I don’t take for granted what it is that the Monster notices or retains.  There are good days and bad days, and subjects where I know he’s well-versed.

Descriptive, literal language, he’s fairly good at.  For example, on Friday when he and I went down to the curling center, we spent most of the ride there and back talking about what we saw while we were driving.  He’s very good at distinguishing between things we see while we drive, though not always with precision, and with a little bit of prompting, he can work around his own scripts to describe things. Narrative language, on the other hand, is a deficiency that I don’t know how to work on without significant prompting.

But even I underestimate sometimes his descriptive retention.

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Watching Ice Melt

IMG_1720The weird space where this winter storm, working and my outside interests collide…

So, in the middle of everything with Snowzilla, a pipe at my curling club sprang a leak, which ate a hole all the way through the ice.  Members of the Ice Crew have been spending the week fixing the damage… but today was a controlled melt, which requires someone to be sitting at the club to monitor things.

And because of the weather, Monster’s school was closed again.  So this seemed perfect – I could sit there, get my work done, monitor the ice, and watch the Monster.

You’d think. Continue reading


IMG_1715God, I hope schools reopen soon.

The biggest problem, I’ve found, with any serious disruption to our routine is that no matter how plastic the Monster is in terms of schedule disruption, large-scale disruptions don’t go over well, especially when coupled with copious free time.  The perfect-storm of being stuck in the house for five days – the Monster’s school was closed on Friday as well – and having little enough to do is getting to the children. Continue reading

Hungry, Hungry

R turned four this week.

Almost everything with R is a new experience for us as parents.  Yes, yes, I know that all children are different and are going to be somewhat like that anyway, but… the differences between a child with Autism and a child without Autism are night and day.  So on Wednesday, after singing happy birthday to R, after cupcakes and giving him a card… he asked where his birthday present was. (Smart kid, our R.)  And after a bit of hurrying on the wife’s part to grab something – we’d not planned on giving him a present till his birthday party in a week and a half – he was very excited to unwrap a “Hungry, Hungry Hippos” game.

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The Monster's "Minion"


I think it’s too easy sometimes to take the literal way that some of our children with Autism regard the world, and take it to some logical extreme like “no originality”.

I know that I’m definitely guilty of it sometimes, which is usually a sign that the Monster’s overdue to do something to blow my mind. Continue reading

Scripting Fail

Just to clear the air before I start, I’ll put this failure wholly where it belongs, and that’s on me.

Vacations always throw the Monster off.  Anything that’s not highly structured, anything that involves having loose structure, these things all tend to make things difficult around our house in terms of trying to keep him moving forward.  And… well, nothing’s been going on since Thursday, due to the holiday weekend.  So what happened on Saturday was a predictable disaster. Continue reading

But Is It Fair?

One of the benefits of my job is that I’m able, now and again, to work from home to help cover childcare.  Since my company’s holiday party, I’ve been working from home to cover the kids – first the Monster, whose school has been out for nearly two weeks, and then R, because his school let out just before Christmas, just as the Monster’s “School’s Out” program at the JCC started.

Neither kid has really been ‘programmed’ while home with me, since still I have to work (obviously), but… tomorrow, the Maryland Science Center is doing a “Midnight Noon” event for the New Year and I’m taking the day off to go with R and my wife to it, after we drop the Monster at School’s Out.

But is that fair? Continue reading

The Most Horrifying Thing

Children are creatures of habit – children on the Spectrum more so.

It’s taken us a while to get the Monster into the swing of things in terms of a daily rhythm. Whether that day is a school day or not is immaterial.  Case in point – on Friday, he was home from school for the day, but he still got up reasonably “early” and still wanted to get dressed.  But while that’s not bad on a weekday, when I have to be up anyway, it’s not so great on weekends. Continue reading