Tuesday, May 12, 2015



We are a Colorful Family. When we are out in public, we are usually the ones people are looking at. Because we are unusually attractive. OR, perhaps, because one of the kids is usually doing something "interesting" and one of the parents (usually me - Pardner is a chef, and chefs quite a lot) is usually doing something "creative" to try to channel the "interestingness."

I’ve realized over the years, because I find myself staring when I see families with differences or public challenges, that some people—like me -- look on with identification and empathy.

Some look with scorn and judgment (those guys don’t even deserve this sentence).

But the other group consists of the ones who want to use my family to teach “tolerance” – which feels a little condescending -- or those who (much better) are aiming for respect and acceptance, whether of neurodiversity or ethnic diversity or any other inclusive impulse…

Um, may I just say that being anyone’s “Teachable Moment” can be a wee smidge annoying? But okay, I get it, people.

So here’s my Lesson Plan for this Teachable Moment:

                                           Figure I – The Full Spectrum Family Lesson Plan

Guess what. It's a spectrum. Is yellow "better than" violet? No. Red vs. green: who wins?


Neurotypical's not better than neurodiverse -- and vice versa.

White? Brown? Peachy keen? Melungeon? Different?...Equal.

Orange? Blue? Indigo? Sensitive? Impervious? Female? Male? Trans? “Normal?” Weird?” Can’t tell?


Please think carefully before you approach us just because one of us is brown and might not be “mine,” or because one or two of us seems quirky…unless you do so under an equal and inclusive flag.

Whatever we are representing to you, it’s probably not our "fault." It’s not even necessarily that interesting.

There's nothing wrong with us, or at least no more than there is with any other given family. And we all need to learn to get along. Best we do so with the basic assumptions that no one is a specimen and that we are all equally valid members of this funky human rainbow.

Thanks – I needed to get that off our Spectrum.

Full Spectrum Mama


  1. Couldn't agree more. I know that sometimes people might look at us, especially when the kiddo is not acting "right" and might want to use that as an example of how not to act to their child. But in all honesty...when something is truly bothering them how do they respond? Thanks for sharing and getting it off your spectrum.

  2. I love your visual! Great post and point!

  3. LOVE this! I think sometimes people bend over backwards to show how tolerant and accepting they are that they cross over into the realm of pretentious and condescending. Live and let live. Another great blog!

  4. @Merri -- thank you dear! Sometimes last minute pressure can be "inspiring" ;)
    @Jessica - absolutely!!!!!!!!! You Get It.
    Thanks for reading and for your comments.

  5. Love, love, love this post. I agree that it's not a better than, it's an equal to. And I don't mind being the teachable moment in an equal to situation. You nailed it!

    1. Thank YOU - it's nice to be equal and in tune <3

  6. "We are a Colorful Family..." so basically, Not Boring, right? ;)

    The only way they should be using your family as a possible teachable moment is simply by showing their children by example the kind way to treat and accept others. Not whispering or looking. Ugh

  7. very good! Yes thanks for advocating. I love your diagram too:)

  8. Thanks so much, wonderful @KMarie - Blessed be - <3


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