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From autism to Botox, honest stories to help us lead a more impactful life. 🇻🇪 🇺🇸 For a weekly dose of inspiration:
man eating ice cream
Author image: Diego, shared with his consent

It takes Diego’s cousin Eugenia (who’s the same age as him) a few text messages to arrange an outing to a bar with friends in Manhattan.

Should Eugenia decide to work remotely from Mexico City for a couple of months just because she wants a Latin America experience, she’s able…

Woman running in the woods
Photo by Fil Mazzarino on Unsplash

Much has been written about writer’s block: whether or not it’s a thing, how to prevent and overcome it, what it feels like, etc.

To my mind, the notion of writer’s block is vastly overblown by those who underestimate how draining writing is. I mean, as with any hard discipline…

Baby smiling
Photo by Daniel Thomas on Unsplash

My autistic son and I were out on an afternoon run, Diego a bit ahead of me when a car pulled over. “It’s Dawn and Victoria! You’re back from Idaho! I like your car. …

woman firefighter
Image by Kevin Phillips from Pixabay

Age is one of those aspects of our being that can be easily measured, in years usually, unless you’re in the single digits phase (aka childhood), in which case your age is either a whole number or a number and a half. …

Image by Author: Diego (27, autistic) at his job training site. Published with permission

Hello Special Nation,

Why do you work?

Diego, my autistic son, makes it easy to understand why the purpose of work sometimes doesn’t involve “making a living,” as in paying the bills. It can mean way more than that, as you’ll read about here:

‘I Can’t Go. I Have Work’

Disability and Diego also loom large in my mind whenever I go out for a run. Read about it and other thoughts (silly and serious) that also comes to mind in my running space:

The Wondrous Things I Think about in My Running Space

Thanks infinitely for stopping by this magical Special Nation!


Man at work vacuuming
Image by Author: Diego at his coffee shop job; published with permission

My husband and I were going away on a trip and I asked our 27-year-old son, who’s autistic and intellectually disabled, if he’d like to come along. “I can’t go. I have work,” was Diego’s answer.

It’s not like he would forgo income or be fired if he missed a…

Girl digging in the sand
My sister Ana digs a hole to China, 1985. Family album image

In Paparo, the protagonist of our family life was always my father, and when I think of him during the first decade of my life, I see him in shorts and sandals, often shirtless, holding a machete in one hand and an OFF! can in the other. The former came…

Photo by Igal Ness on Unsplash

I must begin by clarifying that I already promote Medium — for free! …

Diego and me: Two years ago

I’m thrilled to share these three links with you for your reading or listening pleasure, and in case you’d like to share with people (English or Spanish speaking!) who might benefit from the experience of a parent who’s gone through a lot of stuff already.

👓 Read- Dear Mother of an Autistic Child: There’s No Need to Panic… *

🎧 Listen- Dear Parent of an Autistic Child

🎧 Listen- Querida madre de un niño autista

All the best,


Photo by Jarritos Mexican Soda on Unsplash

On the last eve of our family reunion in Maine, we all went to the Lobster Pound for dinner. …

Daniella Mini

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