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Happiness is… Jo Ann Briseno’s Napkin Art

posted Thursday November 10th, 2016

I’m not sure when I first noticed Jo Ann Briseno’s art, when we first became friends on Facebook or when I found her on Instagram. I only know that I was captivated by her drawings, so simple in black pen on white paper napkins, a near-daily love letter left in her daughter’s lunch box. I […]


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Mapping Sophie

posted Thursday October 27th, 2016

I don’t get out much — the editor’s lament — but this spring I made a point of inviting myself to artist Monica Aissa Martinez’s central Phoenix studio. She graciously agreed. I wanted to see up close how she maps people. It’s pretty literal, this mapping. The artist’s subjects aren’t exactly naked; it’s more of […]


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Dutch Treat?

posted Thursday October 6th, 2016

October is Down syndrome Awareness Month, so my Facebook feed is full of beautiful photos of kids with DS and wonderful explanations of Down syndrome. Lots of people are posting a popular short essay called “Welcome to Holland.” I’ll be honest. It’s not my favorite. Here’s why, in an excerpt from “My Heart Can’t Even […]


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We Don’t Need Another Tiny Superhero. Or Do We?

posted Wednesday July 20th, 2016

A letter landed in my e-mailbox the other day. Hi Amy! My name is Robyn Rosenberger and I’m the founder of  Tiny Superheros – a superhero cape company with a big mission to empower Extraordinary kids as they overcome illness or disability! (The attached 2 min video captures our mission!) I came across your blog awhile […]


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“Finding Dory” made me nauseous, and not just because I’m prone to seasickness. The sequel to “Finding Nemo” was widely anticipated, particularly in the special needs community. All week my friends were sharing reviews that heralded the movie for celebrating people with disabilities, beginning with Dory, the blue tang with short term memory loss. I […]


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Blanket Statement

posted Friday June 3rd, 2016

I got a Facebook message the other day from a guy I don’t know well, an artist in town. He and his wife just had their second baby, he wrote. And the baby has Down syndrome. I invited myself over. He said okay. I think I went more for me than for them. It was […]


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It Takes a Village to Raise a Mom. And a Book.

posted Thursday June 2nd, 2016

I’m going to begin this blog post the way I’ve started countless blog posts before. I’m going to to tell you a secret. Book publishing is hard. Okay, that might not be much of a surprise, but it bears mention. It’s really fucking hard. You spend a hunk of your life writing this thing (in […]


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Dear Sophie, You know, I have been writing this blog for the last 8 years — I started it on your fifth birthday, to document your year in kindergarten — but I’m not sure I’ve ever actually written to you, only about you. So today, in honor of your 13th birthday, I thought I’d write […]


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I was nervous about the Alzheimer’s studies that ask for brain scans and drug trials, but I agreed to the heart research that only required a blood draw and the saliva samples Ray and I still have to send in. And I was super eager  for Sophie to participate in the sleep study. There’s a […]


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I am so grateful to Sophie’s teachers — past and present — and to everyone at her school (she pretty much knows them all by name!) for educating, enlightening and including my little girl. Sometimes, knowing where to begin to say “thank you” can be tough. As usual, Sophie gave me the best lesson when […]


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My-Heart-Cant-Even-Believe-It-Cover
My Heart Can't Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome is available from Amazon and 
Changing Hands Bookstore
. For information about readings and other events, click here.
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