profile image

Linda Mastroianni

Writer, Parent Coach, Speaker. Inspiring change and empowering every family living with autism.

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
Getty

The Blended Family With Autism: Tips For A Smooth Transition

Blended families don't feel in unison or in sync right off the bat; it's not something that happens overnight. It takes patience, love, understanding, compromising and time. In our case, it took us a few years before we felt in sync, like a real authentic family. Having a child on the autism spectrum made this journey even more delicate.
07/25/2016 05:48 EDT
Aliyev Alexei Sergeevich via Getty Images

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

Raising a child is hard, and raising a child with special needs has even greater challenges that often leave parents feeling fatigued and depleted. Yet every day we find renewed energy and we continue to push forward and advocate for our children who cannot advocate for themselves. So when I tell you "I'm fine," it can mean a lot of things.
04/11/2016 03:43 EDT
Sally Anscombe via Getty Images

Make The Holidays Happier For A Family With Autism

When my son was a toddler, I remember a few events that I declined to attend simply because it was too complicated -- I just didn't have it in me. Looking back at the earlier years, I realize just how little people new about my son and his autism. I think our experience would have been different had others been more aware.
12/03/2015 05:45 EST
AnaBGD via Getty Images

Why Autism Isn't a Cause of Divorce

The challenges parents face raising a child with autism is amplified a thousand times over. We often don't know what to do or how to help our child. But even with all the challenges, autism isn't what causes a couple to divorce.
09/30/2015 08:10 EDT
Sharon Dominick

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

Entering into the workforce is a milestone in one's life; a rite of passage that is often identified as the beginning of their journey into adulthood. But for so many young adults with autism, this transition can be the most difficult and stressful time in their lives. Here are 10 tips to help young adults with autism transition into the workforce.
05/31/2015 09:51 EDT
Slonov via Getty Images

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

This is another prime example how the rights of special needs children continues to be violated by the same people that are in a position to protect them. The abuser doesn't see these children as whole. They see them as deficient, less than and certainly not worthy of respect and dignity. This principal didn't see them as whole human beings. She saw them as "animals." What message is the school district sending when they fire the person that has reported the abuse?
02/11/2015 06:09 EST
Wendi Andrews via Getty Images

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

As important as research is, I truly don't believe this should be the number one priority when discussing how to improve the lives of people with autism. How is research helping the autistic individuals living in our society today? The ones that are stigmatized for who they are; the children who are on waiting lists for government funded therapy that unfortunately never comes and whose parents are forced to go privately, depleting finances at an astounding rate. They are not part of an incomplete puzzle. They are here, they are whole and they are deserving of equal opportunities.
12/18/2014 08:44 EST
Getty

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

Parents of special needs children will often tell you that we worry about the future of our children when we are no longer here to protect them. I am no exception. My son is 15 years old and he is autistic. I worry every day for his future.
09/11/2014 12:50 EDT
Charly Franklin via Getty Images

A PQ Majority Could Silence My Autistic Son

The 41st Quebec general election is scheduled for Monday April 7, 2014. A new PQ majority government would mean a possible referendum for Quebec separation from Canada in the near future. Yes, I know, we've been down this road before, only now, I have an autistic child who can only speak English. The dynamics have suddenly changed for me. Don't get me wrong, I love this province, I just don't like what's it's become over the last two years but most importantly, it's the uncertainty, the unknown that scares me the most. My son risks being silenced in a province that could, in the future, choose not to recognize his language
03/20/2014 01:05 EDT
Charly Franklin via Getty Images

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

My autistic son wasn't born because God was pissed off at America. My son was born because he was meant to be born, just as he is. My son was born so that I could learn how to be a better human being. He was born so he could teach me how to communicate without words. He was born so that I could learn how to listen with my heart and see things through touch.
01/24/2014 12:27 EST
Linda Epstein via Getty Images

My Son's Autism Doesn't Affect His Empathy

The thought of teaching my son Emilio to say "I'm sorry" in an effort to build and develop more empathy never crossed my mind. That's the reality of raising children with non-verbal autism; their parents are concentrating on having eye contact with their child; they are working on communication skills so they can verbalize their basic needs like "I want water".
01/09/2014 12:19 EST
Getty

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

In reality, you need to be extremely rich in order to try all the possible interventions that claim to have had children recover from autism. Biomedical treatment such as chelation, which is the process of removing toxic metals from the body and hyperbaric oxygen treatment are some examples of costly alternative medicine that most insurance companies do not pay for.
10/23/2013 12:25 EDT
Getty

How Safe is Your Special Needs Child at School?

There is a vast difference between supervising typical children versus special needs kids. Every day I send my son to school I pray that all goes well and I pray for his safe return home. It's an awful feeling knowing that your child wouldn't be able to tell you if something bad happened to them.
10/10/2013 05:47 EDT
Getty

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

We live in a province where language is a huge issue. I can't even begin to tell you how many times people have said to me "Oh your son doesn't speak French?! Do you realize you live in Quebec"? Really, thank you kindly for pointing that out. Do YOU realize my son is autistic and for the first five years of his life barely spoke?
09/25/2013 05:34 EDT
Getty

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

What gets me so upset is the dehumanization of an autistic child when they are put in a cage or dungeon-like living quarters and treated worse than you would treat a dog. While I do sympathize with parents who have to handle a child with violent behaviour, I will never understand how a parent can murder their own child.
09/11/2013 05:31 EDT
Shutterstock

A Mistake That Could Have Been Deadly

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. I am so very sorry for being selfish and thinking only of my son and not realizing how dangerous my actions were by allowing him to bring this granola bar with peanuts to school.
09/04/2013 08:27 EDT