From our family to yours!

We started this journey in 2009 when our oldest son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, at the age of six. He opened our eyes to the challenges of living in a ‘neurotypical world,’ where all-important social rules seem arbitrary and confusing and the subtle ways that we share information through a glance or a shrug can be an absolute mystery.Comments we used to throw around carelessly like: “She has no social skills” or “He just doesn’t get it,” suddenly took on new significance. While we experienced our son as a wacky, lovable and brilliant kid, we recognized his non-conformity could exclude or isolate him from fully participating, or being accepted by, our community here in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

First and foremost, this blog is a place for us to learn and share: to build a virtual Circle of Friends for our son, our family and hopefully for others. It is also an invitation to everyone to reconsider people they think of as ‘outside’ our circle or our society in some way. What do we miss when we turn away from difference  and the discomfort it often provokes in us? How can we expand our comfort zone and make room for others around the circle?

We hope some of you may share your own stories and your own ideas here as well.  


11 responses to “About

  1. Karla

    heh I had no idea you were bloggin….
    nice to catch you here…
    will read, will love

  2. We just started the blog and are hoping it will take on a life of its own as it grows…a great place to think out loud a bit and maybe build a few bridges along the way. xoam

    • Matt Kamaratakis

      Dear Anne-Marie,

      I humbly ask you to forgive my shortcomings, as this response has nothing to do with your blog (although I will be taking a much closer look in the days to come), but the courageous, thoughtful and warm reply which you recently wrote for me on BLOOM.

      With this in mind, please allow to continue by saying, “Any friend to Louise is a friend of mine.” Moreover, although I am sure that we will both agree, “Our friend can hold her own under any circumstance”, I try to use my love of writing not for frame or fortune, but to simply assist those I can.

      For, through exclusion, my many failures and countless mistakes, I have gained a encompassing sense of humanity. Hence, I will forever vow to use these most mundane, as well as divine, rules when writing:

      1) Always write with reason and compassion, as the two should never be separated.
      2) Write to empower, inspire, and educate.
      3) Never write in anger.
      4) Always write the truth.

      Thank you for looking beyond my disability and letting me help you, as your words and kind nature will never be forgotten.

      Yours truly,

      Matt Kamaratakis

      • Dear Matt, I always love reading your comments on Louise’s blog and am so happy to have you here in ‘my home’ as well. Your story about your Dad was truly stunning…I was telling a friend about it just today at lunch. It was told with such honesty and such love that it’s message couldn’t help but hit home. I look forward to your thoughts, as always, in Bloom and maybe even here from time to time. My very best wishes, Anne-Marie

  3. Sylvie

    Your efforts are beautiful and to be applauded. I’m just now beginning to explore the site and hope to contribute as I love writing, and find it a wonderful way to express, connect, and sometimes even come to terms with my own thoughts on things. Lastly, I LOVE your family photo! I can totally see all of you! I’ve been taking ‘shadow pictures’ for years and so once again, feel a kinship with you. 🙂 Sylvie xo

    • Happy New Year Sylvie! I can’t wait for you to contribute to the blog. Ryan and Euan both love shadow images and so do I. I hope you had a great holiday and can’t wait to see you. xoAnne-Marie

  4. Gina Fredette

    Hey Anne Marie,
    I just read your blog for the first time and had to respond. First I want to tell you how much I enjoyed (as I have always enjoyed) your writing. You express yourself in such a beautiful way! I would love to meet your son someday. Secondly, I wanted to know if I could pass along the blog to my friend whose brilliant son faces his own challenges. She is a very dedicated mom who goes to great lengths to understand her son’s disability and to help him to shine in an often very ignorant world.

    Keep up the good work. I will continue to read, and perhaps post, on a regular basis.


    • Gina thanks so much for reading and for writing back. It really means a lot to me! Yes, please do share the blog with anyone you want! It helps me to write this stuff down, so if it actually helps someone else while I’m at it all the better. I hope you and your beautiful family are all doing well. I love keeping tabs on FB. All the best. xoam

  5. Anne-Marie…
    You are a fellow Canadian and also Mom of a boy with ASD. How can it get any better than that! I love your writing and I just have to add you to my blog roll… I will definitely be visiting and revisiting your site 🙂


  6. df

    Well Anne-Marie, I’ve just tagged you to complete Mrs. Sparkly’s 10 Commandments, so you’ve got a little sideline to add to your blog. My post is here: http://wuppenif.com/2012/02/15/a-little-about-me-apparently/

    Have fun!

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