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Finding Comfort In The Storm

February 12, 2013

© 2013 Pinecone ProductionsIn all of my life I can’t say that I’ve ever been comforted by a storm, comforted in a storm, yes. It’s been raining on and off for several days now, and last night, sleep wouldn’t come easy; it didn’t come at all.  

I’d been uneasy for months now, about the unfair changes and challenges and chaos concerning my son. Thoughts of him transitioning to yet another school, with new teachers and therapists and strategies and techniques, all with the hope that this time he would be in the right soil and climate to grow. Read more…

Autistic Man Told Not to Come Back Inside Store Without A Leash

January 10, 2013
Dog leash

Dog leash (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These are the kinds of stories that you scratch your head and say did that really just happen?

   Did that security guard just imply that a man with special needs was an animal? Read more…

Dear 2012

December 31, 2012
Dear 2012,
Today is the last day we will spend together. It is impossible to have been with you for three hundred sixty-five days and not developed some feelings about you. I thank you for trusting me to speak when 2011 wouldn’t, couldn’t. I thank you for opening up doors when in years past there wasn’t even a door frame. Read more…

Setting The Media Straight About Autism

December 16, 2012

Since the media began to mention that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter may have had autism; parents, doctors, and other advocates  have all rallied to dispel the notion that autism played a role in the tragedy.  It is essential that you help spread the word to others that autism does not lead to cold calculated murder.

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AUTISM Did Not Kill Those Children

December 15, 2012
candle, candle in glass

candle, candle in glass (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our hearts go out to the families of all of those affected by the senseless acts of a murderer.  The slaughter of innocent children is inexcusable.  The fact that it happened in a place of learning and shelter is despicable.  As more information comes out about the Newtown, CT killings and the person responsible I fear that there will be more unintended victims in the wake of this tragedy…those who have been diagnosed with autism. Read more…

Living With Autism: Dr. Temple Grandin

December 7, 2012
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Best selling author, industrial design expert,  and autism advocate Dr. Temple Grandin sat down to do a one on one interview with Raphael James. Read more…

Autism: Controversial Methods of Managing Behaviors

December 5, 2012

This online article from ABC News is very interesting. It details what happens when students throw tantrums and get out of control. Hold restraints, secluded rooms with padded walls and in some places a form of shock therapy.

Those who have witnessed severe tantrums know that children can sometimes get violent and become a danger to himself and others.  The measures can be seen by some as cruel and barbaric. Others say it doesn’t curb the bad behavior, but rather intensifies it.

There has to be another way. What is a cool down effect that has worked for you? Founder Named One of 2012’s Women To Watch

November 2, 2012

Recently, Sarena James was honored as one of the Summerville Journal Scene’s 2012 Women To Watch. The publication chose 10 women who were actively involved  in their communities. Below is a video of Sarena’s acceptance speech.




“Back Talk”

October 29, 2012

Sarena James

The first time I told my son to do something and he said, “No,” I turned my back on him for one second and for one reason: I didn’t want him to see the slight smile on my face. Read more…

A New Way to Worship: Addressing the Special Needs Family

September 23, 2012
Beauty in worship

Beauty in worship (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have noticed some churches with larger congregations have gone out of their way to address these needs.  Does the size of the organization matter? Are larger congregations more financially able to handle the task?  Should the church or worship house even TRY to take on such a herculean challenge? Read more…

When You Assume…

September 10, 2012


In a world where things are seldom as they seem, none of us can really afford to assume anything.

I recently wrote an article for on assumptions.

You know what happens when you assume?

You cheat yourself out of an opportunity to grow relationships. You deprive yourself of the chance to see beyond the exterior and find the true goodness at the core. When we make negative assessments of others we really shortchange ourselves.

We all do it from time to time, but have you ever been embarrassed by one of your assumptions? What happened? How did you correct the situation?



VIDEO: Blissful Dreams at Stardust Farms

July 29, 2012

Recently, my family was invited to Huger, SC where Grant would experience Horse Therapy. We had heard of the wonderful benefits of that come from the interaction with the animals but we got to experience it first hand.

Read more…

Walk On: The Story of Grant and Godfrey

July 29, 2012

“He’s not going to do it.”

by Sarena and Raphael James

He’s not going to do it. That’s what the fear in his eyes said. That’s what the uncertainty in his rapid heartbeat said. His feet backed up those sentiments, literally. From a cautious distance he pointed, unsure of what lay ahead. There in the middle of the green stable stood an animal that before this moment was only real in his pop-up picture books, or a plastic figurine in the bottom of the toy box made alive by his imagination.

Read more…

Seeing With God’s Eyes

July 17, 2012

Clouds-8 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have often wondered why God allowed Autism to come into my family. Friends and family have tried to offer consolation with phrases like, “God gave him to you because you are strong enough to handle it.” Or “God is too wise to make a mistake.” Those things may be true, but they don’t make the struggle any easier.

They don’t make watching my child suffer through rage and confusion any more tolerable.  But this web entry did help me.  Vineyard Community Church Augusta › When weakness is a blessing What the author says rings true to me. This journey has taught me to look at the world through God’s eyes.

Thank you Amy Parrish Key for sharing this with us. I have much more to say on this, but later.


Teacher Slaps Special Ed Student Keeps Job

July 10, 2012 : N.J. teacher who slapped unruly special education student will keep job

It’s Questionable

May 28, 2012

Read more…

Boyz 2 Men Singer And Wife Open Up About Autism

May 1, 2012

In Search of Happy…

April 29, 2012

by Sarena James

The note in his green book bag said that Grant was selected by his teachers as the Terrific Kid of the Month, for April.  My mommy heart smiled genuinely, as I thought of everything that made my son terrific.

Read more…

Father Sends Autistic Son To School Wearing a Wire; Disgusted By What He Heard

April 24, 2012

A story from the Huffington Post feeds every parents nightmare, it will break your heart. A father was getting reports that his autistic son was becoming increasingly violent in school. Puzzled by it, the father finally put a recording device on the child and sent him to school. What he heard in that six hours of audio compelled him to post a video on YouTube.

Read more…

It’s Question-able

April 23, 2012

Read more…