Author Archives: Cynthia J. Patton

About Cynthia J. Patton

Writer, Editor, Advocate, Speaker, Special Needs Attorney, and Autism Mom. Also the Founder and Chairperson of Autism A to Z, a nonprofit providing resources and solutions for life on the spectrum.

Summer Vacation Redux
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It’s August, and while many kids are going back to school this week or next, my daughter just finished summer session. (Open Mind School operates year-round.) Katie has a three-week break before school starts up again. I’m embracing this out-of-sync-ness. … Continue reading

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Run to Win
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Several weeks ago, I received an email with the subject line Run to Win, from a woman (or man?) with the unlikely name of Muthoni Wambu Kraal. Muthoni is the Vice-President of National Outreach and Training for Emily’s List, a … Continue reading

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A New Summer Camp
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More than a year ago, Julie, my daughter’s Regional Center of the East Bay (RCEB) case manager, suggested that I enroll Katie in a special needs summer camp at Camp Krem near a Boulder Creek. Unlike Katie’s beloved Exceptional Needs … Continue reading

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
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My friend Nate and I recently went to see the movie, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? If you haven’t heard of the film, it’s a documentary on Fred Rogers (aka Mr. Rogers). Nate and I both grew up watching Mr. … Continue reading

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The Amazing Firebird
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In January 2017, my daughter’s incredible school partnered with the Circus Center, which is based in the former Polytechnic High School Gym in San Francisco (see photo above). From January to June, several members of the Circus Center staff traveled … Continue reading

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What Happens at Camp Arroyo Stays at Camp Arroyo, Year 4
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Last week, my daughter 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 Family Foundation. This was her fourth year. The camp may be … Continue reading

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Katie’s at Camp Arroyo (Again)
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This afternoon I drop Katie off at Camp Arroyo. This will be her fourth time at the Exceptional Needs Network’s summer camp for children with special needs. To say she is excited would be an understatement. I’m pretty excited too. … Continue reading

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A String of Firsts
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Last weekend, I coordinated Poetry Day at the Alameda County Fair. (I know, who knew?) in the morning, I hosted an open mic for all the poets whose work was accepted and displayed at the Fair, plus in the afternoon, … Continue reading

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Summer Vacation
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It’s June, and my daughter Katie has a one-week break before summer school starts. (Actually Open Mind School operates year-round, so unlike most public school programs, it will be regular school that happens in the summer months.) It might be … Continue reading

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Katie Graduates
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Tomorrow my daughter Katie graduates from 8th grade. I honestly have no idea where the time went. It’s such a cliche, and yet, utterly on point. My brain keeps shouting: How did this happen?  It’s simply not possible. You have … Continue reading

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