In no particular order, I am a mother, a writer, a planner, a caregiver, and a few other things. I am not an expert on autism, but I am somewhat of an expert on my son with autism. What I know for sure is that parenting a child with autism is hard. So hard in fact, that one study has shown that moms of a child with autism experience stress levels similar to that of combat soldiers. Read more about that here.
One of the things that helps me in this journey is being open about my experiences and sharing my family’s story with people who are interested in hearing or learning more about my son with autism, what we have learned, and where we struggle. Like any parent, it is my joy to share my son with the world.
For the purposes of this site, I am going to refer to my son as Cheeks, short for Cheeks McGee, a nickname given to him by a loving friend. When you see pictures of Cheeks, you will know why the name suits him.
Why “Ball of Smiles”? Cheeks has always been a happy boy. As a baby he smiled early and often, and to this day, he is made happy so much more easily than most people. When a dear friend first saw him, she exclaimed that he was “a big round ball of smiles”. I have always loved that metaphor to describe him, so it was a natural name for a site that will attempt to tell this story.
And speaking of that story… this is only mine, with a little of his. One day he will tell the rest of his story for himself. I also don’t attempt to speak for all families with autism. What I discuss here is my experience and opinions only, and should not be construed to suggest that I think our way is the only way, or even the best way. It’s simply our way.
Finally, comments and questions are always welcome. Always. I am not offended by any question asked with a sincere interest, even if it is not asked using politically correct language. Asking indelicately is better than not asking if there is something you want to know. Please don’t hesitate. Use the form below, or follow the “Contact” link at the top menu.
Welcome to our story, and thank you for being interested in it.