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One Mom's Amazing Lunch Date with Teen Daughter

Today contributer Susan Deland writes about the moment she realized how far her daughter had come.

"I took my 13-year-old daughter, Diane, to a Chinese restaurant the other day for lunch. We usually go to the take-out place in our town, but this time we went to the fancier sit-down place that we had never been to before.

Several years ago, I would never have attempted such an outing. The potential for disaster was too great. Diane is on the autism spectrum, and for much of her early life, outings were fraught with tantrums or meltdowns, either because she wanted to be left alone or because she couldn’t handle the assault on her senses that so many places gave her.

Since then, her progress has been amazing, and new experiences are now opportunities for fun and enjoyment..."

Read the rest of Susan's post on

Plus, visit our Going Out to Eat page for tips to help make going out to eat a successful experience. 

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.