made a video.”

“Of what? or do I want to know?” (My attempt at cuteness. I am charming.)

“Ha ha.” (This isn’t a laugh. She actually said ha ha. She is immune to my charm). “It was of Willie. Having a meltdown.”

“Okay. What did you do that for?”

“To get people’s attention.” (Her statement felt heavy. Like she really, really meant it this time.)

“What people Barb?”

“I sent it to the Governor, all of our representatives, the Senate Armed Services Committee and your chain of command from battalion all the way up to theater commander.”

“You did what now?”

Before she could answer my phone buzzed again. My team leader. I clicked over. Meet me at the battalion commander’s office. He said we have to talk now. Do you have any idea what this is about? I might, I said. Well meet me there now. I clicked back over. I gotta go. Shit just got real.

We walked into the battalion commander’s office. We had been there lots of times, mostly just hanging out. I walked in and made a beeline for his couch, my favorite spot.

“Don’t get comfortable. We are going to see General Ham.” (Major General Ham was Division Commander and would, in a few years time, be in charge of all American ground forces in Afghanistan.)

We loaded into his Humvee and headed to Division headquarters. We went to General Ham’s office and were escorted into his conference room by his aide. General Ham was seated at his table with his assistant Division Commander.

“SFC Hall, welcome. Come on in. Have a seat. Do you know why you are here?”

“I have an idea, but I am not completely sure sir.”

“I got a package in the mail today. It was from your wife. You know what was in it?”

“A video.”

“That’s right. A really powerful video. Very moving. Have you seen it?” “No sir. I only heard of its’ existence about 20 minutes ago.” “I see. Could we cue up that video please?” His aide dimmed the lights and pulled down the video screen. The computer flickered and the video came up:

As the video came to an end I was close to tears. There he was. My baby boy. Struggling to make sense of a life impacted by a differently wired brain and not understanding where I was, or why I was there. I wasn’t even sure that I knew anymore. And I heard him in my mind. Daddddaaaaddddddaaaa. “What do you think?” The question jarred me back to reality. “I am not sure I understand your question, sir.” I had a lot of experience dealing with senior officers. I was not used to personal questions from them. “What exactly are you asking me?” “What do you think about what you saw?” “I think that it was hard to watch, and I wish I was at home sir.” “You have a stellar record. What do you want to do?”

Continued

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NEWS FROM THE NEST!

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Learning to be a Father by Letting Go of my Son, Continued

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 15 Learning to be a Father by Letting Go of

“Again, sir, I am not sure I understand the question.” What the hell? What is this crazy old coot getting at? What does he mean what do I want? No one has ever asked me that in 12 years of active duty. “What exactly do you mean? Sir?”

“What would you say if I told you that I could get you out of the Army in a week?”

“I would say yes. Please.” “That is all I needed to hear SFC Hall.”

It took a little longer than a week. It took three. And a trip back to Fort Bragg.

But 19 days later I went from Fort Riley, Kansas preparing to go back to war for the third time to a rental house on the north side of Fayetteville, learning how to be a stay-at-home dad.

By mid-2010 we were nearing the end of our rope. We had spent over a decade with William, meeting every need and foregoing every small sanity taken for granted by most parents. Sleep. Family outings. Furniture that didn’t need steel reinforcement.

We had been to IEP meetings and case management meetings. We had discussed Williams strengths (he can be a very loving child, a charmer with a great smile, and he is very smart!) and his weaknesses (when he gets upset he will beat your ass like you stole something and ran from the cops).

We were free from the constant worry and stress of life in the military. But William was never, IS never, free from the prison that autism has created in his mind.

We heard about a program. Partners in Autism Treatment and Habilitation at Murdoch Developmental Center in Butner, NC. A state run program that was specifically designed to give kids like William the support, structure and care that they needed to thrive. A state run mental hospital. An institution.

No matter how bad things got with William, I always swore we would never institutionalize him. No way some government agency knew better than we did. No way I would warehouse my kid in some foundling home out of Dickens. We would care for our boy. We were his parents, for God’s sake! Who knew better than us how to care for our boy? How to love him?

Of course, I had on some Ray-Ban quality rose colored glasses. I hadn’t been at home when William was at his worst. I hadn’t been bit, been scratched, been hit with balled up fists of rage wielded by a boy who was already 5-2 and 140 at 11 years old and got bigger every day. It was easy for me to say no institution was necessary.

Barb’s bruises said something different.

We learned more about PATH. We talked to other parents that had made this impossible decision. We filled out the application, at first expecting that William would do a 90 day respite placement. When we were told he was a good candidate for the regular, two year program we amended our application. We needed help.

It took a few months and a lot of paperwork, but William was admitted to PATH in October 2010. His “move-in” day was 1 November 2010.

We drove to Butner and explained to William and our other 3 children what was happening. William was going to autism college, we told them. A special place that existed to meet his needs and care for him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In ways that we couldn’t. A full time nurse and behaviorist and dietitian. School in house. On site case manager. Therapists interacting all day, every day. Trained people always on call, always there. Always rested. Always prepared. Always energetic.

William’s younger brother wasn’t convinced. “Autism college? Sounds like autism jail.”

But we persisted. Despite the doubts of the neurotypical children. Despite our own misgivings.

Maybe it was desperation that drove our decision. Maybe it was fatigue. But when we had our first visit with William 6 weeks later (they had asked that we give him time to adjust), all our fears evaporated.

William was smiling. Happy. He looked healthy, rested. He had lost weight, and gotten taller. The combined effect was that our baby had grown into a young man over night. He even had a little peach fuzz.

After a year at PATH, 4 psychotropic medications had been reduced to one. Clonidine, the first medicine that William had gone on and the only way we had to know he would sleep had been the first medicine eliminated. He went to sleep on his own every night by 9pm, and slept until 6am, when his daily routine started.

He was paying attention to tasks in school. He had reduced his angry outbursts. He hadn’t bitten anyone since the day he arrived. His life was scheduled in 15 minute increments. He knew when dinner was, when school was, when therapy was. He was expected to set the table, fold his clothes, and wash his own body. By a year he was potty trained.

As William grew, so did we. We had dinners out. Played family games. Had nights where we sat downstairs together and watched “The Amazing Race” and made s’mores in the fireplace and talked and laughed and were a family. We weren’t constantly listening for the back door to hear if William had snuck out. We weren’t waiting for him to get mad or wake up or need attention. We just were.

He was happy. We were learning. We all adjusted. Everything changed. Everything.

William lives in a group home in Statesville, NC now. It is a beautiful house in a quiet neighborhood with a big backyard, a trampoline, a basketball hoop and an industrial strength swing set. He has his own room with a flat screen TV (thanks Nana!), DVD player and cable.

Continued

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NEWS FROM THE NEST !

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Learning to be a Father by Letting Go of my Son, Continued

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His day is still broken into 15 minute increments. He lives with 5 other young men, including one that was at PATH when he was. He misses us, I know, but he loves his friends and loves his house. If he had his way, we would live at his new home with him. All of the structure, all of the security, the world revolving around his needs. But with his family as a nice distraction.

We see him every couple of weeks, and every month or so he comes home, back to Chapel Hill, for an overnight visit. He gets to eat cereal, drink soda, stay up late and generally break all of the rules he has to follow at his group home. We get to let him.

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He is happy to be at home. For about 24 hours. Then he wants to go back to Statesville. He brings us his backpack and leads us to the door. I need the structure he seems to say. I need a life that meets MY needs. Take me home.

We pack up and we take him home.

When we leave there is silence in the car. We are all sad. Our 6 piece band is missing its most unique and different piece. The part that makes us, us.

But we know that William is happy. And that we have done what is best for him and for our family.

The tears are dry by Greensboro. And by Burlington the jokes are flying and the putdowns are stinging and the parents are begging people to stop cussing “just a little. I mean damn.”

We are a family in two places. Six people. One heart.

And no matter what happens, or where he is, we know that we will always do whatever it takes to make Willie smile.

**************

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NEWS FROM THE NEST !

A Marriage on the Spectrum

By Bess Clark

PAGE 17

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Part 1: A Dream Deferred

'm angry at myself. I'm angry at how much I've struggled to turn all of this frustration, loneliness, bitterness, guilt, and

  • I heartache into something that has a point. Write what you know? Absolutely. But for me, it's not about whether or not I know these feelings like the back of my hand—backwards and forwards, upside down and right side up. It’s about where to begin. How to begin. It’s about crafting a piece of writing that portrays my experiences in a marriage on the spectrum without

burning every reader many times over. It’s about satisfying a deeply personal need to be validated while simultaneously being

politically correct and fair to everyone. That’s where I am right now; it has taken me 16 years of marriage, three children, and

many a sleepless night to get here. And so I will begin in medias res; beginning any place else just wouldn’t make sense to me.

Dr. Reed asked us both why we wanted a diagnosis. Ryan turned and looked at me with wide eyes. I looked back. There was

awkward silence. I guess I’ll go first, I remember thinking. Going first was just what I did. Not because I wanted to go first, but

because I had to if anything was ever to be done.

Ryan’s extremely passive personality had ironically been one of the things I found rather adorable about him when we first met

24 years ago. But it had become anything but endearing to me. Like a seemingly benign substance building to toxic levels in the

bloodstream, Ryan’s indifference about life was silently poisoning our relationship. It was turning me into the heavy, the

decision-maker, the strict mother with unreasonable expectations. His strict mother. This is not what I had signed up for on that

beach in Jamaica when we took our wedding vows. Not at all. I was his wife, for God’s sake. His partner. For better or for worse,

yes. But we were partners. We were going to journey through life side-by-side—holding hands and finishing each other’s

sentences. When he wanted to play a song he’d written for me on his guitar, I would be there, blushing. When I wanted to show

him a new chemise I’d bought, he would be there, blushing. We were going to learn how to manage a new home in the country

with a big yard and a vegetable garden. Ryan would be so proud of me for leaving my career in education and turning down a

graduate scholarship to become a stay-at-home mother. He would know how I had agonized over the decision because it was who

  • I was. He’d sense it. He would just know. He could see it on my face and hear it in my voice.

We would fill that home with children—laughing and crying together as we morphed into good parents. No, great parents. We

would learn to assemble bicycles ever so quietly late into the night on Christmas Eve while the children slept, perhaps sharing a

kiss or two in the process. We would paint rooms, build clubhouses, take the children to see the mountains for the first time, and

spend hours wandering around the mall looking for Hello Kitty slippers because one of our girls wanted them for her birthday.

When a string of rainy days dragged us down, I had faith that Ryan would pluck me out of my funk and take me out to dinner or

surprise me with a little trinket symbolic of some inside joke just the two of us had shared.

And when I was scared, Ryan would be there to hold me. When I felt alone, he would only have to walk into the room to make it

all better. When I felt self-conscious about my stretch marks, he would say he loved me no matter what scars I’d acquired—and

mean it with every fiber of his being. When I was grieving, Ryan would grieve, too, and smother me with words of hope, of

strength, and of comfort. Or maybe he would just grieve alongside me, saying everything he needed to say without saying a word

at all. That was my dream. That was my dream deferred.

  • I knew why I wanted a diagnosis, and I had already shared those reasons with Ryan in conversations we’d had prior to this

session. I needed a framework for understanding all of these years of, well, things just not adding up. Just not seeming right.

Promises that seemed sincere but couldn’t be kept. Lessons that seemed to be learned but couldn’t be applied. Love that seemed

to be strong but couldn’t hold us together. I wanted an answer. Relief from the pain of trying, trying, and trying again to express

myself as clearly, as calmly and as poignantly as I possibly could—only to be met with a look of sheer and utter bewilderment. I

needed to understand what was wrong between us and exactly how we could go about fixing it. If Ryan did have Asperger’s—or

something else—then surely we could—we would—redirect our frustrations with one another into building a beautifully

fulfilling marriage. It was for us. For our family. Right? And after taking a deep breath in and breathing out slowly, that’s exactly

what I told her.

Continued

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NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE A Marriage on the Spectrum, Continued Dr. Reed asked Ryanmarriageonthespectrum@gmail.com . 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-17-2" src="pdf-obj-17-2.jpg">
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE A Marriage on the Spectrum, Continued Dr. Reed asked Ryanmarriageonthespectrum@gmail.com . 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-17-4" src="pdf-obj-17-4.jpg">

NEWS FROM THE NEST !

PAGE 18

A Marriage on the Spectrum, Continued

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE A Marriage on the Spectrum, Continued Dr. Reed asked Ryanmarriageonthespectrum@gmail.com . 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-17-16" src="pdf-obj-17-16.jpg">

Dr. Reed asked Ryan if he understood what I’d just explained. He nodded like he had correctly answered a moderately difficult

trivia question. Then it was his turn. I honestly don’t remember his exact words, but they were something along the lines of

hoping that a diagnosis would help me—his wife—come to terms with some things in my life. There was a pause. That wide

eyed look in my direction again. Then the awkward silence, broken by his voice continuing on. He wanted to work on our

marriage, to learn how to get along better and communicate better. Sounded good. That was a desire not unlike what I had just

expressed. But there was something about the way he said those last few words that made me wonder if he truly understood the

depth and breadth of work that would have to be done in order to dig ourselves out of this hole we were in. The psychologist

was on the verge of delivering some life-changing news to us. Did he feel the urgency to grab up whatever insights or

diagnoses Dr. Reed would share and fight for us? Could he? And for that matter, could I?

It wasn’t until a scheduled session the following week that we received the Aspergers Syndrome diagnosis from Dr. Reed. In

that moment, I felt weightless—untethered for the first time in months, maybe even years. I’ll never forget it. It was an answer.

The details could be sorted out later. We could get through this. We had an answer. Sitting on the couch in the therapist’s office

beside Ryan, clutching a burgundy pillow and staring into Dr. Reed’s brown eyes—that’s how it ended. That chapter of my life

that had begun with dreams of shared souls, limitless growth, and deep, spiritual connections. Little did I know that in the

months to come, the next chapter to unfold would be riddled with some of the most agonizing decisions and personal

discoveries I would perhaps ever make.

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore--

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over—

like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

~ Langston Hughes

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE A Marriage on the Spectrum, Continued Dr. Reed asked Ryanmarriageonthespectrum@gmail.com . 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-17-90" src="pdf-obj-17-90.jpg">

Bess is a mother to 3 beautiful daughters and wife to her husband of 16 years, who was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome in 2013. She plans on utilizing this column as a source to write about her feelings and experiences, as well as a resource and a place for others to reach out who might find themselves in a similar situation. You can contact her at marriageonthespectrum@gmail.com.

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NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 19 Confessions of an Autism Mom
NEWS FROM THE NEST !
PAGE 19
Confessions of an Autism Mom
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TRYING TO FIND THE POSITIVES AT THE LOWER END OF THE SPECTRUM

By Robin Green

“H igh-functioning”…”low-functioning.” These terms are frequently

used when discussing people with autism and other disabilities. When meeting other parents of autistic children or adults, we often ask each other, “Is your child high functioning or low functioning?” While obviously relative terms, high functioning

Robin Green, 3IJF Board of Directors & Fundraising Committee

would seem like the preferred designation or the better category in which to be. I am actually not so sure. My son would probably fall into the low-functioning category. He requires supervision for most things in his life and is only minimally verbal. He wouldn’t even come close to functioning in a mainstream classroom or to forming a real friendship. He recently turned 20 and happily watches videos or DVDs that would fall into the pre-school or kindergarten level. But that’s where the bad news ends. He has almost no stress in his life, with a few exceptions like going to the dentist or certain sounds that bother him. He has no understanding of malice, being teased or mundane concerns like making the rent or applying to college. If his basic needs are met – plenty of food, videos to watch, shelter and a short list of others – he is probably the happiest, most content person I know. I’d even call him gleeful. He does not worry, feel slighted or experience depression. His world is a truly happy place that we would all be lucky to inhabit. Switching gears to those high-functioning folks. From what I have witnessed and gathered from speaking with their family members, their lives can go quite differently. Many experience severe depression, are acutely aware of being bullied or teased, long for friendships they cannot successfully achieve and feel quite lonely. School is often a scary and frustrating place. They do worry and often suffer from long-term anxiety. Parents of these children or adults suffer with them. While life with my son has its share of difficulties and isolating aspects, I have come to realize how lucky we are to have a happy young man who makes his way into the hearts of everyone who knows him. We have to hope that this will serve him well as he begins his adult life and ultimately, down the road, has to function without us. We can only hope!

Robin has been the parent of a son with autism for the better part of two decades. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, and was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She worked in the Public Relations industry for Daniel J. Edelman, Inc. and Manning, Selvage and Lee, two large New York City agencies, and has also done freelance writing. She and her husband David are the parents of Corey, age 20, and Andrea, age 23. Robin is also an avid tennis player and can be found out on the tennis courts de-stressing as much as possible.

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NEWS FROM THE NEST !

PAGE 20

Chef Steve’s Favorite Farm to Fork Recipes

CELEBRATING A TASTE OF IRELAND

By Steve Mesa

R

ecently, 3 Irish Jewel’s founder and president, Erin, started a spirited

Internet debate with her Irish relatives about which dish best

exemplifies Irish cooking. Suffice to say, corned beef was not a

Steve Mesa, 3IJF Board of Directors & Professional Chef

popular choice. As I am of the ethnic background that finds itself to be Irish

only one day a year, I’ll make my kids suffer with the usual (actually, they love

corned beef), but for those that want to try something new this St Patrick’s Day,

the following recipe is totally delicious and should pass muster with the O’Loughlin clan. It’ll make a great side dish, as well.

I first discovered colcannon a number of years ago, and I just loved it. As a typically restless chef, though, once I had made the

basic recipe a few times, I started to add my own touches. A very noteworthy version I made one day featured grilled radicchio

and anchovies. That one set a few people’s hair on fire, and it remains one of my favorite improvisations. Don’t worry, though,

the recipe below is pretty traditional.

One of the cool things about this dish is that you can vary the greens

you use based on the season. If you can get to a local farmer’s

market, find a cabbage from early Spring.

Spring Greens and Potato Colcannon

Serves 4

 

2

lbs

Russet potatoes

½ lb

Cabbage

4

ea

Scallions, chopped finely

3

cloves Garlic, chopped finely

2

tsp

Olive oil

6

oz

Milk

4

Tbs

Butter

Salt and White Pepper to taste

Chop the cabbage and cook it in boiling salted water until

tender. Drain and chop very finely.

Peel and cut the potatoes into large chunks. Start them in a pot of cold salted

water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook them until they

are soft (about 19 minutes). Drain immediately.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat, and sauté the onion

until just tender (about two minutes). Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds. Add the cabbage and

cook for one minute more. Turn off the heat and keep the mixture warm.

In a large pot, heat the milk and butter together, add the potatoes and mash them until the mixture is smooth. Don’t use a ricer or

food processor for this step. Your muscle power will be amply rewarded not only with great colcannon but also with toned arms.

Stir in the cabbage and season well with salt and white pepper. Careful with white pepper, as it’s easy to overseason with it.

**********

A native of Northern California, Steve has a degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. He worked as a professional chef on the West Coast before moving to the Raleigh area. He has two children - a 9 year-old daughter and a 7 year-old son with autism.

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NEWS FROM THE NEST! PAGE 21 The Freckled Gardener CULTIVATING SOIL & SOUL IN THE HEART
NEWS FROM THE NEST!
PAGE 21
The Freckled Gardener
CULTIVATING SOIL & SOUL IN THE HEART
OF NORTH CAROLINA (USDA ZONE 7B)
Nancy
Butterfield,
By Nancy Butterfield
3IJF Board
of Directors
& Recording
A new feature of The Freckled Gardener column is
Secretary
debuting in this spring column—a one-on-one
Q&A with local plant gurus committed to sustainable
gardening in North Carolina. Join me as I welcome our first
guest - Wake County artist, writer, and Master Gardener
Carol Stein. Carol is an absolute delight, and I am honored to
be able to share with you a peek into her life.
What are some of the influences that have helped to shape

Carol, please help our audience get to know how fabulous

you are by sharing with us your background as a Master

Gardener, writer, artist, and lecturer.

I became a master gardener because of my struggle to adapt

from a Midwestern gardener to gardening in the South. And,

as my volunteer job as a tour guide at the St. Louis Zoo had

opened some doors for me (chief among them learning the art

of public speaking which gave me the courage to accept a job

teaching college level computer graphics classes), I thought

master gardener classes might do the same. After 15 years

and over 2500 volunteer hours as a Wake County Master

Gardener Volunteer, I was so full of experience and factoids it

spilled over into my personal life. I co-owned a gardening

school with people I met through gardening, and they

encouraged me to submit stories I’d written about learning

Southern gardening to the N&O’s Home & Garden editor, and

I’ve written for the N&O for the past 16 years.

First with a monthly column “Transplants” and after my third

editor declared me a Southern gardening maven, she asked

me to switch to writing about other gardeners and their

gardens in “The Grapevine.”

While attending a book signing at Quail Ridge Books where

Debbie Moose was autographing her essay in “Cornbread

Nation,” I suggested that we collaborate sometime.

Apparently, she was interested because she emailed me a few

months later saying she’d pitched my idea to our mutual

editor, and “The Tasteful Garden” was born. I don’t

remember a time when I was not an artist, but it took

“Tasteful” to also turn me into a professional photographer,

styling and photographing Debbie’s recipes or finding

photogenic plants to illustrate the column. That was as much

fun as the writing.

Describe Carol Stein in 10 words or less.

I’m driven daily to create something original or unique.

you into the person you are today?

Everyone I’ve ever met, everything I’ve ever read, every

place I’ve ever been. Oh, and a 25-year membership at the

Missouri Botanical Garden (MOBOGA) and the legions of

gardeners I’ve written about including the designers of the

Master Plan for the JC Raulston Arboretum which I’ve

supported as a member since I moved to NC in 1992.

The 3 Irish Jewels Farm logo is built around the favorite

bird of our founder, Erin O’Loughlin. Basically, we cannot

get enough of bluebirds. For those of us trying desperately

to lure bluebirds to our yards and keep them coming back

year after year, what advice do you have?

Provide a chemical-free environment, solid bluebird boxes,

water sources and landscape plants that may provide winter

food and/or shelter. Come to Carol Stein’s Gardeners Forums

on bluebirds for free instructions and a list of those plants.

Sharing experiences with other bluebirders is a key to

success. Join the Bluebirders of Wake County and/or the

North Carolina Bluebird Society.

Describe a time when you went overboard in an attempt to

rid your garden of a critter or disease—or human, for that

matter.

I cut down a mature silver maple tree that attracted wooly

aphids every spring. The aphids were banished forever and I

replaced the silver maple with a gorgeous red maple I love far

more.

Horticultural therapy gardens will be a prominent feature of

3 Irish Jewels Farm. What plants, herbs, processes,

principles, or hardscapes would you like to see incorporated

into these gardens? What is it about the garden that speaks

to us in such a special way?

For me gardens feed all the senses so, textures, fragrances,

flavors, the sounds of wildlife or even rustling leaves and

dynamic colors entice people to enter gardens.

Continued

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 22 The Freckled Gardener, Continued In a horticultural therapy gardeny of m y favorite recipes available. www.nelsasgardenhut.com What is your proudest gardening moment thus far, and what would you say has been your most memorable gardening goof or epic fail? Memorable moments are any time someone tells me they took my advice and were happy with the results. An epic fail is never finding the right formula for growing tomatoes in my sandy Panther Branch soil. We used to produce gallons upon gallons of tomato sauce, catsup, and canned tomatoes from the 75 tomato plants we grew every summer in St. Louis. Maybe it’s not so epic a fail, because I did find a way to produce the finest tasting grape tomatoes on the planet when I planted Sungold plants in containers on my back deck. Eight years later, I still have volunteer Sungolds growing every summer where those little jewels self-seeded. The Tomato Man, Craig Lehoullier, introduced me to Sungolds several years ago at the NC State Farmers Market. What books or publications would you choose to put in the basket beside your reading chair? And, so as not to appear antiquated, what web resources would you put in the “virtual” basket beside your reading chair? I don’t have a reading chair. I read in bed. The Botany of Desire is one of my favorite books because it explains how much smarter plants are than humans. Anything about ethno botany and how plants influence humankind worldwide piques my interest. I love Barbara Kingsolver’s books and also enjoy Rosalind Creasey’s books on herbal gardening. She actually sent me one of her beautiful books after I recommended her books to readers. I rely mostly on university-based and Cooperative Extension sites when writing. But it’s really fun to Google topics and seeing who’s out there saying what. After spending so much time hearing profs from NCSU and sharing knowledge with the public, I can still learn a thing or two from amateurs. Carol, you are absolutely full of personality, and one of the highlights of hearing you speak is listening to your stories. Please share a story with us, perhaps one you’ve been dying to tell? I may still be waiting for one to happen that changes everything I’ve learned. But, what I know now, gardening has the power to heal, the power to inspire and the power to turn strangers into friends. I’ve told my story and I’ve told stories about other gardeners who have invited me into their gardens to share their creations. I’ve talked to the best and they all know me as a kindred spirit. For reasons I’ve never quite comprehended, hundreds of wonderful gardeners have trusted me to tell their histories and futures through their gardens. I’m one lucky camper. Continued 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-21-2" src="pdf-obj-21-2.jpg">
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 22 The Freckled Gardener, Continued In a horticultural therapy gardeny of m y favorite recipes available. www.nelsasgardenhut.com What is your proudest gardening moment thus far, and what would you say has been your most memorable gardening goof or epic fail? Memorable moments are any time someone tells me they took my advice and were happy with the results. An epic fail is never finding the right formula for growing tomatoes in my sandy Panther Branch soil. We used to produce gallons upon gallons of tomato sauce, catsup, and canned tomatoes from the 75 tomato plants we grew every summer in St. Louis. Maybe it’s not so epic a fail, because I did find a way to produce the finest tasting grape tomatoes on the planet when I planted Sungold plants in containers on my back deck. Eight years later, I still have volunteer Sungolds growing every summer where those little jewels self-seeded. The Tomato Man, Craig Lehoullier, introduced me to Sungolds several years ago at the NC State Farmers Market. What books or publications would you choose to put in the basket beside your reading chair? And, so as not to appear antiquated, what web resources would you put in the “virtual” basket beside your reading chair? I don’t have a reading chair. I read in bed. The Botany of Desire is one of my favorite books because it explains how much smarter plants are than humans. Anything about ethno botany and how plants influence humankind worldwide piques my interest. I love Barbara Kingsolver’s books and also enjoy Rosalind Creasey’s books on herbal gardening. She actually sent me one of her beautiful books after I recommended her books to readers. I rely mostly on university-based and Cooperative Extension sites when writing. But it’s really fun to Google topics and seeing who’s out there saying what. After spending so much time hearing profs from NCSU and sharing knowledge with the public, I can still learn a thing or two from amateurs. Carol, you are absolutely full of personality, and one of the highlights of hearing you speak is listening to your stories. Please share a story with us, perhaps one you’ve been dying to tell? I may still be waiting for one to happen that changes everything I’ve learned. But, what I know now, gardening has the power to heal, the power to inspire and the power to turn strangers into friends. I’ve told my story and I’ve told stories about other gardeners who have invited me into their gardens to share their creations. I’ve talked to the best and they all know me as a kindred spirit. For reasons I’ve never quite comprehended, hundreds of wonderful gardeners have trusted me to tell their histories and futures through their gardens. I’m one lucky camper. Continued 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-21-4" src="pdf-obj-21-4.jpg">

NEWS FROM THE NEST!

PAGE 22

The Freckled Gardener, Continued

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 22 The Freckled Gardener, Continued In a horticultural therapy gardeny of m y favorite recipes available. www.nelsasgardenhut.com What is your proudest gardening moment thus far, and what would you say has been your most memorable gardening goof or epic fail? Memorable moments are any time someone tells me they took my advice and were happy with the results. An epic fail is never finding the right formula for growing tomatoes in my sandy Panther Branch soil. We used to produce gallons upon gallons of tomato sauce, catsup, and canned tomatoes from the 75 tomato plants we grew every summer in St. Louis. Maybe it’s not so epic a fail, because I did find a way to produce the finest tasting grape tomatoes on the planet when I planted Sungold plants in containers on my back deck. Eight years later, I still have volunteer Sungolds growing every summer where those little jewels self-seeded. The Tomato Man, Craig Lehoullier, introduced me to Sungolds several years ago at the NC State Farmers Market. What books or publications would you choose to put in the basket beside your reading chair? And, so as not to appear antiquated, what web resources would you put in the “virtual” basket beside your reading chair? I don’t have a reading chair. I read in bed. The Botany of Desire is one of my favorite books because it explains how much smarter plants are than humans. Anything about ethno botany and how plants influence humankind worldwide piques my interest. I love Barbara Kingsolver’s books and also enjoy Rosalind Creasey’s books on herbal gardening. She actually sent me one of her beautiful books after I recommended her books to readers. I rely mostly on university-based and Cooperative Extension sites when writing. But it’s really fun to Google topics and seeing who’s out there saying what. After spending so much time hearing profs from NCSU and sharing knowledge with the public, I can still learn a thing or two from amateurs. Carol, you are absolutely full of personality, and one of the highlights of hearing you speak is listening to your stories. Please share a story with us, perhaps one you’ve been dying to tell? I may still be waiting for one to happen that changes everything I’ve learned. But, what I know now, gardening has the power to heal, the power to inspire and the power to turn strangers into friends. I’ve told my story and I’ve told stories about other gardeners who have invited me into their gardens to share their creations. I’ve talked to the best and they all know me as a kindred spirit. For reasons I’ve never quite comprehended, hundreds of wonderful gardeners have trusted me to tell their histories and futures through their gardens. I’m one lucky camper. Continued " id="pdf-obj-21-16" src="pdf-obj-21-16.jpg">

In a horticultural therapy garden for the handicapped at

MOBOGA, they included trickling water, wind chimes,

textured the walls, benches and pathways, encourage

touching the fragrant herbs and employed an overall gentle

ambiance that soothes and relaxes visitors.

Our collective primal memories of learning how to find and

then cultivate edible vegetation, ultimately inventing

agriculture wherever on earth our ancestors resided binds

humanity in the knowledge that without gardens we’d all

have to eat at fast food establishments.

Gardeners know that life lessons abound amidst the

seeding, the weeding, the pruning, and ultimately, the

harvesting. What has the garden taught you about life?

Tomorrow’s another day, and as God is my witness I’ll never

be hungry again. Oh, wait a sec…is that plagiaristic? But, it’s

true enough, so I’ll go with it.

Worms eat Mary Appelhof’s garbage. Worms eat my

garbage. Do worms eat Carol Stein’s garbage?

I do not have a compost pile, bin or bucket currently. But, I

taught my father vermiculture because he’s a fisherman, and

he shares his worm castings with me.

What are some of your current projects (or projects in the

works)—gardening, writing, crafting, teaching,

collaborating?

I’ve had a long career in all those things, and now I’m happy

to let each day tell me what it should become. My favorite

days are walking on the beach, knitting, cooking, writing, and

reading. I think we’ve already covered this, so let’s just say

sometimes I just let a coin toss decide my activity du jour.

Carol Stein grows it. Debbie Moose cooks it. “The Tasteful

Garden” is a monthly column in the News & Observer that

you share with Debbie. What is your favorite Debbie Moose

dish? And Carol Stein is no stranger to the kitchen—where

can we get some of your recipes?

Two recipes immediately come to mind. Collard calzones,

which I adapted as a small bite or finger food for party trays

and a blueberry coffee cake with fresh blueberries, which I

had to stop making because I can’t not eat the whole thing.

The Garden Hut site has many of my favorite recipes

What is your proudest gardening moment thus far, and what

would you say has been your most memorable gardening

goof or epic fail?

Memorable moments are any time someone tells me they

took my advice and were happy with the results. An epic fail

is never finding the right formula for growing tomatoes in my

sandy Panther Branch soil. We used to produce gallons upon

gallons of tomato sauce, catsup, and canned tomatoes from

the 75 tomato plants we grew every summer in St. Louis.

Maybe it’s not so epic a fail, because I did find a way to

produce the finest tasting grape tomatoes on the planet when I

planted Sungold plants in containers on my back deck. Eight

years later, I still have volunteer Sungolds growing every

summer where those little jewels self-seeded. The Tomato

Man, Craig Lehoullier, introduced me to Sungolds several

years ago at the NC State Farmers Market.

What books or publications would you choose to put in the

basket beside your reading chair? And, so as not to appear

antiquated, what web resources would you put in the

“virtual” basket beside your reading chair?

  • I don’t have a reading chair. I read in bed. The Botany of

Desire is one of my favorite books because it explains how

much smarter plants are than humans. Anything about ethno

botany and how plants influence humankind worldwide

piques my interest. I love Barbara Kingsolver’s books and

also enjoy Rosalind Creasey’s books on herbal gardening.

She actually sent me one of her beautiful books after I

recommended her books to readers.

  • I rely mostly on university-based and Cooperative Extension

sites when writing. But it’s really fun to Google topics and

seeing who’s out there saying what. After spending so much

time hearing profs from NCSU and sharing knowledge with

the public, I can still learn a thing or two from amateurs.

Carol, you are absolutely full of personality, and one of the

highlights of hearing you speak is listening to your stories.

Please share a story with us, perhaps one you’ve been dying

to tell?

  • I may still be waiting for one to happen that changes

everything I’ve learned. But, what I know now, gardening has

the power to heal, the power to inspire and the power to turn

strangers into friends.

I’ve told my story and I’ve told stories about other gardeners

who have invited me into their gardens to share their

creations. I’ve talked to the best and they all know me as a

kindred spirit. For reasons I’ve never quite comprehended,

hundreds of wonderful gardeners have trusted me to tell their

histories and futures through their gardens. I’m one lucky

camper.

Continued

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST! PAGE 23 The Freckled Gardener Continued Mexican Mint Marigold planted as awww.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-22-2" src="pdf-obj-22-2.jpg">
NEWS FROM THE NEST! PAGE 23 The Freckled Gardener Continued Mexican Mint Marigold planted as a
NEWS FROM THE NEST!
PAGE 23
The Freckled Gardener
Continued
Mexican Mint
Marigold
planted as a
You are an active presence in our community. Where can
companion next
our readers get more Carol Stein?
to Butterstick
Squash.
Sorry, but my only public presence lately has been my forums
at The Garden Hut and a few special speaking engagements
(Nancy)...
for garden clubs and societies.
One of my favorite organic gardening practices—using
companion plants in the kitchen garden to attract beneficial

I’m winding down my public life in favor of my private

pursuits—painting, sculpting, writing for my own pleasure

and spending more time with my family.

Many of my past columns can be found in the N&O’s

archives online.

Speed Round!

Most detested garden pest? Bradford Pear trees and people

who chop the tops off of Crepe Myrtle trees.

Most beloved beneficial insect? Our precious honeybees.

Favorite all-purpose organic fertilizer? Poultry litter.

Favorite tomato variety? Sungold grape toms for obvious

reasons.

Hardest working kitchen garden companion

plant? Rosemary, thyme, basil, lavender, oregano. Pick one?

Basil. No, lavender. Wait, it’s rosemary. Well, you get the

idea.

Favorite Southern pass-along plant? Lamb’s Ear will grow

anywhere and honeybees love the flowers.

Favorite compost ingredient? Red wiggler worms.

Garden tool you cannot live without (in addition to the

Corona pruners you adore)? The garden scoop (a spoon

shaped bowl with serrated edges on a short handle).

Best thing about gardening in North Carolina? It’s never a

done deal, and readjusting is always an adventure.

Most common gardening questions you are asked? What

does provide one inch of water a week mean? Answer: Get a

rain gauge and measure how much rain falls, then either don’t

water the garden/grass/vegetables that week, or irrigate. If

using irrigation, measure with timers. Using a sprinkler, set

out empty tuna cans in the area and when they are full of

water, you’ve applied an inch to that area.

***********

insects and scare off nasty ones—is discussed in beautiful

detail in Sally Jean Cunningham’s book Great Garden

Companions. I have enjoyed many a morn wandering around

with a magnifying glass looking for ladybugs, praying

mantids, or delicate lacewings among my summer vegetables.

I once believed that if I had designated a bed for, say,

tomatoes, then you only grow tomatoes in that bed—nothing

else. But now, I challenge myself to fill just about every

square inch of soil in any given bed with something useful.

In the photo above, I added one ‘Mexican Mint’ marigold

(Mexican tarragon) plant to the end of my semi-bush

‘Butterstick’ squash bed a few summers ago. You will be

surprised not only by how many “good guys” will set up shop

defending your prized veggies, but also by how cheerful your

garden will look interplanted with colorful flowers, fragrant

herbs, and sprawling groundcovers. If you’ve never tried

companion planting before, make 2014 the year to give it a

try—even if it’s just in a container on your porch or deck.

I’ve enjoyed success with several combinations featured

below. In the photo below, German chamomile blooms in my

kitchen garden among the green bell peppers. If you look

closely, you can even see a honey bee feasting.

Nasturtium leaves and blossoms are both colorful and edible -

and can be tossed into green salads for a peppery kick akin to

a radish. They come in a variety of jewel tones including red,

gold, and orange. Some even have variegated leaves.

Calendulas (pot marigolds) are members of the Aster family

and are related to chrysanthemums and daisies. I adore

heirloom varieties, and start flats of them from seed indoors.

They come in varying shades of orange and yellow.

Tried and True Companion Planting Combinations

summer squash + nasturtiums + ‘Lemon Gem’ marigolds

tomatoes + borage + purple basil

sweet onions + pansies + violas + lettuces

cucumbers + nasturtiums

bell peppers + ganzanias + German chamomile

NEWS FROM THE NEST! PAGE 23 The Freckled Gardener Continued Mexican Mint Marigold planted as awww.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-22-180" src="pdf-obj-22-180.jpg">

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 24 The Freckled Gardener, Continued Sweet alyssum is a delicateNancy’s Carolina Kitchen Garden, chronicles her adventures in her yard and potager. You can contact her at thefreckledgardener@gmail.com and Follow her on Twitter @FreckledGardenr. 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-23-2" src="pdf-obj-23-2.jpg">
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 24 The Freckled Gardener, Continued Sweet alyssum is a delicateNancy’s Carolina Kitchen Garden, chronicles her adventures in her yard and potager. You can contact her at thefreckledgardener@gmail.com and Follow her on Twitter @FreckledGardenr. 3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-23-4" src="pdf-obj-23-4.jpg">

NEWS FROM THE NEST!

PAGE 24

The Freckled Gardener, Continued

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 24 The Freckled Gardener, Continued Sweet alyssum is a delicateNancy’s Carolina Kitchen Garden, chronicles her adventures in her yard and potager. You can contact her at thefreckledgardener@gmail.com and Follow her on Twitter @FreckledGardenr. " id="pdf-obj-23-16" src="pdf-obj-23-16.jpg">

Sweet alyssum is a delicate groundcover with honey-scented

white flowers. Sprinkle the seeds on top of soil underneath

tomatoes or cucumbers.

Cosmos and zinnias can be seeded throughout the garden.

The ‘White Sensation’ variety of cosmos is very attractive to

beneficials.

Black-eyed Susans and Bachelor’s buttons are both members

of the Aster family and are great for the kitchen garden

border.

March

Direct-sow cool season crops this month—Swiss

chard, carrots, beets, leaf lettuces, radishes.

Set out transplants of onions, broccoli, cabbage, and

collards. Have fun with seed potatoes. Grow them in

containers with the children! I mean, really. Who

doesn’t love digging potatoes?

Rosemary, chive, and thyme transplants can be

added to the garden now.

Saturday, March 22. 11:00 a.m. The Garden Hut.

Fuquay-Varina, NC

Carol Stein's Gardeners Forum: Vegetable

Gardening

Slash your food budget by learning to grow your

own seasonal vegetables. $10 registration fee

includes some starter plants, and potting soil for

container gardeners or organic compost for in-

ground gardeners with a bonus dollop of organic

fertilizer. 919.552.0590.

April

Thin crowded carrots, chard, and lettuce seedlings.

Mulch around cool season crops to keep roots cool

and the surrounding soil moist.

Select azaleas for your yard now while they’re in

bloom so that you can color-coordinate in the

landscape.

The seasoned Southern gardeners I grew up

admiring always put summer vegetables into the

ground on Good Friday. That’s just what you did.

Good Friday was the safe bet for the commencement

date of the frost-free growing season in the North

Carolina coastal plain. This year, Good Friday is

April 18. And just so you know, the average last

frost date for Wake County is April 1—give or take

10 days. I am hoping the month of April behaves for

 

us gardeners.

Saturday, April 26. 11:00 a.m. The Garden Hut.

Fuquay-Varina, NC

Fairy Gardening

Fun and interactive class teaches you how to set up

your own tiny garden. Join in the hot craze. Bring

your own container so you can plant it after class.

Free. Registration required. Call (919) 552-0590.

May

Plant moonflower (Ipomoea alba), caladium, coleus,

and other heat-tolerant flowers.

Plant okra and peppers in the garden.

Direct sow zinnias and cosmos in warm garden soil.

Repot houseplants that have outgrown their

accommodations. Move them outdoors for their

summer vacation when nighttime temperatures stay

consistently above 60 degrees.

Get out those Boston ferns that you’ve (hopefully)

overwintered in the garage, and tidy them up for the

front porch. Trim off dead fronds that are hanging

over the edge of the pot, and begin applying an all-

purpose liquid fertilizer to them. Divide and repot if

necessary.

Saturday, May 17. 11:00 a.m. The Garden Hut.

Fuquay-Varina, NC

Carol Stein’s Gardeners Forum: Growing and

Using Herbs. Free. Registration required. Call

(919) 552-0590.

Until next time, may your worries be composted and your freckles forever celebrated ...

Nancy

Nancy, an aspiring horticultural therapist, is an avid home gardener of 20 years with a special passion for historic & heirloom plants, vegetables and herbs native to the South. Her gardening blog, Nancy’s Carolina Kitchen Garden, chronicles her adventures in her yard and potager.

You can contact her at thefreckledgardener@gmail.com and Follow her on Twitter @FreckledGardenr.

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 25 A Few of my Favorite Things Erin's Crafty Corner
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 25 A Few of my Favorite Things Erin's Crafty Corner
NEWS FROM THE NEST !
PAGE 25
A Few of my Favorite Things
Erin's Crafty Corner
Bell Pepper Shamrock Craft

Who doesn't love to play with stampers and paint? Add in food as as the stamper? Well, that just makes me smile! This bell

pepper shamrock craft is a fantastic St. Patrick's Day craft. It is a great craft that allows kids and kids at heart to play with fun

new materials and to help them see common items in a new way - who knew shamrocks hid inside of green peppers? Enjoy!

Who doesn't love to play with stampers and paint? Add in food as as the stamper?

What you'll need:

White construction paper

Green paint

Paper plate

Green bell pepper

Knife

Paint Brush (Optional)

How to make your Bell Pepper Shamrock Craft

printing. • Dip the cut side of the pepper (the bottom half of the pepper works
printing.
Dip the cut side of the pepper (the bottom half of
the pepper works the best) into the green paint and
then stamp onto the white paper. Repeat as many
times as you would like!
Another method is to dip a paintbrush into the green
3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org
paint and paint the bell pepper, then stamp. This is
also good for working on dexterity skills.
Pour some green paint onto the paper plate.
Cut the green pepper horizontally through the middle. Pull out any white ribs or seeds that will get in the way of your
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE Erin’s Crafty Corner Continued Relax Bottle • • • it
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE Erin’s Crafty Corner Continued Relax Bottle • • • it
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE Erin’s Crafty Corner Continued Relax Bottle • • • it

NEWS FROM THE NEST !

PAGE 26

Erin’s Crafty Corner

Continued

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE Erin’s Crafty Corner Continued Relax Bottle • • • it

Relax Bottle

it to stay separate),

Add the entire bottle of glitter glue and the entire small tube of ultra fine glitter.

Place lid on water bottle and shake vigorously until glue is dissolved.

Remove cap and add roughly 1 ounce of Clear Gel Tacky Glue to the glittery water. Keep playing with the mixture until

the glitter takes about 5 min to settle. You may add more or less depending on how quickly or slowly you want the

glitter to settle to the bottom. (I used about a third of the Tacky Glue). If you want quicker settling, add more water. If

you want slower settling, After making one of these for my son, I’m amazed at how
you want slower settling,
After making one of these for my son,
I’m amazed at how relaxing it is -
I plan on making an aqua one for myself!
~Erin
3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org
*Note: Any color glitter may be used,
bottle of orange soda - so something
glitter makes the bottle look like a
however I have heard that orange
bottle to permanently seal it.
super glue the lid onto the
Make sure you are happy
with the bottled mix, then
My Crazy Blessed Life
add more Tacky Glue.
Project adapted from
to think about.
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE Erin’s Crafty Corner Continued Relax Bottle • • • it
The Relax Bottle (or Calm Down Bottle) is a meditation tool to use when you are
The Relax Bottle (or Calm Down Bottle) is a meditation tool to use when you are
stressed. First, shake the bottle hard and the glitter (your thoughts) are all over the
place. Then watch the glitter slowly settle while you calm down at the same time. With
just a little time and a visit to the craft store, you can make a beautiful Relax Bottle to
calm even the most stressed individual. Namaste!
What you'll need:
•Water bottle that is smooth and not too hard to hold (1 L. Smart Water bottle is a good
brand)
•Goo Gone Spray Gel
•Hot water
•Clear gel Tacky Glue (such as
Aleene’s)
•4 oz. Glitter Glue
•1/8 oz. Vial ultra fine glitter (to
match the glitter glue)*
•Super Glue for cap
How to make your Relax Bottle
Remove label from water bottle with Goo Gone.
Next fill bottle about 3/4 of the way with very hot water (hot
water will “melt” the glue better… room temp or cold will cause
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 27
NEWS FROM THE NEST !
PAGE 27
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 27 Announcements Join us on Monday, St. Patrick’s Day,www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-26-7" src="pdf-obj-26-7.jpg">
Announcements
Announcements
Join us on Monday, St. Patrick’s Day, for a fun-filled celebration with our new supporter and
Join us on Monday, St. Patrick’s Day, for a fun-filled celebration with our new supporter
and friend - Trali Irish Pub in Morrisville! Address: 3107 Grace Park Drive, Morrisville, NC

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 28
NEWS FROM THE NEST !
PAGE 28

Announcements, Continued

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 28 Announcements , Continued Please join us at Tirwww.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-27-10" src="pdf-obj-27-10.jpg">
Please join us at Tir na nOg Irish Pub in Raleigh on March 22nd at 6
Please join us at Tir na nOg Irish Pub in Raleigh on March 22nd at 6 pm for a great evening of Irish food,
music and lovely Roses. Tickets are $10 at http://roseoftraleenc.ticketleap.com/ncroseoftralee/. A
portion of the proceeds from this event will go to support 3IJF. Please email roseoftraleenc@gmail.com
with any questions.
The 2014 North Carolina Rose will help to promote 3 Irish Jewels Farm through various community events
throughout the year, and bring awareness to the need for residential care for adults with autism in our state.

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 29 3 Irish Jewels Farm Night with the RailHawks
NEWS FROM THE NEST !
PAGE 29
3 Irish Jewels Farm
Night with the
RailHawks
April 19, 2014 7:30PM
April 19, 2014
7:30PM

The Carolina RailHawks are excited to host 3 Irish Jewels Farm for the 2014 Home Opener on April 19 th against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. This will be a great opportunity to get out and enjoy the spring air. The kids will also have the opportunity to participate in the RailHawks Fan Tunnel where they will greet the players as they come onto the pitch!

Come out and show your support for both organizations as we kickoff the 2014 NASL Season. To purchase discounted tickets, click here and when prompted enter the promo code 3IJF to receive 20% off tickets, thanks to the partnership between 3 Irish Jewels Farm and the Carolina RailHawks. Wear orange and be loud! Tickets may also be purchased with the discount and you will avoid the online ticketing fees by calling Alex Rhodes at 919-459-8141.

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 30
NEWS FROM THE NEST !
PAGE 30

Announcements, Continued

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 30 Announcements , Continued 3 Irish Jewels Farm iswww.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-29-10" src="pdf-obj-29-10.jpg">
3 Irish Jewels Farm is a proud part of AmazonSmile - so shop as you normally
3 Irish Jewels Farm is a proud part of AmazonSmile - so shop as you normally would, and help 3
Irish Jewels Farm at the same time! Make sure to open your amazon account via
smile.amazon.com when beginning to shop. Details below.
What is AmazonSmile?
3 Irish Jewels Farm
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite
charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at
smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and
convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that
Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable
organization.
How do I shop at AmazonSmile?
To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile
device. You may also want to add a bookmark to AmazonSmile to make it even easier to return and start your
shopping at AmazonSmile.
Which products on AmazonSmile are eligible for charitable donations?
Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked
“Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages. Recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases and
subscription renewals are not currently eligible.
Can I use my existing Amazon.com account on AmazonSmile?
Yes, you use the same account on Amazon.com and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby
registry, and other account settings are also the same.
How do I select a charitable organization to support when shopping on AmazonSmile?
On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible
purchases before you begin shopping. We will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you
make on AmazonSmile will result in a donation.
How much of my purchase does Amazon donate?
The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases.
The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-
wrapping fees, taxes, or service charges.
Can I receive a tax deduction for amounts donated from my purchases on AmazonSmile?
Donations are made by the AmazonSmile Foundation and are not tax deductible by you.
How can I learn more about AmazonSmile?
Please see complete AmazonSmile program details.

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 31
NEWS FROM THE NEST !
PAGE 31

Announcements, Continued

As you can see, this “newsletter” has turned into quite the work of love. A ton
As you can see, this “newsletter” has turned into quite the work
of love. A ton of work and time went into producing it. We will be
printing out some hard copies with this edition, in order to place
around the waiting rooms of various offices and corporations
that we feel would benefit from seeing our newsletter.
With that said, we will be offering advertising opportunities for
our future newsletters. Details and pricing information will be
announced via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter, however if you or
your organization is interested in this opportunity, please e-mail
Erin at Erin@3IrishJewelsFarm.org and let her know that you are
interested in advertising in our next publication.
Thanks for reading - and as always, thank you for your
continued support!
Erin O’Loughlin
3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 32 Items For Sale ALL PROCEEDS BENEFIT 3 IRISH JEWELSwww.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-31-2" src="pdf-obj-31-2.jpg">
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 32
NEWS FROM THE NEST !
PAGE 32

Items For Sale

ALL PROCEEDS BENEFIT 3 IRISH JEWELS FARM

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 32 Items For Sale ALL PROCEEDS BENEFIT 3 IRISH JEWELSwww.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-31-10" src="pdf-obj-31-10.jpg">
The Bluebird Dance Erin O’Loughlin’s children’s book is finally ready to purchase in bookstores, Amazon (Don’t
The Bluebird Dance
Erin O’Loughlin’s children’s book is finally ready to purchase in
bookstores, Amazon (Don’t forget to use Amazon Smile!) &
Barnes & Noble !
ALL sales will benefit 3 Irish Jewels Farm.
Copyright © Erin O’Loughlin.
All rights reserved.
WestBow Press,
a division of Thomas Nelson

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

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NEWS FROM THE NEST !

Items For Sale

Continued

PAGE 33

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! Items For Sale Continued PAGE 33 3 Irish Jewels Farm Store
3 Irish Jewels Farm Store D. Puzzle Piece Cookie Cutter – $5 E. Nest Bead –
3 Irish Jewels Farm Store
D. Puzzle Piece Cookie Cutter – $5
E. Nest Bead – $5
These sliver plated charms fit
European style bracelets (e.g.
Pandora, Chamilia, etc.) or any 3mm
snake chain bracelet or necklace.*
F. Puzzle Piece Bead – $5
These Pandora inspired beads feature
a 1 cm x 1 cm chunky !puzzle piece.*
*Note: (E) and/or (F) can also be
purchased with a silver plated snake chain
bracelet with barrel clasp for an extra $5.
G. Surgical Steel Puzzle Ring – $25
Hypo Allergenic Surgical Steel.
Has a Jigsaw Pattern Design with a
combination of polished and brushed
satin finish. 5/16 in. (8mm) wide.
Sizes 5–14, including half sizes.
H. Hand Crocheted Hair Clip – $5 each
Puzzle piece hair clips, hand
crocheted by Kate Marshall, artist of
Simply SophistiKated.
I. Heart Necklace- $10
Silver plate necklace, 17” –
“Autism Touches Us All”
J. Butterfly Believe Coffee Mug – $10
Beautiful 12-oz. coffee mug,
featuring an autism ribbon as a
butterfly with the words Believe,
Strength, Courage, Hope, Love &
Determination.
$10
$25
$5
$10
$15
$12
C. Puzzle Bangle Bracelet – $10
Sterling silver plated bracelets have
two puzzle pieces at the ends that
can be squeezed to adjust size.
Approximately 8”.
$5
$5
$5 each
$10
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A. Tie-Dye T-Shirt, Hand Dyed
Adult (S-XL): $15
Youth (YXS-YL): $12
B. Gray T-Shirt
Adult (S-XL): $12
Youth (YXS-YXL): $10

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 34 Items For Sale Continued CUSTOM NESTS BY MARLEY JANEwww.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-33-2" src="pdf-obj-33-2.jpg">
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 34
NEWS FROM THE NEST !
PAGE 34

Items For Sale

Continued

CUSTOM NESTS BY MARLEY JANE

Custom Sterling Silver Nest Necklace - $50 3 Irish Jewels Farm Signature Blue Eggs Example Example
Custom Sterling Silver Nest Necklace - $50
3 Irish Jewels Farm Signature Blue Eggs
Example
Example
Example
Example
Example
Example
3 Irish Jewels Farm has partnered with Oregon artist
Jennifer Huson
...
30% goes back to 3 Irish Jewels Farm!
This listing is for a 1 piece sterling silver pendant set, created by talented Oregon
artist Jennifer Huson, with name stamp on bottom piece and a beautiful handmade
nest with your choice of up to 4 (sometimes more) "egg" beads. Possible options:
Up to 3-4 names (depending on length of names - possibly 4-6 names if they are
short), date or dates.
Chain: 18" silver chain (Can request up to 24”)
Pendant: 1" x 1" (bottom piece)
Notes: Jennifer can do most any color of smooth beads, including the 3 Irish Jewels
Farm signature blue eggs. She also has a selection of faceted birth-stone beads. She
can create one-bead nests, but she suggests adding a middle name or a birthdate to
the name, otherwise the single egg nest looks too small for the pendant. ]
~*Please contact Erin at Erin@3IrishJewelsFarm.org to place your
custom order*~

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 35 A THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS SUPPORTERS On behalf
NEWS FROM THE NEST !
PAGE 35
A THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS SUPPORTERS
On behalf of all of us at 3 Irish Jewels Farm. thank you for your generosity! Your support assists us in
continuing to build upon our dream. The following individuals & organizations have shown their support
through monetary contributions. Thanks to all of you, we have raised well over $300,000 so far.
OVER THE RAINBOW
DONORS ($20,000+)
Samuel P. Mandell Foundation
Erin & Colm O’Loughlin
Marceen & Matthew Gasperoni
Robert & Lisa Gray
Ken Kohagen
Raleigh St. Patrick's Day Parade & Festival
Committee
The Skin Center of the Triangle -2013 Golf
Michael Ungar & Deborah Warner
Maude Veech
Kelly S. Wyatt
Philip Young
John Zaremba
Quan Zhou & Jun Chen
Sponsor
POT O’ GOLD DONORS
CLADDAGH DONORS ($50+)
($5,000+)
SHAMROCK DONORS ($150+)
AOH Penna - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Pat Murnane's Irish Pub
EMERALD DONORS ($1,000+)
Anonymous
Bohler Engineering - 2013 Golf Sponsor
William & Elva Bond
Scott Corrigan - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Lauren & Balazs Csaki
Danco Electrical - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Digestive Healthcare - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Fox Liquor Bar
Courtney Barrus
Paul & Renay Becker
Allison & Matt Byman
Kelly Bullock
Frank & Joan Conn - with AOH
Laura Fraioli
Stephanie Gedmintas
Joyce Gevirtzman
Wayne Gilman, LLC - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Elise Graziano & Steve Mesa
Carmen Andrews
Andy May Group, LLC
Billie & Davie Barbour - In memory of Janet
Sullivan
Pete Hartmann - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Melissa Jacobs
Jennifer Jurkus
Laura & Marc Fraioli
Beth & Matt Galla
John King - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Dave Green - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Hi-Tech Fabrication - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Lucille Hudson - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Kestrel Heights Elementary School
Margeurite Norris - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Samuel P. Mandell Foundation - 2013 Golf
Anne Leahy
Jeremy & Katherine LeBlanc
Jerry & Joseph Lemanski
Howard & Lori Levine
Dr. Dick McKay
Andy May
Maureen Morrell
Mary & Marshall Bassett
Jamie Benjamin
Alan & Mindy Biegelman
Karen & Alan Booth
Brentwood Carpets - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Nancy & Alan Butterfield
The Butterfield Family - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Courtney Campbell, CPA - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Buck Cochran
Mimi Cook
Kelly D'Amico
Michael Devine
Meredith Dixon
Ben Dulman
Sophie Dunn
Lora Eddington
Sponsor
Karen Moss - In memory of Janet Sullivan
Kendra Elliott - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Fidelity Bank - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Wake County Ancient Order of Hibernians
The Well Fellowship
IRISH EYES DONORS ($500+)
Anonymous
Barish Family - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Dr. & Mrs. Charles Barish
Mitchell & Joanne Bigel
Jeffrey Chaffkin
Nita Newman
Jordan O’Loughlin
Kevin & Amy Paczosa
Patricia Paget
Ruby Tuesday Restaurant
Toni Anne Rocker
Jonathan & Helene Rod
Susan Kessler Ross
Rufty Homes - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Dan Friedman & Family
Frank Goodwin Auto Service
Nicole Gaunt
Gentle Touch Car Wash - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Golden Junebugs Group (via Lisa Kimmett)
John Guerin
Suzanne Gumpp
The Helms Family - 2013 Golf Sponsor
John & Elaine Johnson - In memory of Janet
Champions Bar & More/Adnan Hamed
Electric Motor Shop - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Susan Finkelstein
Lorna Siegal
Sharon & Fred Tooley
George & Ann Tosky
Sullivan
Jennifer Jurkus
Stefanie & Douglas Kahn
Continued

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE Debbie & Rob Quint Carl & Lisa Roberts Suzanne Rodawww.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-35-2" src="pdf-obj-35-2.jpg">
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NEWS FROM THE NEST !

PAGE 36

Debbie & Rob Quint Carl & Lisa Roberts Suzanne Roda Rick Rollinson Jamie Rorrer Elizabeth &
Debbie & Rob Quint
Carl & Lisa Roberts
Suzanne Roda
Rick Rollinson
Jamie Rorrer
Elizabeth & Mike Ross
Virginia Riley
Bruce & Sandy Rubenstein
Cliona Salazar
Shari Sims
Cheryl L. Turney - In memory of Janet Sullivan
PLOC - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Sherry Warner
Pravana Tan & Wellness Spa - 2013 Golf
Sponsor
Elizabeth Butterfield
Susan Butterfield
Sally Butterfield
Jeanne Holmes
Melissa Jacobs
Mark LaCasse
Marlene Leavell
Arthur & Heather Levey - In memory of Janet
Siobhan O'Loughlin
Leslie VanDyke
Eileen VanHouten
Wake Manor Properties - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Tammy Wells-Angerer
NC Representative Jennifer Weiss
Robyn Ziperski - In honor of Corey Green
Thank You!
Karen Meir
Steve Mesa Family - 2013 Golf Sponsor
James G. Norris, Sr. - 2013 Golf Sponsor
James G. Norris, III - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Terri Mainey
Lori McIlwain
Virginia & John Nugent - In memory of Janet
A THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS SUPPORTERS,
Cheryl Martin - In memory of Janet Sullivan
SAS Institute - In memory of Janet Sullivan
Stephanie Novick
Bruce & Mindy Oberhardt
Siobhan & Fursey O’Loughlin
The Osborne Family - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Frank & Richelle Sajovec
Rachelle & Jay Schwartz
Caren Seusserman
Sue Moriarty Investments - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Sullivan
Helen LaVere
Debra Kossman
John Mainey
CONTINUED
3IJF FRIENDS
Lori Norris - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Will Norris - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Claddagh Donors, Continued
Fred Tooley - 2013 Golf Sponsor
Mitchell Norris - 2013 Golf Sponsor
L&M Transportation Service, Inc.
Sullivan
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3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 37 The Nest Egg Fund HELP FEATHER OUR NEST! Ourwww.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-36-2" src="pdf-obj-36-2.jpg">
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 37 The Nest Egg Fund HELP FEATHER OUR NEST! Our
NEWS FROM THE NEST !
PAGE 37
The Nest Egg Fund
HELP FEATHER OUR NEST!
Our
Nest Egg
Fund is designed to nourish
the startup costs of 3 Irish Jewels Farm. Startup costs include expenses such as cost of sales,
professional fees, technology costs, administrative costs, marketing costs and land acquisition. You
can help by contributing a donation in the amount of your choice to 3 Irish Jewels Farm. We are a
501(c)(3) nonprofit tax exempt organization. Your gift may qualify as a charitable deduction for
federal income tax purposes. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call
Erin at (919) 602-9883, or e-mail her at Erin@3IrishJewelsFarm.org.
Thank you in advance for your support!
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Donate to our "Go Fund Me" campaign by clicking the icon to the
left. There is no need for a Paypal account, nor do you need to sign
up for any separate account in order to donate to this campaign.
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Make an online donation with PayPal by clicking
the icon to the left.
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Click on the form to the left, download, and mail in with
your check or money order.
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“The present was an egg laid by the past
that had the future inside its shell.”
~Zora Neale Hurston

3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 37 The Nest Egg Fund HELP FEATHER OUR NEST! Ourwww.3IrishJewelsFarm.org " id="pdf-obj-36-9" src="pdf-obj-36-9.jpg">
NEWS FROM THE NEST ! PAGE 38 Board of Directors, Our Mission, Vision & Logo 3
NEWS FROM THE NEST !
PAGE 38
Board of Directors,
Our Mission, Vision & Logo
3 Irish Jewels Farm
Board of Directors
Mission
Erin O’Loughlin*
3 Irish Jewels Farm
President & Founder
Andrew Moriarty*
Bohler Engineering
Vice President
To create an environmentally sustainable agricultural community where adults
on the autism spectrum can live dignified and meaningful lives with support in
a healthy, safe and enriching environment and achieve independence through
meaningful work, recreation and community involvement. In addition to adults
living on the farm, school-age children with autism will be able to attend track-
out and summer programs so that they can also experience the farm life. We are
a 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax-exempt organization.
Nancy Butterfield
Vision
Durham County Public
School System
Recording Secretary
David Green*
Private Investment
Consultant
To offer a person-centered home to adults with autism in which they can thrive
and continue to grow and learn. The tranquil agricultural setting will provide a
well structured residence with safety, cohesiveness and serenity. Well-trained
co-workers who are familiar with the resident farmers’ special needs will assist
the farmers in learning and discovering new skills, encouraging them to reach
their fullest potential. In turn, the resident farmers will experience appropriate
and rewarding work, along with organized leisure time and social activities.
Treasurer
Robin Green*
Grant Writing Chair
Steve Mesa*
Professional Chef
As a community within a larger community, we will strive to educate the
general public about autism awareness and will invite community members to
volunteer in farming activities and special events. 3 Irish Jewels Farm will
collaborate with the many universities and schools around the Triangle and
provide internships, classes, volunteer opportunities, as well as educational
workshops and support groups to the general public.
Colm O’Loughlin*
Our long-term goal is to create a pilot program in the Triangle of NC, nurture it
Digestive Healthcare
Laurie Smith*
and grow it to the best it can possibly be, and then open more around the state,
and then around the country. Because we know that we will be at capacity
within just moments of opening, and there is a need for hundreds more of 3IJFs
Social Chair
around the country. Please join us in making this happen
and sisters with autism depend upon us.
...
our fellow brothers
Advisory Board
Dawn Allen
Our Logo
GHA Autism Supports
Brian Brady
Brady Law Firm, PLLC
Maureen Morrell*
Autism Society of NC
I love the symbolism that encompasses birds, nests & eggs. Eggs represent a
new chance at life, hope, the excitement of seeing the treasures that lie within
those eggs. Birds represent the connection between the sky and the land,
freedom, the ability to spread their wings and soar independently. The nest
symbolizes home, love, protection. I admire the manner in which a mama bird
constructs her nest piece by piece, gradually making it strong and protective.
And so I chose three eggs in my nest for my three beautiful children. I dedicate
this farm to my three children, Jordan, Marcus & Brendan. May this farm
provide a strong and protective place for those who need its support. May it
allow everyone who walks through its doors to spread their wings and soar.
May it provide you and your family with hope and a new chance at life. And
may it provide all of us with the opportunity to discover the treasures that lie
within us.
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3 Irish Jewels Farm | (919) 602-9883 | www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org

Spring 2014, Issue No. 3 “The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the
Spring 2014, Issue No. 3
“The beautiful spring came;
and when Nature resumes her
loveliness, the human soul is
apt to revive also.”
~Harriet Ann Jacobs
NEWS FROM THE NEST
FROM :
FARM
3 IRISH JEWELS
( 9 1 9 )
6 0 2 - 9 8 8 3
www.3IrishJewelsFarm.org
Erin@3IrishJewelsFarm.org
Winter 2013
Issue No. Two
MAIL TO:
3 Irish Jewels Farm Supporter
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