I grew up in the Northern Virginia area.  I moved to Pennsylvania after finishing my psychology degree at Messiah College.  For work I was an In-home Supports Coordinator for ACCESS Services.  That was my all time favorite job.  I got to work with families that had children with disabilities, or with adults with disabilities who lived on their own and needed Supported Living services.  I interviewed staff for the families as well as working directly with them. I also took some classes at Biblical Theological Seminary to work toward my Masters in Counseling.  I moved back to NOVA in 1998 and after marrying my wonderful husband in 1999, we moved to the Portland, Maine area.

A few years later we found out we were having a baby!  Whoo hoo! One child is like a toy!  That won’t slow us down, how fun! But, wait… a week later we found out we were not having one baby, but two.  Two babies!  Twins! I always wanted to have twins…and to have red headed kids…which is why I married a red-head :0) The twins were born in Nov. 2002 and after somehow getting through the first 4 months of newborns, we finally felt a tad bit more human.  Sleep deprivation is not a good thing!  Our little girl (Princess Buttercup) has beautiful auburn hair and our boy (Dash) has strawberry blonde hair.   I got my wish!  Our third child, a little boy we named Sketch, was born in April 2005.  Now, we are outnumbered….we just didn’t realize at the time HOW outnumbered we were!

When Sketch was about 2 months old, Dash “broke”.  Well, at least that is how it seemed at the time.  By the time Dash was 2 years 8months, he was diagnosed with autism.   After learning about autism, we could look back and see signs of it since the day he was born (hearing sensitivities, etc)  He also has a healthy (or unhealthy) dose of ADHD.

Sketch seemed to be developing normally except for chronic ear infections.  He learned sign language easily and readily!  He hears fine now, but b/c of constant fluid in his ears, he learned sign as his first language.  When Sketch turned 2, he was also diagnosed with autism, and he has some serious food & environmental allergies as well.

Princess Buttercup is an incredible sister for her brothers–God built in a little extra “spunk” to her character!!



  1. fiona2107 said,

    August 14, 2010 at 5:20 AM

    Your blog has had me in tears!
    It is so beautifully and honestly written. It has spoken straight to my heart!
    I also have 2 sons with autism and I am so inspired by reading about your journey.
    Bless you heaps
    Fi 🙂

    • Merri Lewis said,

      August 14, 2010 at 12:09 PM

      Thank you Fi! I checked out your blog too, and it is so awesome–love the poem! How great is our God to connect two people who live about as far apart as you can get! It is quite a challenge to have 2 special needs kids…but God picked us to be their parents, and that is so cool! He will guide us and even use our mistakes to shape and mold our children :0) So cool!

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