With today being the biggest contact sport shopping day of the year.. dun dun dun..  Black Friday.. The official countdown to whatever holiday(s) you buy presents for has started. I only participated in said event once in my life and then determined it was absolutely not for me. Some family members and close friends have already started asking me for gift suggestions for Riot this Christmas.. Other than his obsession with Thomas, he really loves just about anything that gives him the sensory input he craves. He’s a Sensory Seeker. There are many children like him.. Some that are autistic, some with SPD, and some that are neurotypical. They come in all shapes and sizes.

This is the most simplified way to determine what flavor of sensory processor you’re working with and what they need to self-regulate (and to have fun, duh!):

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Everyone knows a kid that’s a sensory seeker.. So, instead of really taking a shot in the dark when picking out a gift for them, I compiled a pretty kickass list to guide you straight to the top of Best Christmas Present Ever status. You literally can’t go wrong with anything on here. I’ve included everything from indoor trampolines and platform swings for outside, to play dough, foam soap, and little stocking stuffers that these kiddos can’t get enough of. Trust me. Well.. trust Riot – he’s my inside sourceAHEM.




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Like it? Share it! Pin it! Just tell somebody!

This post contains affiliate links.. which just means if you make a purchase through a link found on RRRIOTmama, you won’t get charged any extra, but Riot and I will make a couple of dollars to save up for take-out at the end of the week. Every penny counts.. thanks for helping us out!


If you’re trying to figure out WTF all of this sensory jargon means, I’ve put some links at the bottom of this post that helped me *get* it a bit more. I think..

Have suggestions that have been a major hit at your house? PLEASE comment below or shoot me an email and fill me in so I can add it to the list and run the idea past Riot!

If you found any of this helpful or know someone that will, share share share! The more people that understand the plight of sensory seekers, the less unhappy, unraveling, rabid, wild children we’ll have on the streets!

And of course I can’t go an entire post without any mention of the boy! I’m so pumped to have some juicy, goal stuffed post by the end of next week! We have his one year Early Intervention re-evaluation on Wednesday morning to recap the past year’s off the charts progress and line up what the next plans will be!

Perfect the ABCs? Learn code? Fly to the moon?

SPOILER ALERT: All of the above.

Have a successful Black Friday! May the odds be ever in your favor!

share, share, SHARE!

©2016 RRRIOTmama

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This is 29.

This is 29 and I don’t hate it.

cake. cake. cake.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone that reached out and wished me a happy birthday this past weekend! It was absolutely wonderful. In past years I spent at the very least a week of pure wild partying with friends to celebrate, but even though things were a bit more tame, (only one night of craziness!) the entire birthday weekend was amazing!

Friday was the birthday weekend kickoff! Riot and I went with my niece, and her daughter (my GREAT niece! Wow. Like I’m actually 79!) and had tons of fun cooling off at the splash pad and getting down at the playground! I love that watching Riot and Kaia play together! My niece and I having babies so close together was perfect not planning!! Now these cousins get to grow up together!



After mommy’s night out on Saturday, my official 29 year old body gave me a break and allowed me to bounce back from my hangover pretty quickly Sunday morning. Thank God! After helping me blow out my candles we were off to one of Riot’s favorite places.. The Discovery Museum! My boy gave his mama the best present ever too!.. A mold of his two year old hand prints just as they were on the morning of my birthday in a frame he had colored and a photo of him pushing Owl on a swing.  Be still my heart! 



Nothing makes me happier than watching him play. Just about once a month The Discovery Museum has an evening called “Especially For ME”, a free night for ASD diagnosed families to go to the museum. It’s great. It’s a judgement free zone, they have designated areas to take a break if the kiddos become overstimulated and there’s even food provided from Joe’s American Bar and Grill. If you’ve donated to our Autism Speaks walk – TEAM RIOT GEAR – than you’ve helped make these Especially For ME nights possible since Autism Speaks is one of the main sponsors. I speak for many families that take advantage of these ASD friendly events when I say THANK YOU!

Click here if you haven’t donated yet! You still have 4 more days so pitch in $1 to help so many families.


Well, well, well, check out who else is AUTASTIC!

Just a little while ago I got a msg from my awesome friend Mr. Matt Kenney. Before even continuing with what his Facebook message revealed, I’m going going to give him a huge shoutout and thank you from the bottom of my heart and the depths of my soul that I likely do not have because way back in February when I first shared our flier for Team RIOT GEAR raising money for the Autism Speaks walk (hey! there’s still 31 days left to donate, you guys!) Matt was beyond generous and gave us our largest donation to date. So. Rad. I can’t even begin to express how kickass it was and how Riot and I appreciate it so much.

Ah, yes, so the Facebook message! This was the screenshot he sent me.

Satoshi Tajiri – Totally Austastic. Rock on, nerds!

SHUT UP! Who knew?! I mean, I didn’t, obviously. But, pretty cool, right?? Yup. Share that fun fact of the day with your friends while you’re out on the Pokemon hunt because.. Ugh I hate this phrase.. So cliche.. So bandwagon.. #AutismAwareness, punks!!

The elephant in the room

imageWhen I started RRRIOTmama it was with the intent to share my family’s journey navigating autism.. the community, the developmental disorder itself, the therapies, and most importantly all of the awesome milestones Riot was about to start hitting. I knew none of it was going to be easy, but I was SO excited for my boy to learn tons of new things. Him and I were ready to take it all on.

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From the second RRRIOTmama launched, I received an unbelievable amount of feedback and support. Honestly, I had been pretty sure that no one was going to read my posts at all.. which I was totally fine with since the site was to also a personal way for me to keep track of Riot’s accomplishments and goals. But, man- I was wrong. You guys actually read this shit! Like, you really care.. and that’s mindblowing. When I see the numbers of how many people visit the site each day I get overwhelmed with all of the feelings.

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With that being said, I wouldn’t feel like I was being authentic if I skipped over a very real, significant part of our story that unfortunately a lot of other autism families share.

I’m not one to air out my dirty laundry on the internet.. that’s what therapy is for. But I knew it was the beginning of the end for my relationship when Dana expressed that he absolutely did not want my blog to be a thing and that we should not be “celebrating” that Riot was autistic. But.. wait. What the fuck. I’m a stay at home mom with little-to-no adult interaction and I needed some kind of outlet to talk about this stuff, whether it be the struggles or the accomplishments.. And he was certainly not wanting to discuss any of it with me. We had always shared with our friends/family via the internet when Riot would hit yet another milestone in record time, so what made it different now? The only difference it made to me was that it was about to get way more exciting and, if it were at all possible, I’d be even more proud of my son.

He said he didn’t want people who heard to feel bad for us and approach him out at the bar (or whereever) and say something like, “so.. I heard about Riot. I’m sorry.” I assured him that no normal person would say something like that. And if someone did? I’d treat it just like I’d treat anything else and tell them to fuck off and that my kid was still cooler than theres. 

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I’ll break here to say that RRRIOTmama was in no way started to jump onto the Autism Awareness Bandwagon. In the big scheme of things, I was hardly aware, so I definitely was not going to be the obnoxious mom all of a sudden throwing that word around. But, at the same time, Dana and I have never been two people that just blend into the crowd. We know a lot of people. We have a lot of friends. We have a lot of enemies. All in all, there are always more people in our business than there should be [instert all of the eye rolls here]. So, why not use it for something positive this time? People can facebook stalk us, creep us, see how rad our son is – our AUTISTIC son – who is kicking ass at his ABA therapy and also still doing all of the other normal weird little kid things like touching bird poop, collecting rocks, eating things off the floor – no hands – like an animal. Or, I don’t know, raise over $3k in a matter of weeks for the Autism Speaks Walk?! That’s what’s up! But, yea, he was still very much not happy about talking about Riot’s autism freely.

There's still 52 days to donate! We have raised $3,115 so far! Keep it going!! Click on the flyer and it'll bring you straight to the donation page.
There’s still 52 days to donate! We have raised $3,115 so far! Keep it going!! Click on the flyer and it’ll bring you straight to the donation page.

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Parents of children with autism are 2x more likely to separate/divorce than those with a neurotypical kid.image

Shit gets tough. Especially right after the diagnosis if you feel like you don’t have your partner, your best friend by your side to go through it all with you. He wanted no part of helping me do research -which okay, fine.. that’s pretty boring – but I also found some pretty great, super interesting documentaries for us to binge watch in bed. But, no, he didn’t want to do that either. To this day I don’t think he has any idea that his disinterst in getting excited with me about getting educated and finding out all of these new things about our son really just.. killed me being attracted to him.

On more than one occaision over the years that we dated he had referred to kids with autism as “retarded”. DUN DUN DUNNNNN.. THE “R” WORD. Now, I’m not about to lie and say that I wasn’t a requent offender of throwing this word around – I have never claimed to be a saint or even a half decent human – but, obviously I was waaaay  more conscious of it after Riot’s diagnosis came along.

One night in our kitchen I asked him if he still felt that way or if he had regretted referring to autistic kids as “retarded“.. or at the very least admit that it was quite ignorant of him. I’ll never forget his answer. Probably because that was the very moment that I knew I would never be able to love him the same again. He so calmly just said, “Don’t you know the definition of retard? To delay or slow down. [He] is retarded.” I instantly had that feeling of I can talk shit about my family, but don’t talk shit about my family.triangle divider

Sure, we toughed it out for a few more months after that. He has entirely different reasons for ending our relationship. And now he has made my life quite the challenge, to say the least. The entire ordeal has made me see how lucky I am to have a handful of amazing, generous, ride-or-die friends.. scratch that.. FAMILY.. that truely love Riot and I. You know who you are – thank you all so much. And a big BIG thank you and tons of kisses to my May 2014 mom group! You ladies have shown Riot and I more love and support than I ever imagined the internet could deliver!

And now I’ll leave you guys with a very different version of the same story that one of my favorite online mum friend’s was kind enough to let me share! This adorable photo of them should link you over to her story.. totally worth the read<3



L and J’s Story.






Eff you, autism.

Newly diagnosed family? Everyone is going to say how they knew someone that knew a boy that was autistic and he was literally the smartest, 100% most creative, musically and artistically inclined child they had EVER met and that "it's okay" (wtf?) bla bla bla bla bla.... No. It is totally okay to have the "Well, this wasn't in the plan! This totally sucks!" feeling.. Because it's the truth.
Newly diagnosed family? Everyone is going to say how they knew someone that knew a boy that was autistic and he was literally the smartest, 100% most creative, musically and artistically inclined child they had EVER met and that “it’s okay” (wtf?) bla bla bla bla bla…. No. It is totally okay to have the “Well, this wasn’t in the plan! This totally sucks!” feeling.. Because it’s the truth.

Sat down late last night to open the mail and had this big envelope from Autism Speaks.. And all by myself, out loud, in the most monotone voice I yelled, “ooooh, fuck you, autism”, because that’s how I really feel all of the time. I make the best of it and laugh as much as possible, but, really now.. Can I just get a big “fuck you”? ‘Cause no one ever dreams, “aw man, someday I want a kid with autism!” Nope. Nope. Nope. No one. 

With that being said, my kid is still cooler than yours. Hands down. Last week at his playgroup I witnessed the most comical thing that the other littles were doing. Out of 6 or so kids, Riot is the only one on the spectrum. He’s made unbelievable progress when it comes to playing and interacting with other children.. but for whatever reason, last week he just wasn’t feeling it and wanted to play on his own. This made him stand out a bit, at least to me because I know he’s the only autastic one in the bunch. I had a moment of sadness dreading the future kids in school being assholes, (I hate using this word, but..) bullies, and just all around jerks not including autistic kids in their cliques. And then I snapped out of it and realized that the funniest, best thing was happening.. Riot was coming off as playing hard-to-get, ha! The rest of the kids were now trying to get his attention, trying to get him to play with them, and chasing him around the classroom like chicks that never got a call back after that first date. Man. It was amazing. My boy being a bit of a loner, anti-social, and not wanting to get down with the peer interaction was giving off the vibe that he was the cool kid instead of the stereotypical standoffish, “weird”, quiet, “different”, _____ insert-every-word-from-an-anti-bullying-campaign-here _____. aaah, proud, proud mama moment. That vibe, my fellow mamas, is not a learned behavior, but an inherited trait, a rare gene, that can only be passed down from the illest, dopest parents. You see, it’d take way more than a touch of autism to throw Riot off of his playground game.


We've made it a goal to hit up all of the coolest playgrounds in the world. We can cross off the new playground in Dolores Park, SF from the list! Pretty rad.
We’ve made it a goal to hit up all of the coolest playgrounds in the world. We can cross off the new playground in Dolores Park, SF from the list! Pretty rad.

I’ve been so wrapped up in birthday party planning that I’ve been slacking on shoving Team Riot Gear’s fundraising down your internet throats. We’re at $2,945! We have 90 more days until the Autism Speaks walk to continue raising money! If we’ve been able to raise that much in under 3 months, I’m shooting for at least $5k by the walk on August 20th. I’m so competitive that every time I log in and check Riot Gear’s fundraising page, I always wish there were a Smack Talk section like in fantasy football so I could talk shit to the other teams that are clearly no where near as good as I am when it comes to convincing people to empty their pockets.. for a damn good cause, of course! Ahem, and I’m not even counting “Christian’s Crusaders” as beating us because they’re totally using the fame card to get dough. And, you know what? I’m gonna say it.. I don’t care.. “Christian’s Crusaders” is a horribly generic, totally NOT creative fundraising team name! I give it a D (at best) for effort. I hope they at least have some amazing t-shirts the day of the walk to make up for their bla team name that I have to watch blow Riot Gear out of the water by several hundred thousand dollars. eye roll eye roll eye roll.

If you haven’t already – or even if you have – click on our flyer at the bottom of this post (or on the sidebar on any of the RRRIOTmama pages) and send a few dollars our way.. It’ll help you sleep better at night, I promise.rrriotmama_dark