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Susan’s Got a New Name

October 10th, 2007

Did you remember Cheers? The bar where “everybody knew your name?”

I loved that show. No, I’d say it was almost religion. (I’m being satirical here.) I didn’t miss an episode. And, I felt like a regular when I placed myself on the couch to watch it every week. I was so sad to see it go, but I forged on.

When I arrived here nine years ago, Costa Rica was my Cheers. I worked for years to develop a neighborhood, “regulars,” a system, and a routine where I felt at home. Many began to know my name.

My show was cancelled. Like Frasier, Ted, and Carla, I found myself written out of the script I had written. In other words, in a matter of very short time, I became a single mother in a foreign country, and of course as many of you know, my son has Down Syndrome.

How did all this happen so fast? This is not as important of the new
life ahead of me.

So, I’ve developed a “spin-off.” There are a few new characters in my play, and a few old familiar faces. My name has changed, but really, I’m still the same. With a few changes to the script, the stories will continue. I’m staying in Costa Rica, and “belly-ing” up to the bar for the new and exciting episodes.

By the way, instead of Susan Carmichael, you can now call me Susan Lutz.

Thanks for tuning in.

5 Responses to “Susan’s Got a New Name”

  1. Esther Lowe on October 10, 2007 1:53 pm

    I have a child with autism. We are thinking of staying in Costa Rica 4-5 months out of every year. How does the community accept and react to your child? How are the services or support groups?
    Thanks, Esther

  2. Susan on October 11, 2007 8:00 am

    The Costa Rican people are incredible towards my child. Not for a moment have I had to worry about being judged or put-down because of Addison’s syndrome. He is approached always with a HI! a wave, talked to and it is a relief to know that is one defense I can live with tucked away: I just don’t worry about the society here. In fact, because it is such a kid culture, everyone notices and accepts kids. It is not such a seprarate world as the States. Every restaurant has baby seats (not such safe ones!) but the effort is there.

    The organization of the Down Sydrome community is not as advertised. So, I have to do more searching to connect. But, it is an area I have not explored a lot because of time, energy etc. I will explore more as he gets older.

    The biggest benefit of me living as a single mom here is the help. There is just a lot of affordable, trainable and eager people who will come to your home and help. Of course there are lemons here too, but without it, I would have a much different, much more difficult life.

  3. Elsa on December 21, 2007 5:14 pm


    My 2 1/2 year old son was just diagnosed with autism. We live most of the year in Playa Hermosa de Jaco. I am looking for other folks with kids on the spectrum, and therapists. Any direction you could point me in would be much appreciated. Thank you so much!

  4. susan on December 21, 2007 7:05 pm


    Sounds like our sons are about the same age. I go to a therapist named
    Moises – forget the last name. He is in Rohrmoser in a suburb of San
    Jose. He has a lot of experience and years in the business, though I
    can’t speak to his treatment of autism. He quite caring though. Here
    is the number: 232-4332.

    A friend knows of someone who works quite extensively with diet and
    especially autism and I believe is here in this country. However, my
    friend is playing Santa Claus in the US (literally!) and won’t be back
    till after the New Year. If I do not email you with the number, please
    shout back to me and I will get it to you.

  5. Virginia Schorr on June 26, 2008 11:39 pm

    Hi — I have a close friend who lives in Ciudad Colon which in not far from San Jose. Her 9 year old son has Down’s Syndrome. His education in the public school system (I believe in a class for special needs kids) has been quite poor.I would like to help her find a better solution (private school, home tutoring etc.) What services, schools, etc.have you found in Costa Rica for children with Down’s Syndrome? My friend is also a single mother and she and her family were born in Costa Rica and speak only Spanish. I am an American, a retired teacher, and live in New York. I would really appreciate any information you can give me and I will be glad to share any information with you as well. Thanks, Virginia