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In Defense of Happy Stories

In Defense of Happy Stories

My friend Janae only wants to watch “H.E.A.” movies (Happily Ever After.) If it doesn’t end with with the shy guy and the pretty girl riding away on the gilded stallion, she’s not terribly interested. Every time I make fun of her about it, s… read more

Walk-Off Moments for Special Needs Dads

Walk-Off Moments for Special Needs Dads

My friend Mark is a great father to three neuro-typical kids, and he is currently floating on the highest cloud in the Dadosphere. His son Zach–a sophomore in high school–just hit a walk-off home run to win the Oregon 2-A state championship. I know,… read more

You Have Permission (A Letter to New Autism Dads)

You Have Permission (A Letter to New Autism Dads)

Dear Autism Dad, This past weekend, I went backpacking with some friends through Big Indian Gorge in Eastern Oregon’s Steens Mountain. From a distance, Steens appears as a tall, wide rock with some snow on it. A two dimensional cutout along the horizon. read more

Regression and Renaissance

Regression and Renaissance

Back when “Early intervention” was a new term and a thin hope for us, I used to drive my son to school every afternoon. We were lucky to get him in the program. He was four years old. Just months removed from his diagnosis, and two years from t… read more

Autism Awareness: What I Want the Church to Know

Autism Awareness: What I Want the Church to Know

Dear Church, You don’t know me, but I am one of you. I was born in you and raised in you. I did mimes in parks and marinated to the soothing rasps of Chapman and Smitty. And now that I’m mostly grown up, I am one of the guys who sits on the front row and… read more

A Letter to My Autistic Son on his 8th Birthday

A Letter to My Autistic Son on his 8th Birthday

Dear Jack, You’re turning 8 today, and the snow is falling just for you. We don’t get much snow in the valley, but all of a sudden, it’s coming down, and you are right now glorying in the experience. It is a testament to you that none of us doubts t… read more

On Praying Dangerous Prayers

On Praying Dangerous Prayers

Once, there were three brothers who found a magic lamp. They were good brothers, passionate brothers, with a deep affection for justice. So when the Genie emerged and offered them three wishes, none of them even considered themselves. They all thought of… read more

For The Ones Who Burn

I see you circle up when that Proclaimers song starts to play. You laugh, stomp, and dance for five hundred miles, then five hundred more. There is a childlike cluelessness in your arm-waving lunacy, as if you don’t even realize you’re being watched. read more

Savoring Somersaults

Savoring Somersaults

When a five year old yells out, “Wanna see a somersault?” it is not a question. When he is already dressed like Superman, you had better be watching. I was watching, from five states away, through my 3.5″ iPhone screen. I watched him plant his head into… read more

An Open Letter to Death

An Open Letter to Death

Dear Death, Well, that was really something you did, taking out a 3 year old girl. By everyone’s account, she was sweet, adoring, and perfect. She could have been the poster child for Life itself. And her family… I barely know them, but I know they… read more

The Big Sister Speaks! (A Guest Post)

The Big Sister Speaks! (A Guest Post)

I haven’t had any guest posts here before, but what better time to start? My daughter Emily (the one on the left) is eleven, going on twenty-three. I wrote about her and her sister earlier this year, but she topped me with this, which she wrote for… read more

Waiting in the Land of In-Betweens

Waiting in the Land of In-Betweens

It happened at the end of a long church conference. I was exhausted, but the preacher was in no hurry. I hate it when they don’t hurry.  “If you are the parent of a special needs child, come up and get prayer.” I wanted to slip out the back, but six… read more

What my Autistic Son is Teaching Me About Measuring Results

What my Autistic Son is Teaching Me About Measuring Results

Here’s an accomplishment: I’m 34, and already on my fourth midlife crisis. My wife says it has all been one crisis chained together. She might be right. All I know is I want a Harley, or something less practical for a father of five… What’s my problem? read more

A Boy and His Bush's Baked Beans (A Love Story)

A Boy and His Bush’s Baked Beans (A Love Story)

It was an affair of Hugh-Grant-ian proportions. You’ve seen an aimless youth, lazy and passionlesss, morph into Romeo after a single glance from her? That was Jack. Wandering through Safeway aisles next to his mother without an inkling of how his lif… read more

Forgiving Cosmo Kramer

Forgiving Cosmo Kramer

In the 90′s, Thursday nights were a high point of my week, because I knew Kramer was going to find another way to explode into Jerry’s apartment, and it was going to be awesome. But then, years after the show, the entire country saw Kramer explode on… read more

To See Your Thoughts Take Shape

To See Your Thoughts Take Shape

I want to trip inside your head Spend the day there… To hear the things you haven’t said And see what you might see I want to hear you when you call Do you feel anything at all? I want to see your thoughts take shape And walk right out. -U2 (“Mirac… read more

Non-Apology Apologies

Non-Apology Apologies

Paula Dean, Anthony Weiner, Ryan Braun, Riley Cooper, A-Rod… Is it just me, or do scandals come in clusters? All of them did something. Said something. Took something. And when the news broke, they crafted carefully worded speeches to atone for their… read more

When King David Ruled the Blogosphere

When King David Ruled the Blogosphere

I see him running bloodstained through a dry riverbed. His men, blistered and spent, beg for a rest. He suppresses a sigh, checks the sun, and nods. It’s a terrible time to stop. Would Saul’s men be stopping? Maybe. Probably not. But there was a litt… read more

My Imaginary Support Group Gets in My Face

My Imaginary Support Group Gets in My Face

After not being able to blog for almost four months, I finally hauled myself into an imaginary support group meeting with other autism parents. This is how it all played out… in my head. JH — Hi, I’m Jason, and I’m a lousy autism blogger. GROUP — H… read more

“Jesus, Autism, and Why I Still Believe”

I’m guest posting today at a terrific blog called “Find My Eyes.” The author is a fellow autism dad, and he’s a great guy. This month, he’s been featuring a different guest post by someone in the autism community. When I offered to take a day, he asked… read more

Our Kids Need THIS More than Autism Awareness

Our Kids Need THIS More than Autism Awareness

“1 in 50.” That’s the new statistic that was trumpeted from the rooftops just a few weeks ago. One school-age child in fifty is on the autism spectrum. Is that an inflated statistic? Yep. Is there over-diagnosis? Sure. Was it a poorly-conducted, only… read more

On Remembering Passion Week

On Remembering Passion Week

I need to cry my own full-throated “Hosanna’s,” free of illusions but awake to my naked needs. I need to climb the hill, to look down over the city, and to weep for her lost innocence. I need to feel desperation again; to feel it in the tem… read more

Why I'm Still a

Why I’m Still a “Christian,” Not a “Follower of Christ”

Yes, I know they’re the same. To be a Christian is to follow Jesus. And I like the fact that “Follower of Christ” is more vivid and precise. It’s a great term. But I am not going to rush out and change my Twitter bio. “Christian” is good enough for me. I… read more

A Salute to the Siblings of Autism

A Salute to the Siblings of Autism

There is so much to say to you all, you fierce soldiers of breakthrough. You grow up in the same house as one they call “special,” and that carries more weight than we understand. It means that your parents’ eyes look past you. That we take it for… read more

I Am an Expert on My Son

I Am an Expert on My Son

I admit; I don’t know much. I’m new to this autism thing. I’ve done some reading, and I’ve talked to some people who seem to know what’s what, and I’ve talked to others who contradict them. To be honest, I don’t know what to believe about vaccines, gut… read more

My Son has a Reputation

My Son has a Reputation

Two days ago, Jack got one of those embarrassing bruises on his chin. You know, one of those that makes you scared to take him to the grocery store for fear of being reported to Child Protective Services. It happened at school during recess. He is… read more

A Letter to My Autistic Son on His 7th Birthday

A Letter to My Autistic Son on His 7th Birthday

Dear Jack, I’m writing this letter in faith that one day you will be able to read it, understand it, and forgive us for the mistakes we are making with you. Tomorrow is your birthday. Seven years ago, I was watching the first quarter of the Super Bow… read more

Confessing Cocaine and Twinkies

Confessing Cocaine and Twinkies

It was a Hall of Fame calibre excuse. One which hasn’t been seen since the Twinkie Defense. And it worked. Here’s the story: A professional tennis player tested positive for cocaine. Big trouble for him. But his explanation was profound. He claimed… read more

When Moses Needed Matt Foley

When Moses Needed Matt Foley

The Burning Bush episode in Exodus 3 and 4 ranks among the most compelling scenes in the Old Testament. Here’s Moses, once full of promise and potential, but now considered the biggest Draft Bust in history. He’s a total washout now, living with a desert… read more

Joseph, Pharaoh, and the Ghost of Christmas Future

Joseph, Pharaoh, and the Ghost of Christmas Future

So Pharaoh has a nightmare. Two of them, actually. And he’s mortified. He calls for his wisest wise men and demands an interpretation, but they’ve got nothing. That’s when the cupbearer—an ex con—remembers that funny little guy he did tim… read more

On Grief, Gratitude, and Whether to Take Your Suit to the Hospital

On Grief, Gratitude, and Whether to Take Your Suit to the Hospital

Today, I am honored to share a story I wrote about friendship, mourning, and thanksgiving over at a wonderful blog called Confessions of a Funeral Director. You can read the first part here: *** Finding a Context for Grief “Jason, listen. I think I… read more

The Shirt and His Boy

The Shirt and His Boy

This is my son Jack. He has autism, as some of you know. But chances are, you have never met his favorite shirt, Tiger. Tiger got his name from a character in Kung Fu Panda. Technically, it was TigRESS, but that’s unimportant. What matters is that Jack… read more

The Greatest Trick the Devil Ever Pulled

The Greatest Trick the Devil Ever Pulled

It’s been three weeks since Newtown, and I think we’ve pretty much talked about everything. Guns, mental health, medication, school security, and especially God. God-talk is always trending at times like this. People “turn to God,” and “lean on… read more

“It’s Your Job to Make Me Believe”

Happy 2013, friends. A new year also means a fresh start in Bible Reading plans. I’m going with the Life Journal plan, developed by Dr. Wayne Cordeiro. It will take me through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice, plus a healthy dose of… read more

Life Through Wide Angle Lenses

Whenever tragedy strikes, we make statements like “That really puts it in perspective.” And it’s true. Jarring events impose themselves on us, forcing us to remember the treasures we have neglected. Treasures wearing our rings, or wrapped in footy… read more

Parenting and the Problem of Proverbs

Parenting and the Problem of Proverbs

Sara and I are fortunate to have a community that seems to “get” the autism thing. That is to say, most people don’t assume we are bad parents when Jack goes limp on the sidewalk, or screeches for Puffins at Safeway. It probably helps that his… read more

Good News: You're Not Job!

Good News: You’re Not Job!

First, know this: I am not making light of your experiences. You have lost friends and family members. You have experienced devastating relational fractures. You have suffered in body and spirit. We all have. But you are not Job. At first glance, I s… read more

Do Bad Worship Lyrics Keep Us Wretchy?

Do Bad Worship Lyrics Keep Us Wretchy?

I recently read a beautiful post by Addie Zierman over at her blog “How To Talk Evangelical” about hyperbole in worship. In it, Addie talks about our tendency to go over the top in the songs we sing, as if we really have had nothing but joy, joy, joy,… read more

A Review of Joe Bunting’s “Let’s Write a Short Story”

When I started this blog, I had no intention of writing about autism. I wanted to tell stories. “Old Stories in New Ways.” I was thinking about fictional modern parables and short stories that carry hints of life’s deeper truths. But the fact is, short… read more

“Invisible” Autism Families; How the Church can Help

My family doesn’t get out much. You might see two or three of us at the grocery store, the school parking lot, or even at the movies. But you would never know that we have five children, because we almost never go out as a family. Restaurants are not… read more

“50 First Dates…” Today At Prodigal Magazine!

Today, i am excited to share an article I wrote for Prodigal Magazine. If you haven’t subscribed to this site yet, you are missing out. There are some fabulous bloggers that run it and post terrific content every day. Read it here. 50 First Dates with My… read more

Can I Love my Son AND Pray for Change?

Can I Love my Son AND Pray for Change?

Jackson woke up this morning at 6 with a drum solo. It was pretty awesome. He started by beating his hands on the sliding glass door, waking his sisters from their living room slumber party. I smiled. He really does have great rhythm. Then he turned t… read more

Fighting Autism with Lame Theology

Fighting Autism with Lame Theology

I just finished reading a great post entitled “THE AUTISM DADDY RELIGOUS MANIFESTO.” The anonymous blogger has a nine year old boy with severe autism–worse than my son’s, whose is formidable enough–and was put off by trite religious platitudes that… read more

The Cruelty of Fairy Godmothers (A Short Story)

The Cruelty of Fairy Godmothers (A Short Story)

Original Illustration by Chris AudetThe old woman frowned at the moping beauties in the king’s garden. For a moment, she almost felt sorry for them. On any other night, they would have had a fighting chance. The Duchess’ daughter was lovely enoug… read more

Finding the Mountain Pass to Narnia

Finding the Mountain Pass to Narnia

(…With apologies to C.S. Lewis) I have journeyed many times with the boy called Shasta. His heart was full when he left for Narnia, but things have not turn out like he hoped. Not by a long shot. I especially feel for him after he delivers an urgent… read more

Why No, My Son is Not Rain Man

Why No, My Son is Not Rain Man

I suppose it all started with Rain Man. Dustin Hoffman was just too awesome. America had never heard much about autism before he demonstrated his uber-genius to moviegoers, and we haven’t been able to forget it since. We learned that autism had an… read more

An Archangel's Confession (A Monologue)

An Archangel’s Confession (A Monologue)

Oh, come now. Is this really necessary? All of you? Did Michael really need so many guards? I won’t try anything rash, you can put down your swords. No? Fine, have it your way. But you have no idea what it’s like down there. You who get to shut… read more

The Diary of the Prodigal's Father

The Diary of the Prodigal’s Father

Monday, May 4 We are still reeling, Grant and I. He hides his hurt by going out back to chop wood or shoot baskets. I stay on the porch staring at my cell phone, waiting for the special ring I programmed. It’s been over a month now since Miles said… read more

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