“Motherhood is nothing like I thought it would be and everything I ever imagined.” So writes Alicia DiFabio, a Mullica Hill resident and mother of four girls, in her blog Lost in Holland (formerly, Welcome to My Planet).
Alicia, a psychologist turned Stay-At-Home Mom, has been chronicling the joys and insanities of parenting on her personal blog for the past 5 years. Her published essays and blog posts highlight her unique experience of parenting three “typical” children (ages 5, 6, and 8) along with meeting the significant challenges as a parent to a teenager with multiple disabilities.
Alicia’s 17 year old daughter is diagnosed with severe cognitive impairments, Autism, and an uncontrolled seizure disorder. She is non-verbal, needs complete assistance with all self-care, and will require a lifetime of round-the-clock care.
Lost in Holland chronicles how a mother navigates these two parenting worlds – the typical world where she bakes cupcakes, carts kids to the soccer fields and plans playdates, and the “less than typical” world of therapies, hospitals, IEPs, special schools, medications and angst about an uncertain future.
While Alicia’s goal is to entertain, support and inspire all mothers she also hopes to expand the boundaries of awareness in the community to include teens and adults living with Autism and severe cognitive impairments who deserve to be seen and valued in a world where they are often discounted.
Through humor, acceptance, and the bonds of family love she delivers a realistic picture of the universal ups and downs of motherhood with which anyone can relate.
Alicia has lived in Mullica Hill for the past 7 years and is active in both the Mullica Hill Women’s Triathlon Club and the MOMS Club of Mullica Hill. She has a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from Loyola College in Baltimore and over 10 years experience in behavioral intervention, Autism and developmental disabilities, women’s issues, and stress management. She is a published essayist who is currently working on her first book.
For heartwarming stories that will open your eyes yet strike a familar chord, follow Alicia’s blog here.