Charlotte Meryman

Carol Lollis photo
Elijah Peltier, at 2, with his mother, Laurel.


Letting Henry Go
After a brother’s difficult life, his sisters find a way to help bring him peace. This piece concluded the Daily Hampshire Gazette's Dignity Project, a long-term, multi-author series examining end-of-life issues.

My Daughter, Peter
The author had no problem with her little girl pretending to be Peter Pan. It was Wendy she was worried about.

An Olympic Dream Comes Up Short
For two decades, the author's sister worked toward a spot on the U.S. Olympic Equestrian Team. Just steps away from that goal, the dream derailed.


The Race to Reach Elijah — Part 1
Three-year-old Elijah Peltier of Shutesbury, Massachusetts, is autistic. His parents believe that what happens during the next three years is the key to his future.

The Race to Reach Elijah — Part 2
A year of intensive treatment for his autism has led to tension, turmoil and mixed results for Elijah Peltier and his family. Recipient of the 1998 Sunday Magazine Editors' Association Honorable Mention for Features.

The Race to Reach Elijah — Part 3
As kindergarten begins for Elijah Peltier, disturbing questions about this autistic boy's future keep growing. Winner of the 1999 Sunday Magazine Editors' Association First Place Award for Features.

A Place for Elijah
Once frantic to find a cure for their autistic son, Laurel and Chris Peltier now are trying to shape a community that can support him. A look at Elijah's life as he prepares to enter the challenging world of middle school and adolescence.

A Different Kind of Normal
Four-year-old Jimmy Foard was born with Alfi's syndrome, a rare chromosomal disorder. It has handed him a host of developmental challenges that he and his family are learning to accept and overcome.

The Jimmy File
The author, as a college student, makes a friend, and over the years learns about friendship's duty in matters of mental retardation, the horrors of Connecticut's Mansfield Training School, and the family secrets held by an impersonal bureaucracy.

Back in the Mouths of Babes
Neonatologist Dr. Kathleen Marinelli is on the front lines of a growing drive to re-establish breastfeeding as the norm for American mothers.

Voyage of the Rafiki
When the Lutvak family set sail from New Bedford, Massachusetts, they thought they might be gone a year. They didn't know what challenges the sea had in store.

This Old House
When Jerrilee Cain purchased her early 18th century home, it was stacked in pieces in a storage trailer in Connecticut. Years of painstaking planning, reconstruction and restoration have given it a new life in rural Massachusetts.

Selected Works

After a brother’s difficult life, his sisters find a way to help bring him peace
Raising a girl forces a tomboy mother to make peace with her own femininity
For the author's sister, a disappointing end to a 20-year effort
First in a three-year series following the family of a young boy recently diagnosed with autism
A year of intensive treatment leads to tension, turmoil and mixed results
As kindergarten begins, disturbing questions remain
Seven years later, an update on the series The Race to Reach Elijah
A four-part series about the triumphs and challenges of raising a child with special needs
A personal story of friendship and mental retardation
Dispatches from the front lines of the breastfeeding battle
Three years on a sailboat changes life for a young family
How one woman's passion for detail brought an antique house back to life