Monday, December 03, 2007


Aaah! It's Monday! We have an ice delay today. Who cares! It's nice not to have to rush about but still know the children will be vacating the house soon. I'm working on the last few pages of my revisions and I'm eager to tackle them today.

Yesterday's event: After I got over my initial shock of having rather misunderstood my role there, I had a wonderful time meeting people at Elms College. I was invited to sit on a panel about autism/Aspergers as a parent at this small, Catholic college called Elms which has a new graduate program in Autism. Lovely. I didn't get any instructions or suggestions on what to prepare or expectations. Kind of like motherhood.

When the presentation began, the moderator told the audience each panelist (who me?) would be getting up and speaking about autism and hope and acceptance. (WHIR!!!!!!! went my brain!) The others shuffled their prepared notes. Me? Does thumb twiddling count as preparation? Yes, if you're at a Tiddlywinks competition. No, if you're about to address 150 fresh faced folks expecting pearls of wisdom.


I composed an opening while Dr. Kathy Dyer was speaking about her 30 years' experience working with kids with autism. "I hate to tell the good doctor that with my Mia, 13, Gianna, 11 and Bella, 7, I have THIRTY ONE years' experience with autism." It got a laugh and that's sort of what I do. Use humor to put people at ease. I continued on fairly well, I think. At least I knew to wrap it up quick.

On another note, congrats to my friend and author Patricia Wood for LOTTERY's great appearance in the Washington Post yesterday!

16 comments:

John Elder Robison said...

You did great. I had no idea what to expect either. I did not know if we'd be sitting at a table with a moderator, or talking in turn, or what. I think having everyone tell some kind of story and then taking questions worked out really well.

And it's good we got home before all this ice

Kim Stagliano said...

Thanks, John. You should have heard my brain spinning around my head when I realized I had to get up and speak. I thought you'd carry the load and I'd just smile and add one or to comments at question time! I had a great time though. Michael and Pat were delightful. And you held court as only you can. I don't tire of hearing you speak. And that's not flattery. You're GOOD. I tried to make sure I didn't veer into, well, you know, some of more prickly topics. We ALL have hope and it's easy to talk about loving your own kids for me. I do think part of Gianna's growth and improvement is part of what you talk about - natural progression. Much as I'd like to take the credit. WOOF!

Diane said...

John & Kim,

I was in the audience yesterday and truthfully I wish both of your presentations could have gone on for much longer. You both have a unique gift of sharing your experiences that just holds the audience's attention.

Kim Stagliano said...

Hi, Diane! I remember you, about 2 rows in on the 2nd seat in. I wish you well. I know you have a lot going on right now. My perspective is that of a mom with younger spectrum kids - but we talk about all sorts of things on this blog. Come on back anytime!

Also, check out the site I edit: www.ageofautism.com

Best,

KIM

Drama Mama said...

I wish I could have seen you guys. I'm sure you were both fantastic.
I'll bet that you're better impromptu anyway, Kim - your humor serves you well.
xo

Kim Stagliano said...

Is impromptu a fancy word for "by the seat of my pants?" I survived. Amen.

Diane said...

Thanks for the invite Kim. I'll definitely monitor & perhaps participate on this blog. This is a whole new world that has finally opened up for me and I have a genuine thirst to understand regardless of the fact my son is an adult no longer living under my roof. There are so many issues going on with his wife & newborn and their relationship with us that I first need to come to an understanding of my son's thought process to make sense of any of it.

ORION said...

I'm sure you were wonderful Kim!
Ice huh...I got ice.
In my drink
In my refrigerator
down my back when I see my phone bill...

Stephen Parrish said...

Kimmy flying by the seat of her pants is better than most people with prepared notes. I'm sure you were wonderful.

Kim Stagliano said...

Black Levi's 515, to be exact! Thanks, Stephen. :)

Patricia, yeah, there isn't much ice in paradise is there? But when a volcano erupts and your schools are delayed, I'll think of you.

Holly Kennedy said...

Yay, Kim! Thinking on your feet is sometimes the most entertaining way to pass along information. I'm sure you did well.

And yes, congrats to Pat!

Casdok said...

I bet your brain was spinning!
Well done!

amanda said...

Well I expect nothing but brillilance in any case kimmy so no surprises here. It must be all that practice of life with your 3 little monsters - you've not had heart failure yet!! ;)

Jen P said...

My heart dropped for you. I have found myself in that situation so many times that now I don't ever prepare just for the practice for the next time I'm put on the spot to speak (ha just kidding. I don't prepare because I'm too A.D.D.). The good thing about A.D.D. and humor (and for you, your 31 years of experience!) is that I can entertain people long enough to get enough information from the audience to know what they want to hear and have a decent presentation. But it definitely helps to not be first. Sounds like you did a fab job - must be a natural!

Found you from Karen's site. Would definitely love your opinion about...um...everything. Stop by sometime.

Stacy said...

It sounds like you are cool under pressure, which is awesome. I'm sure you were great.

Polly Kahl said...

Wow Kim, sounds like you did an excellent job of recovering! That reminds me of the time I was asked to do an all-day workshop for beginners on a mental health issue, and when I got there and asked what was going on when I noticed the class getting ansty, they showed me the brochure, which promised an advanced class. Then they were pissed at ME because I didn't have my "advanced" materials with me, and they had to sit thru a boring day to get their credits. Sigh. Looking forward to hearing you speak some time. I'm sure you're the bomb.