Two Way Communication

We’re four weeks into the school year, and things are slowly stabilizing.

The biggest thing that we miss from last year was the communication log that we had with Ms. A regarding the Monster’s conduct in class.  Certainly, there is behavior charting in his folder, but the Monster has never been a problem in that sense.  (Ms. H, his teacher this year, does it for all the students.) Continue reading

Cinnamon Bobcat

As another year’s High Holy Days starts to grow closer, obviously our thoughts start to turn back towards how to deal with the Monster and participation at synagogue.

(Now, my thoughts don’t just turn to this because we got our tickets for services on Saturday, but also because I had another occasion to be gabbai’ing, and because my in-laws were being honored for their fortieth wedding anniversary, my whole family came with me.)

We’re fortunate at our synagogue, as I’ve mentioned before on numerous occasions, to have a quiet room that’s well-situated so that parents can handle small children who aren’t up to participating in the services directly without missing the opportunity themselves to pray.  Because the Monster is… unpredictable, we tend to migrate immediately there, rather than trying to get seated in the main sanctuary where he might disturb folks if he starts making noise. Continue reading

Implementation Issues

Because we’re not seeing any adaptation to the Monster’s homework, we decided to speak up – I’m a big believer in “say something”, rather than hoping for the best.

It’s not that the Monster is unable to do the homework when it’s something factual.  It’s when homework is more open-ended, when it requires some creative input, that he needs more guidance due to the way Autism affects his language processing.  So telling him to “write a sentence of five words or more, using at least three sight words” is not a direction he can easily handle, for example. Continue reading

Policy Matters

Thursday night was the first “real” Parents and Community Advisory Board (PCAB) meeting of the 2014-2015 school year.

The major order of business was to nominate and elect an executive board, and I was elected as Treasurer with only a little back-and-forth about whether other candidates were going to accept nominations.  But this was the least of the matters that PCAB really meets for. Continue reading

Adapting

Today is the end of the second week of first grade for the Monster.  (Why our schools here start before Labor Day, I know not.)  And as such, this is also the end of the second week of homework.

Now, the Monster’s teacher apparently only checks homework on Monday, which is good because his work did not get done last night – I had my PCAB meeting, and the wife had choir rehearsal, so he had to go to choir with her and didn’t get a chance to work on it.  So we’ll get that done tonight.

The only problem, though, is that I question how well his homework might be adapted to him. Continue reading

The Olde Days

Yesterday, since the Monster didn’t have school and we had a kind invite from my SiL to join them, we wandered off to the Renaissance Festival.

My wife and I have gone almost every year since we started dating (and each of us went separately in college).  We’ve really not gone all dressed-up since we had the kids – it’s very hard to tolerate wandering about in garb when you’re pushing a stroller with a fussy child or wearing an Ergo – but it’s still a lot of fun in general. Continue reading

Friends?

One of the hardest things for me, as the father of a child with Autism, is trying to understand how my son relates to the other children around him.

Now, the Monster loves other people.  For having a disorder that causes so many problems with communications with other people, he certainly adores being around certain people – he loves his little brother, and his family, and there are people who he develops attachments to.  But ask him who his friends at school are, and he’s not able to give you a real response. Continue reading

The Flip Side

Three days into the school year, and the IEP chair from the Monster’s school is still ignoring the single, easy question that I asked her.  Of course, so is the person who is in charge of implementing IEPs in the district, so I might have to pick up a phone and start being my normal self again.

On the other hand… things are getting off to a good start with the specialists. Continue reading