Linda Mastroianni
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I am a writer, parent coach and public speaker.

I write about life with my youngest son who has classic autism at www.speakingautism.ca I am also founder of www.AutismAtWork.ca where I provide resources to help young adults transition into the workplace.

I am a certified life coach providing consulting services to special needs parents on many issues such as: moving forward after the diagnosis, divorce with a special needs child, dynamics of a blended family, special education, life skills strategies, transition into the workplace, aging out of the school system and much more.

I have over 16 years’ experience with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

My passion is inspiring change and empowering every family living with autism.

You can follow me on twitter @speaking_autism and Facebook: Speaking Autism

Entries by Linda Mastroianni

The Blended Family With Autism: Tips For A Smooth Transition

(0) Comments | Posted July 25, 2016 | 6:45 PM

It's not uncommon nowadays to see blended families form from previous relationships that have ended. What was once a very delicate subject, divorce is no longer seen as taboo in society. When young couples decide to end their relationship, many will inevitable find love again and many still will have...

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What I Really Mean When I Say "I'm Fine"

(1) Comments | Posted April 11, 2016 | 4:43 PM

April is autism awareness month but in our home, we live and breathe awareness, acceptance, inclusion, and understanding every single day. I adore my children and I began adjusting my life to accommodate my son way before he was officially diagnosed with autism. I saw the signs early on and...

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Make The Holidays Happier For A Family With Autism

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2015 | 5:45 PM

The holidays are fast approaching and that magical feeling of Christmas is in the air. For many families this a joyous time, anticipated with much excitement. But for other families living with autism, the holiday season creates fear and anxiety.

We know all too well that Christmas represents the...

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Why Autism Isn't a Cause of Divorce

(2) Comments | Posted September 30, 2015 | 9:10 AM

I'm sure you've heard it countless times before; how autism was the root of the many problems within the family unit which eventually led to the demise of the marriage. This suggestion began surfacing years ago, along with an "80% divorce rate" attached to the myth, instilling fear in families...

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10 Tips to Help Young Adults With Autism Transition into The Workforce

(8) Comments | Posted May 31, 2015 | 10:51 PM

For many young adults, the transition from school to employment is often a frightening and intimidating one. Leaving the familiarity of routine behind and beginning a new journey into the unknown is difficult for anyone. For young adults with autism, this experience can be even more terrifying. They face many...

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How Can This Principal Call Special Needs Kids the 'R' Word?

(17) Comments | Posted February 11, 2015 | 6:09 PM

A recent story is sending shock waves through the autism community. Kimberly Taylor, a principal at Hilltop, a school for special needs children in Haverstraw, New York, was caught on tape screaming abuse at children, calling them "animals" and "retard." I've listened to this recording over and over...

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More Research Isn't the Key to Helping Autistic People Today

(4) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 8:44 AM

Last week it was announced that Autism Speaks was teaming up with Google to launch a new program that would essentially be creating the largest database of genomic information on people with autism spectrum disorder.

This database will be accessible, free of charge, to researchers around the...

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What Some Parents Don't Understand About Children With Autism

(3) Comments | Posted November 7, 2014 | 12:35 PM

His name was London McCabe. He was a beautiful 6 year old, non-verbal autistic boy that was senselessly murdered by his own mother.

When I read the headlines my heart sank and I felt unbelievable pain for this innocent child. Please God, not again!

Sadly, London falls into a much...

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Why I Worry About My Autistic Son's Future Every Day

(6) Comments | Posted September 11, 2014 | 1:50 PM

"If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity." ~ John F. Kennedy

This is just one of my favorite quotes from JFK and lately I've been hanging on to these words like my life depended on it.

Parents of...

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Why People With Autism Shouldn't Be Labelled 'Different'

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2014 | 2:50 PM

We hear it time and time again, each incident gut-wrenching and too painful to listen to, each story sad and unjust in its own right with an innocent victim that has suffered at the hands of those who were meant to protect them.

These are the horrific stories of...

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How Much Is Too Much Solitude For My Autistic Son?

(1) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 1:50 PM

I'm still learning about autism on a daily basis, even though it has been close to 18 years that we've been living, learning, growing and thriving with autism.

Every autistic person's story is different. Every family's situation living with autism is also different. While there may be some similarities in...

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A PQ Majority Could Silence My Autistic Son

(16) Comments | Posted March 20, 2014 | 2:05 PM

Is the future for my Anglophone autistic son in Quebec a "cul-de-sac"?

"cul-de-sac: A street or passage closed at one end: A route or course leading nowhere." ~From Oxford Dictonary.

Never in a million years would I have imagined that politics would enter and affect the life of my autistic...

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Don't Blame Autism or Dementia on God's Wrath

(4) Comments | Posted January 24, 2014 | 12:27 PM

I have imagined my words on paper, what to say, how to express my anger (because I am damn angry), how to fluently and coherently state why I do what I do, why I advocate for autism awareness and acceptance and why I fundamentally believe that every human being, regardless...

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My Son's Autism Doesn't Affect His Empathy

(0) Comments | Posted January 9, 2014 | 12:19 PM

Empathy: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also: the capacity for this; the feeling that you...
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Autism Speaks, Your Negativity is Only Making Things Worse

(7) Comments | Posted November 18, 2013 | 12:22 PM

Last week Suzanne Wright's (co-founder of Autism Speaks) "A Call for Action Plan" had the autism community in an uproar, myself included.

Autism Speaks has a history of painting autism with such a broad brush that it continually discriminates and disrespects a number of autistics that are nowhere near the...

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Maybe There's No Such Thing As 'Autism Recovery'

(18) Comments | Posted October 23, 2013 | 1:21 PM

I have been hearing the words "autism recovery" for over 13 years now. Truth be told, when my son was initially diagnosed 11 years ago, I too latched on to these words and held on for dear life. I mean, who wouldn't? If your child received a diagnosis of autism...

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How Safe is Your Special Needs Child at School?

(2) Comments | Posted October 10, 2013 | 6:47 PM

His name is Avonte Oquendo. He is 14 years old, autistic, and non-verbal. He has been missing since last Friday. Today marks day six that the police are searching for him and they still haven't found any leads.

As per the school's surveillance cameras, Avonte was seen running out...

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My Autistic Son Can't Speak French -- Should He Leave Quebec?

(67) Comments | Posted September 25, 2013 | 5:51 PM

Even before writing this article, I already know that it's going to ruffle a few feathers. It is by no means intended to disrespect anybody. This article is simply about my views and opinions regarding my son and our life. Having said that, let us begin.

Every province, every state,...

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I Have No Right to Murder My Autistic Son and Neither Do You

(21) Comments | Posted September 11, 2013 | 4:22 PM

We read the news and its one awful story after another. A mother attempts to kill her severely autistic teenager daughter in a murder suicide attempt and fails. The daughter, Issy Stapleton, is by the doctor's description making a miraculous recovery. Her mother is in jail charged with...

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A Mistake That Could Have Been Deadly

(34) Comments | Posted September 4, 2013 | 9:27 AM

I feel so terrible about something that I did last week. I didn't do it intentionally, believe me. In fact, I didn't even realize how bad my action was until just a few days ago which makes me feel even worse. So I wanted to write an apology to my...

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