Welcome to raisingjedi!  I hope you enjoy this tiny little corner of the galaxy…er… I mean internet.  Let me tell you a little bit about us.  Long ago, in a suburban neighborhood, I was a mild-mannered housewife, minding my own business when a wild and wonderful little boy named Colin came into our lives.  I had an amazing life all planned out for us.  There would be rice crispy treats!  There would be arts and crafts!  There would be camping trips and something called a “lazy Sunday.”

Well, as it turns out, my son wanted to be a Jedi and the Jedi craves not these things.  As a small child, he wasn’t really a talker.  He couldn’t hold a onto a crayon for our arts and crafts, and he was too picky for those rice crispy treats.  It became clear that no Sunday would ever qualify as lazy. I guess that I should mention that my padawan, along with having a super high midichlorian count, was born with autism.

Hey!  Don’t leave!  This is not what you think.  This is not a site where parents go to vent about the trials of raising a child with autism.  There will be no complaints about the latest terrible IEP.  There will be no heated discussions about causes or cures.  Those sites are not hard to find and, in this mom’s opinion, there are enough of them.

So, if that is what raisingjedi isn’t, then what is it?  Raisingjedi is a place where we celebrate everything that makes our kids awesome.  It is about the light at the edge of the spectrum.  It is about success, fun, and sometimes it is about laughing your Asperger off.  Most of all, it is about connecting with your child.

For myself and my hubby, this is where the Star Wars part comes into play.  Star Wars was Padawan Colin’s special interest and it turned out to be special for all of us.  I will admit that I would tune him out when he would get to about hour 2 of his Star Wars talk, then I noticed something…  Colin has always had a hard time with understanding the emotions of others and never really cared to explore them, but he started asking questions about certain characters.  Before I knew it, we were having a dialogue about emotions and he was getting it.  Special interest had gone from annoying to awesome really fast.  I begun to encourage his special interest.  Then something else amazing happened.  Colin wrote a letter to George Lucas asking a question that only he would ask, and the lovely people from LucasFilm wrote back.  Then things got viral… really viral.  Next thing I know, we are everywhere from MTV to the New York Times. Colin got to visit LucasFilm, open up Intergalactic Con, and do the “Force Push,” on tv.  

All of that happened because no one ever told him that a 7 year old could not change the universe.  So, is autism hard?  Of course is, but anything that gives us this much strength is not the enemy.  As Master Yoda so eloquently points out…  

“Remember, a Jedi’s strength flows from the Force.  But beware, anger, fear, aggression.  The Dark Side are they.  Once you start down the dark path, forever it will dominate your destiny.”  

So, if you would like to share your stories of joy and inspiration, send an inquiry to Peggy@RaisingJedi.com!  As always, stay on the path of Light and may the Force be with you!

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  4. very good article my son is 44 and you can imagine back in the day it was not much out about autism, he sees good and all people and if he does not like you he just does not like you, he is very stubborn, it is not
    easy, the way the world is today , it is very hard being
    a parent of a special child, the outside world really do not understand, you worry what is going to happen when you pass away I am 65 would like to go to senior housing but unable because of my sons age and as they get older there is not a lot for them to do

    • Carrie, there is a place where your son can go to learn how to live independently and maintain a job. Check out http://www.jespyhouse.org and see if it is right for him. (If you have questions for me about this, please contact me through my blog.)

      Peggy, your son’s Star Wars story is inspiring to me. I was his age when my parents started to notice that something about me seemed a little “off.” My father is a surgeon, and after observing me while he came to visit my class for career week, he was able to recognize, right away, that I needed an evaluation by a professional. My journey begins in the very early nineties, when little was known about learning exceptionalities, but doctors had begun to study them. I was fortunate to have a great education and a wonderful childhood. I attended Round Lake Camp in PA, a sleep away camp for children with learning exceptionalities like myself and which I highly recommend. At twenty, I was diagnosed with High Functioning Aspergers.

      Living with it is not easy, but it does have its advantages. We have above average IQ’s, we follow the rules to the letter (your son will never even consider defying you) and are typically extremely honest.

      Your son’s Star Wars story is inspirational because he was able to express himself, through that letter, to his favorite author and artist. Whether or not Mr. Lucas himself wrote back, Colin got the answer he needed to hear. It shows that he is trying to define and understand emotions and what they mean to him. The films and books are his educational tools. Many of us on the spectrum are able to identify emotions. Your son’s interest in the series and the characters are teaching him how.

      I applaud him and his parents! This is truly amazing!

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