5 Books to Prepare for Big Moments
by Michele Roger
No matter what I scored on my ACT, or how many Ted Talks I listened to, or how many glasses of iced tea I drank with my grandmother in the garden while snapping raw green beans, nothing truly prepared me for the big moments in life. I mean really, why didn’t someone tell me about all the curve balls life throws? From standing up to the school bully to standing up to my boss, sleeping while the baby sleeps, to sleeping in my bed alone after a breakup? (The key is to sleep in the middle of the bed surrounded by pillows for that last one, by the way.) Here are five of the best books I know to help prepare anyone for this unreasonable and beautiful thing called life.
Prepare For Puberty by reading
A L o n g Walk To Water by Linda Sue Park.
Based on the true-life story of two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, any teenager (or adult for that matter) will learn to appreciate the small but good things in life. The inspiration I derived from their choices and means of survival made me want to buy copies and put them in every free, little library box in my hometown. I’m grateful that this book made it into my hands and feel it’s the perfect read to quell a bit of the growing angst inside every teen.
Continue reading about the other books to help prepare for big moments in SEARCH Magazine’s Winter 2019 issue.
A New Frontier for the National Solar Observatory, New Mexico
by Michele Roger
In 2016 and 2017, the National Solar Observatory was drowning amidst scandal and neglect. It was yet another nationally science based tourist site falling into ruin. Telescopes were no longer in working order, staff nowhere to be found, and entire sections closed to the public.
It was presumed by many that the entire facility would be shut down for good by summer of 2017. Then, despite a sea of bad news, a helping hand became a new chapter in the space observatory.
Thankfully, New Mexico State University breathed life back into the site in the late summer of 2017. Students became docents, giving tours filled with enthusiasm. Funding from the university trickled in and slowly repairs to equipment were made and features of the building restored. The result? Tourism is beginning to flood the area once more. The National Solar Observatory is becoming a place where people of all ages are falling in love with the stars, space, and the skies above, once again … continue reading the Fall 2019 issue
We’re Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo
by Michele Roger
The roars, the crowds and well, the smells; it’s all part of the excitement that accompanies a trip to the zoo. For some patrons on the autism spectrum, it’s some of these same aspects of a day at the zoo that can make it a challenge.
Zoos from around the world have come to appreciate that everyone experiences the zoo in their own way and have set up programs to help everyone enjoy the beauty and splendor of the animals.
Established in 1826, the London Zoo sits at the north edge of Regent’s Park between West Minster and Camden. The London Zoo is known for being the first zoo to open a reptile house in 1849, as well as the first children’s zoo in 1938.
In keeping with its pioneering tradition, London was one of the first zoos to create a digital package for autistic students attending with their school. The interactive, digital tour and printable pack is meant to be used ahead of the visit. The online tour goes through … continue reading the Summer 2019 issue.
Happy Milestones: an interview with Emerian Rich
by Michele Roger
1. I often hear parents wonder aloud if they should have their children tested. What was your experience when your son was diagnosed with autism?
We had our son tested because he wasn’t talking. We didn’t know what the reason was. When he was six months old, he said “Momma” and then never spoke again. When he hit one year old, we thought we better have him checked out. He was diagnosed with just a “delay”. They couldn’t give a full Autism diagnosis until he was five. At the time, we wondered if he was just behind because he was super premature. As a result, it was a lot of years waiting to see what was wrong. However, I am glad he got tested at one. He was immediately enrolled in speech delay programs and with therapists who taught him sign language first and then got him speaking. If we had waited, there’s no telling how long it would have taken him to talk.
2. What is a typical morning (or evening, whichever you prefer) like at home together?
Autism can mean so many different things to different families. My son is fairly high-functioning and is very independent. He has his own schedule, which sometimes drives us up the wall, but it’s very important to him. In the evening, he has dinner at a certain time, brushes his teeth, takes a shower, game time, and then bed on a strict regime. If he has to miss it or things are later/earlier, he gets very upset. In public and school, you could think … Read more in the Spring 2019 issue.
What’s an article you’ve written for SEARCH that you enjoyed?
I’m really blessed to live in the Motor City. There is so much revitalization going on right now in the city of Detroit. While I’ve loved traveling and writing about my adventures in the Cayman’s, New Zealand, and Canada, I have to say the article that has meant the most to me is the Empowerment Group article. A Detroit based Wayne State University student studying art accepted a challenge made by her textiles professor. In a very short time, she went from full time student to homeless advocate and eventually founder of a non-profit organization. One part of her solution gave locally made, warm winter coats to the homeless while the other part of her vision employed working poor parents trying to get themselves and their children out of homeless shelters. Some of the first people they employed have finished college and have gone off to start their own businesses. I’ve never been more inspired than I was after completing that interview.
What was your favorite thing to do as a child?
While I loved reading and playing piano, my absolute favorite time as a kid was the annual fishing trip to northern Canada with my grandparents. No phone, no computers, limited electricity on generator, we went to a camp called Lac de Mille Lac (Lake of a Thousand Lakes). There, we fished all day and photographed wild moose, eagles, and bears.
Do you have a hot tip for us?
My new favorite….continue reading in the Summer 2018 issue.