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EVOLVE 2017

(Suzi Lula, Dr. Shefali & Me!) I first saw Dr. Shefali speak about conscious parenting on Oprah years ago and have been a dedicated follower of her message since. I attended her first EVOLVE conference in 2015, watched her take the stage LIVE @ Oprah’s Super Soul Sessions at UCLA’s Royce Hall, attended an intimate […]

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An Homage To My Mama

(My Mama, Zo & Me) A few weeks ago I was lamenting to my Mom about Arizona’s increasing sassiness and overall stinky pre-teen behavior. At one point I stopped and asked, “Wait, but I never went through that stage, right?” My mom smiled and responded, “Oh yes, Susanna, you had a stage.” Well, I guess […]

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What’s Wrong With Her?

(Shine bright, baby girl!) In the very early days of Arizona’s journey with doctor visits and assessments, it was  hard to explain to outsiders (family and close friends included) what exactly was going on with her. I was confused by the wide range of diagnostic terminology used to describe Arizona : auditory processing disorder, sensory […]

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World Autism Awareness DAY

(My Heart : Arizona Ray Lovell) Raising Arizona has been both my biggest challenge and joy in this life. But, in navigating through the worry and heartbreak of raising a special needs child, I have found my own true calling : helping other parents find and realize joy and passion in their own lives. And, […]

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Jack & Arizona

(Arizona and her friend Jack) Jack and Arizona have been in school together since they were 2. They met at Step by Step, moved on to Echo Horizon in the Pre-K program and when that didn’t prove to be a good fit for either of them, both ended up attending and graduating from Cheerful Helpers. […]

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Peaceful : Restful : Rejuvenating

(Sweet Dreams) Years ago, as I was entering into the deep dark depths of postpartum PURGATORY, I suddenly lost my ability to sleep. It’s like, as soon as Arizona started sleeping through the night, I stopped. I remember how it all began, distinctly. Brian (my husband), was starting to feel less wary about leaving me […]

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“Mommy, do I have AUTISM?”

(My Girl) When Arizona was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder and “autistic-like” behaviors in Spring of 2009, I didn’t quite know how to tell people what was going on with her. Because it wasn’t initially a definitive autism diagnosis (a fact that I felt proud about, to be honest), I had a hard time explaining […]

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Teal Pumpkin Project

Halloween is Arizona’s favorite holiday, hands down. She loves anything scary – and revels in spiders and skeletons and ghoulish zombies. Aside from the Halloween parade at school today, we will trick or treat in our neighborhood with a few friends this evening. My favorite part of the evening is watching Arizona practice her social […]

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Spotlight : Cheerful Helpers Child & Family Study Center

(At a recent alumni event, Arizona with Head of School, Ellen Pearlman) Cheerful Helpers Child & Family Study Center changed my life. It is the single most important intervention that Arizona has had to date. The program is a DIAMOND in the rough and unfortunately, the best kept secret in Los Angeles. If every child […]

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