Changes with Age

Monster at the Salisbury Zoo, August 2016We’re back from a week-plus away from home, first at a family event and then for a week down the Shore.  (As anyone with children will remind you – when you have kids, it’s not a vacation but a trip.)  Which means it’s time for me to get back into the swing of things, especially as the Monster returns to school this morning.

But having ten straight days with the Monster gives me a different view into his life and how he experiences the world.

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Appropriate Play

R and Monster playing, Aug 2016It’s almost a given, perhaps, that the Monster doesn’t often engage in “appropriate play”.  Like many children with Autism, he’s often more fascinated by parts of things, rather than the thing itself.  He’s inclined to sort game pieces or toys by type or color or some trait he’s selected as he might be to play with it in a manner that approaches “appropriate”, but… it’s how things are.
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Do the Thing! Win the Points!

IMG_1720We’re almost to my sport season… and this year may be different…

… because I might try to teach both kids to sport this year.

Yes, yes, I know.  One of my former directors at work used to take aside now and again, put his hand on my shoulder, and say, “[Dad], we are a desert people.  We do not do ice sports.”  And yet, here we are, dear friends, here we are. Continue reading

No Point Hiding

fireworks-2016Sometimes, there’s nothing to do but to do it, whatever “it” happens to be.

There are a few things that I shy away from doing, since the Monster got his diagnosis – mostly due to what experience has taught me is going to cause a problem – but by and large, I do try to make sure that he’s going to get as many ‘normal’ activities as he can.

This includes going to the playground, to baseball games, out to eat, museums… you name it.  And it’s not always with special supports. Continue reading

Observer Effect

I think every parent gets that their child is a different person when they’re not around.

To be fair – we’re all different based on context.  I know that, despite everything, I’m different at work than I am at home, and still another way on the ice.  But, especially, our children are very different people when they’re dealing with the different authority figures in their lives.

Part of the Monster’s IEP specifies that we get daily communication from his teachers.  In years past, this has often been a checklist or a couple of lines in a notebook that passes back and forth between us and the school.  This year, our communication log is email between ourselves and his teacher. Continue reading

I got drink juice

The Monster's Talker, July 2016Yesterday was the assistive technology training session for the Monster’s support team at Gateway.

Well, it was the training session for the educational team and my wife.  Since the Monster’s still quarantined at home due to hand-foot-and-mouth, he had to stay home with me and R, rather than all of us being at school to learn how to use the “talker”.  But the important take-away from it is that everything’s in place to see if this helps him with communicating his thoughts, wants and needs. Continue reading

The Sick Ward

Both kids sick, July 2016I’m reminded frequently that you never know how frequently you can get sick until either:

  • you work in an office with folks who have young children, or
  • you have young children

I’m fortunate that we’ve not had much of a problem with this.  But it seems that summer brings trouble in spades. Continue reading

Back To It

Today was the Monster’s first day of school for the year.

In prior years, he’s been off at camp for the entire summer.  We’ve been fortunate that the JCC Camps here all offer ESY (Extended School Year, for those not in the know) integrated into the camp program – while he might not get the general education services that he’d get by attending the city schools’ program, he’s been getting speech and OT, which are what he needs far more than the academics.  But this year, since he’s at an 11-month school, he actually has school during the month of July, and so…

Off he went this morning on his yellow bus to go meet his classmates. Continue reading

Overprogrammed

We probably were asking for trouble, but I think we lucked out in the end, in terms of how things worked.

Most of the time, dealing with a child with Autism and the occasional sensory issue, we take into account what we think he can handle.  This means one, maybe two activities, with trying to quiet things down between them to ensure that there aren’t problems…

And then there are the days where we massively throw the whole thing out the window and roll the dice. Continue reading