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My grandfathers both used typewriters. It was a big part of who they were. Maybe that’s why I’ve always loved old typewriters. Or maybe it’s just one of those preferences you can’t really explain, like why I prefer chocolate over strawberry ice cream (which my dad and daughter both love!).

Whatever the case, this is the place to learn about Cynthia J. Patton, award-winning author, speaker, attorney, and autism advocate. I’m also the mother of a smart, stubborn, beautiful, somewhat verbal autistic daughter. It probably goes without saying that I’m juggling a ton of stuff—like every working mother—and doing my best to write in the midst of life’s chaos. This website will celebrate that struggle for balance and the crazy twists and turns life can take. So check back often. We’re going to have fun.




The Waiting Is (Almost) Over

Last Friday turned out to be a RED LETTER DAY in my crazy, unplanned life. First, my poetry collection, Across An Aqueous Moon: Travels in Autism, was finalized and sent to the printer. It should be ready to ship in … Continue reading

A Trip to the Park

I wrote awhile back about the downside of Facebook, and how sometimes—not always, just sometimes—I get sad when I think of all the things I probably will never be able to post about. Then my unplanned life zigs when I … Continue reading

Final Galleys Are Here!

The final galleys for Across An Aqueous Moon: Travels in Autism have arrived!! For those of you that don’t know, galleys are the publisher’s layout of a forthcoming book. It’s kind of like the publishing version of a draft. About six weeks … Continue reading


We are in limbo. Everything is on hold as we wait to see what happens with my daughter’s placement. School started in our district on Monday, August 22nd, and the following week, on August 29th, at Open Mind School (OMS). … Continue reading

A Life of Quiet Desperation

For years, my brother Tom lived a life of quiet desperation. I saw it and recognized it in myself, recognized what I had seen years earlier in my father’s father. I think Mom saw it too, must have at least … Continue reading

Playing Chicken

The school district and I are playing a high stakes (at least for my daughter) game of chicken. They want me to sign an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)—read annual contract—committing my daughter Katie to the generic, for-profit, non-public school (NPS) … Continue reading

Running Out of Time and Options

I am now in a place that I’d hoped at all cost to avoid. There is no available space in any of the five non-public schools (NPS) focused on autism spectrum disorder that I visited. Nothing. We have been waiting … Continue reading

What Happens at Camp Arroyo, Stays at Camp Arroyo, Year 2

This year, my daughter didn’t just survive, but truly thrived at summer camp. Once again, Katie attended Camp Arroyo, which is where the Exceptional Needs Network (ENN) holds its summer camp for special needs children in conjunction with the Taylor … Continue reading

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