What Sticks

The Monster’s last day at Middle Rockers, 2016-17 season

Ordinarily, I handle getting the Monster to his school bus anyway, and then leave straight for work.  The point of this being, if his school bus is late or doesn’t show, I can then run him to school before it starts without my wife being made to run a huge loop to drop both kids off.  While she’s on Injured Reserve, this responsibility still lands square in my lap.

So of course, today being his first day back at school after spring break, the bus didn’t come. Continue reading

Quasi-Single Parent Protocol

I’ve been very quiet of late, I’m aware.

All of us have periods where we’re single parenting.  There was the several days where my wife went to Vegas with her sister, and I disappear for a few days at a time here and there to go to my competitions… but this is the first time that I’m “in charge” while she’s actually still physically present, which makes things interesting. Continue reading

“But it doesn’t count”

Like every school child, the Monster has homework most nights of the week.

I’m not sure I remember what homework was like for me when I was a second grader.  I wasn’t a typical student, but from what I can remember from second grade, it mostly involved working on book reports, basic addition and subtraction, things like that.

The Monster, with his IEP, works on a lot different things than I recall. Continue reading

The Normal Things

The Monster’s IEP is full of all kinds of things that he’ll need for later in life.  He’s learning to read and write, and to do basic math.  This week, they’re working on identifying coins in class, and in the past, they’ve done some units on other bits of social studies.  But… the IEP also misses some things that he needs for later in life.

We had a few sessions at KKI of out-patient OT to get him working on some of his life skills – brushing his teeth (he does that so-so), tying his shoes (getting there slowly) and the like.  And that’s also very important because, barring our getting him velcro shoes for the rest of his life or not worrying about his teeth…

And then there’re some of the simple things that are ‘normal’ things to learn. Continue reading

It DOES Get Easier

This year was our fifth time through the IEP process… and it actually does get easier, when your child’s in the right placement.

I know that’s not something you usually hear a parent say, but the proof is in the pudding.  Going into our third year in the non-public placement, we’re finally seeing the Monster starting to make good progress against the prior year’s IEP goals. Continue reading

Pounding the Pavement

Last week, I had the opportunity to go to MANSEF Advocacy Day in Annapolis, the first time I’ve ever availed myself of the opportunity.

MANSEF – the Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities – is the umbrella group for schools like the Monster’s, private schools that take students from the public school system who need more resources than the schools themselves can provide.  (This is a key distinction that I constantly have to emphasize when I’m at various meetings.  Yes, it’s a private school… but the city schools pay the tuition to send the Monster there, and he’s still legally a city school student.)  Nonpublic special education facilities help the public education system fulfill their FAPE obligations under IDEA. Continue reading

Something Positive

Both kids on the ice, October 2016I figured that everyone could use something less controversial than the big news of the day that’s doubtless dominating everyone’s Twitter and Facebook feeds today.

Curling.  Specifically, with the kids.

It’s actually been a while since I talked about taking both R and the Monster curling, so I thought that I’d give everyone an update as to how our little adventure into athletic endeavors is going. Continue reading

Nopeward Mobility

When I was seven, my family moved from one town to another, at least partially to move us to a better school district.  It’s not that strange in America really – the idea that consumers can vote with their feet, and if they think the schools in the neighboring school district (or, indeed, in a neighboring or non-neighboring state) are better, you can sell your house and move.

It’s not so easy when you’re a parent of a child with special-needs who has an IEP. Continue reading

On the Road: Crayola Experience, Easton, PA

img_2217One of the worst parts of the holiday season is the annual holiday break – it means that we’ve planning to do about keeping the children busy, and dealing with the fact that the Monster is quite, quite used to his regular routine.  While he did spend a couple of days at Schools Out at the JCC (which I still absolutely love), we elected not to send him on the days that they were doing field trips, just to not torture their staff.

So instead, we tortured ourselves, and decided to plan a field trip to the Crayola Experience. Continue reading

Curl On This

It’s been a while since I last posted – I got distracted with a few very packed weeks at work and in my personal life (largely the latter, almost entirely for good, and just the nature of life sometimes).  But now that things are quieting down a bit…

This weekend was another outing to the curling rink with both boys.  R is slowly getting it… but the news is that I had an epiphany about the Monster on the ice. Continue reading