In Emma's Words: Unraveling Autism

In Emma's Words: Unraveling Autism


Emma just ate Honey Baked Ham! Food #6 🎉🎉
We love when community members reach out to us to donate funds to support our organization or donate items to the families we serve. Anyone have a child with autism (any age) who would love this train table for Christmas? This is handmade locally. So unique that they can play in the middle. Please look at the dimensions first and then first person to email us and can pick up at our Boardman office on a weekday its yours. Thank you In Emma's Words: Unraveling Autism for connecting us to this donor. Our email is: [email protected]
Little BIG sister 💕
ETR IEP I'm coming for ya...

Always insightful and informative. Thank you local blogger and friend of the Autism Society of Mahoning Valley In Emma's Words: Unraveling Autism for sharing the struggles and love that our families have for their children.
Pretty interesting...
Take your s**t and let yourself out... 🧩
Frequently asked questions....

send more! This was fun! 🧩
Can't stop. Won't stop.

“I fell into a hole.” How so many of our families feel with more resources needed, more programs needed, more acceptance needed, more inclusion needed.
Our friend and local blogger, In Emma's Words gets how it is to live in the Mahoning Valley as an autism family.

Living life through a whole new view; severe, level II nonverbal autism in my daughter and sharing i

Operating as usual


Trusted and reliable respite care would be better, E...


A note I'm sharing from one if my dearest friends, DH.

How can we do better?

Photos from In Emma's Words: Unraveling Autism's post 04/29/2022

Emma finds the friend in everything...

Be like Emma. 💙


An autism moms super power 💙


Yes 🙌



We ❤️ our partners!


The In Emmas Words Family Foundation💙

In Emma's Words: Unraveling Autism

Although April 2nd is Autism awareness day, the whole month of April we need to wear blue and keep ourselves educated and willing to help families that need us.

My dear friend Julie has started a foundation in her sweet daughter Emmas name. I asked her to tell us a little bit about what she does to help other families. Her response is below.

“The In Emmas Words Family Foundation is dedicated to bringing sensory need toys and equiptment for children with nonspeaking autism. Sensory toys can help children focus better, calm down, and relax.

We are a proud partner of B Squared Coffee!”

This month we will be donating ALL of our tips to Emma’s foundation. This month more than ever we need to show our support to our friends and loved ones.

If you don’t want to tip at the coffee shop please think about joining her page, linked above, or donating to the foundation yourself. Now more than ever we need to be kind 💙💙💙


For all our ASL friends!

We love you! Thank you for teaching us!

Photos from In Emma's Words: Unraveling Autism's post 04/18/2022

Another first for us...

Emma made a friend at school. It left me in tears because this little girl and her sweet family have no idea how much we prayed for Emma to have this experience...

We took Em to the new playground and I kept hearing a little voice yell, "Emma! Emma! Hey Emma!"

Kind of like a bad habit, I assumed her friend she was playing with, was named "Emma" too.

Nope. It was OUR girl she was excited to see! She ran right up to Emma and with no words at all, both girls just giggled at eachother and played together as if not one difference was there.

They were glued together. And this sweet girl just kept talking and telling Emma all about her weekend and what was for dinner that night. You could see Emma's eyes light up.

No words. Just beaming.

Em loved listening, laughing, climbing, running and just being a friend.

I'll remember this day forever. What a beautiful moment. What awesome parents. ❤️


(Written 3 years ago.)

April 17, 2019... One year later.

Some of you have reached out and asked why I haven't been updating our journey for the month of April as it's autism awareness month (and I promised I would). There were some emotions and memories during that time that resurfaced that took me off guard and I had to take a step back.

Someone asked me if I could take back Emma's autism diagnosis... would I?

No. No because autism is apart of Emma's personality. She is the sunshine and breath of fresh air we needed to experience as individuals. She taught us what mattered in life- the small things. She taught us that love needs no words and patience is truely a virtue. She loves so hard and sees people for who they are- not by what's given to her. She observes her world differently than we do and lives for moments. She is passionate about the things that do matter.

It's also challenged us as parents, tested our marriage and changed our outlook on life. Even in our careers, the community we work with- our view changed dramatically in just a year.

God gave us Emma and I believe she was put on this earth to teach us all something.

Emma, I want to grow up to be like you 💙


Your family traditions are all yours 🐰 enjoy it whatever it may look like- that's what matters most 💙


Imagine if the mother didn't have the courage to ask questions...

Our children with autism would still be classified as schizophrenic. Living arrangements would be in an institution far from the public eye and never spoken about.

Treatments commonly used to cure this social and emotional disorder was electroconvulsive therapy and LSD.

Our children's hands would be glued to tables to model "quiet hands." Thay were isolated. Alone.

The mother was accused of not giving the infant enough attention causing the schizophrenia.

We've come so far in just 50 years...


Sometimes I wonder what my friendships would look like if we didn't have autism.

It's true, you change and I wouldn't change how my daughter changed me for anything in the world. The village you thought you had is not the village you have today.

And that's OK. It's not the fault of anyone- life changes and gives you a different meaning, perspective and joy like no other. Having a child with a different ability is so mysteriously different from raising a typical child.

There's many more peaks, valleys, darkness and light, and understanding, kindness and compassion.

You become the voice and 10,000 more questions lay with your heart at night. Everything from the daily team you pick for your child to the newborn care stage you're still in... 6 years later. (But this stage, she can run, fast!)

This life is a passage and I've learned so much. But sometimes I can't help to wonder what life would be like if we were all "still there."


We're not surviving any longer... we're thriving.


We love our partners!!

Stop by and buy a ticket to win a Easter basket! Our girls made this with some goodies and a $10 gift certificate to our shop!

All money will be donated to In Emma's Words: Unraveling Autism 💙💙💙

As always, thank you for your support!


We were blown away by the spectacular art show for exceptional students and abilities! We're so proud of all our classmates and our school who made this night so special 💗

Our girl got a certificate and a trophy for silliest in show!

Amazing evening celebrating as a family with friends so special to us!


Finally when I get these girls to bed...

It looks like this.


Thank you all for your support- Enjoy the presentation! It was an honor to represent families like ours 💙


Here we to the school board presentation!

Photos from In Emma's Words: Unraveling Autism's post 04/11/2022

This evening I was asked to present our lives living autism to our school board and community.

I couldn't be more grateful to talk about inclusion, support and all the joys autism is made up of!

I'll be sharing my presentation with you all this evening- here's a sneak peek!


Bless those who see life through a different window and those who understand the view 💙 Emma, I want to grow up to be just like you.

Here are 5 traits of autistic children:

If you want the truth... ask a person with autism. They'll give it to you positive or negative because she will accurately express her emotions.

People with autism live in the moment- they see true beauty that neurotypical people miss every day.

They dont judge. Social and educational factors are much less important than for their neurotypical peers. In fact, people on the spectrum often see through such surface appearances to discover the real person.

Passion. They are truly passionate about the things, ideas, and people in their lives. They spend the time, energy, and imagination necessary to truly master their area of interest, and they stick with it even when it's difficult, frustrating, or "uncool."

People with autism are not tied to social expectations. Social expectations can be honestly unimportant. What matters is true liking, shared interests, kindness, and the desire to spend time together—not keeping up with or being as similar as possible to the Joneses.

Less materialistic. People with autism are far less concerned with prestige and status than their neurotypical peers. As a result, they worry less about brand names, high-end restaurants, and other expensive but unimportant externals than most people do.


"If you've met one individual with autism, you've met one individual with autism."
-Dr. Stephen Shore



Let's get this party started!


Before our diagnosis, I knew something was off and I saw it firsthand around friends and family with children near the same age as Emma. It still stings, a thousand stings.

Nothing prepares you when the differences slap you in the face. That's a whole heartbreak you'll see over and over for years to come. She always had to work so hard, while life came so naturally to the toddler next to her.

She did not respond to her name. She did not play with toys correctly. She did not point. She preferred to play alone. She did not have an imagination. She would stand in silence with her fingers in her ears. She was obsessed with TV especially Whinny.

All I kept hearing was "red flags" not
"autism" just yet. She wasn't autistic, I thought... she had hearing loss.

I could fix this. Even a family member said to me- being deaf was better than autism.

I would stand behind her and bang pots and pans together. Yell her name. Whisper in her ear. Cover my mouth and speak to her. She didn't budge because she didn't care what I was doing. She wasn't interested in me, her own mother, either.

At our first hearing test- we were in a sound proof booth and she was on my lap. Her head turned toward every sound. She was doing excellent but another fear started to creep in.

The test came back perfect. I needed to confirm this so I went to another hearing test an hour away.

She passed that one, too. "Exceptional hearing" scribbled in her chart.

Finally. I knew. All the signs pointed to autism.

And that was the night I called my mother at midnight, throwing up, hyper ventaliating, screaming that I knew. We stayed on the phone until 4am.

The next morning, I was up at 7am. I packed Emma up and went to her doctor's office, without an appointment. I demanded my pediatrician start the Help Me Grow referral, send us to a developmental pediatrician, and get us to a neurologist. Now.

I wasn't leaving. My baby was suffering and not receiving the help she needed. I'd be damned first.

And I vowed that day to isolate myself from friends to not feel the differences any longer. I couldn't take it.


Ice cream bandit 🤣


Fierce advocate 💪


Since you guys liked the last one... I thought you'd enjoy part 2!


Because my physician never gave up on me (listen, I waited for a discharge letter when I gave up on myself!) ... I've been getting the help I need as a caregiver in a world with unimaginable highs and lows.

We were given autism as a gift to share. The In Emma's Words Family Foundation is growing by likes, followers and donations.
THANK YOU for this.

One way we plan to use funds is to help caregivers with therapy Co-pays so they can find the gift and joys autism brings even in the hardest of times. It's important to take care of you, find your voice and mental health again- YOU first.

Please consider looking at our store front, making a donation or just simply share our mission 💙

No shame.

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