Tag Archives: Autism Support

Why I support the New Mexico Autism Society


The New Mexico Autism Society with the staff of Jumpstart Autism Center

I was introduced to NMAS shortly after my daughter Layla was diagnosed with autism.  I felt alone and misunderstood or dismissed by others around me.  Just hearing the word autism come out of the doctors mouth knocked the breath out of me.  Like many parents who hear those words I went straight home and cried and looked online for answers.  It was devastating. The results in my search only made me feel more lost with more questions than answers. Many organizations I came across showed autism as something to be feared. The words they used implied shame.I felt sick.IMG_3832

I met a couple of moms from NMAS for coffee after contacting them.  We talked about our children like moms do, but it was the first time I felt at peace, knowing I WAS NOT ALONE!  It was the first time someone understood what I was talking about.  I remember one mom grabbing my hand and telling me her son did something my daughter did for the longest time.  I no longer felt  misunderstood or dismissed.

I loved the culture of NMAS.  They treated my precious daughter with respect.  They celebrated her with me and were not ashamed of her delays and challenges.  I was told that we were neighbors on autism street.  I felt so welcome and loved.  More importantly, my daughter was accepted for who she was.

I started bringing my entire family to the events held by NMAS. It was amazing to be all together where our children could just be themselves and not have to worry about being judged for my daughters uniqueness. I learned that together, we could help each other, and celebrate our kids.IMG_3670

In April of this year I ran for the title of Mrs. New Mexico, United States; and won! I overcame so much fear taking the stage, but all it took was one look in the audience and seeing Layla and knew it was for her, the community and other mothers on this journey with me! By winning the title I took and shared my platform of “Autism Awareness and Acceptance” to the national stage in Las Vegas, Nevada, it was am AMAZING experience! One of the most important things to me about this experience was that I was able to spread awareness and acceptance to thousands of people throughout the United States, I was able to share my story!

It was that phone call to the New Mexico Autism Society, the meeting with the mothers, and attending events sponsored by NMAS that gave me the confidence, courage and understanding I so desperately sought after hearing those words, “your daughter is on the autism spectrum.” Now one year later, Layla being diagnosed with autism is not as discouraging as it once seemed!


Tagged , ,


This is my story about receiving my daughters diagnosis of ASD in October 2013. One of the great things that happened because of being open about it is I was put in contact with so many wonderful families that could relate. I am so thankful for those amazing people.

I just sat down long enough to let it sink in. Autism. I’ve heard that word a million times, but hearing it from Layla’s pediatrician knocked the breath out of me. There are so many emotions I’ve felt in the last few weeks that I can’t even begin to describe them. I’ve gone all the way from feeling like a bad parent, to relief that there’s an answer, to wondering if she will ever enjoy things like a normal kid, and even feeling stupid that I didn’t know sooner. Today I’m grateful we have a starting point. We have direction on how to help our precious little girl. My beautiful baby girl’s brain just works different than ours.

There are so many things I have to learn. I feel so overwhelmed and want to learn everything I can like yesterday.

I’ve been reading the blog “a diary of a mom” written by a mother of an autistic child. Her words have inspired me. The link below is one that she wrote about the label itself. It really changed my perspective on it. When we first started the diagnostic process I was so fearful for people to find out. I thought people would judge her. I’m sure there are people out there who will, but being open about it has brought more understanding and has helped us find out that we aren’t alone.

I don’t want my daughter to ever think that I am ashamed of her. I couldn’t be prouder of her. She is different and has a very special way of viewing the world. She is facing challenges, but anything awesome usually comes with challenges. I think she’s got a whole lot of awesome coming.



I posted this photo this summer when she was in swimming lessons. I was mortified that out of 12 kids she was the only one that wouldn’t listen to the teachers and actually participate in the class. Looking at the picture again I see a really happy kid that’s probably wondering why the heck all the other kids are sitting on the side of a perfectly good pool. No, she’s not really doing what she’s supposed to, but today I’m ok with it. We will get there. In the meantime I think it’s ok to get off the wall and splash a little bit. She isn’t worried about what we think. She was just enjoying the moment.

Tagged , , ,