When It Hits Me

It’s rare that I’m unaware that the Monster is different from other children.

I’m somewhat accustomed to the matter, and his Autism is a fact of my life.  I’ve spent a lot of time coming to grips with the fact that this is our “normal”, and that, as I say to the wife, there’s even less purpose than normal of trying to compare him to other children.  My wife’s the one who tends to get a bit more upset when there are kids his age who are doing things he can’t… or when there’s the kvelling by her friends about what their child’s doing, when the Monster’s still barely verbal and can’t really read.

But that’s not always. Continue reading

Kiss Your Robot

I was gone for most of the weekend at one of my bonspiels, so as usual, the kids at least seemed to give some show of having missed me while I was gone.  (Now, we all know that they really don’t care, one way or the other, when I’m gone, since they love Mommy more and I’m the disciplinarian.  But it’s nice that they pretend. 😉 )  But I returned yesterday evening, and while the wife and I were preparing food in the kitchen, the Monster came wandering in. Continue reading

What The Future Holds

The Monster might be seven right now, but there’s one truism about children – eventually, they grow up.

In some ways, we’ve already started to provide for the Monster as he gets older, which is to say that we have a college fund set up for him, and we’ve done some looking at places that he could eventually go to college if he’s ready for it at that stage.  But let’s all be very honest about a fact of life for children like the Monster – there are very, very few places that one can think of finding employment for them, if they’re not mainstreamed. Continue reading

R, The Therapy Preschooler

R at a bounce house, September 2015 (WHEEEE!)

When I’m browsing on line, I see a lot of great stories about how some siblings of children with Autism help to advocate with their peers for more understanding or help their siblings cope…

Well, but R is 3, despite any of his illusions to the contrary, and it’s going to be a good long while before he’s doing a lot of those things.  He’s not “aware” in an informational sense that the Monster has Autism – we’ve not yet figured out how to have that discussion with him on a level that we think he’d understand – but we do realize that he has to understand that there’s something different about his brother when compared to other children.

But then there’s his own way of helping other children with Autism. Continue reading

Where Rubber Meets The Road

One of the things I tend to dread with the kids – the Monster especially – is going to family life cycle events.

It’s not that our family doesn’t understand how children are, and more directly how the Monster may potentially in various situations.  It’s more, to me, the potential for a meltdown, an outburst, for something to distract from what is really a once-in-a-lifetime thing for someone else…

On that note, though, we went away this past weekend to my brother-in-law’s wedding. Continue reading

On the Road – The Maryland Science Center

IMG_1427I’m a big proponent of educational stops for kids as part of their lives – not everything you hit on a vacation (or staycation) should be an amusement park.  One of the benefits to living in a bigger city, though, is having a bevy of educational options that can also fun and stay fresh…

So in that light, the weekend before last, we decided to take in the Maryland Science Center. Continue reading

Night and Day

What a difference a few weeks make.

On Monday this week, the public schools in Baltimore went back into session.  The Monster, mind you, went back to school last week, when the Gateway School resumed after its August break, so he’s already most of the way through his second week at school…

And he’s thriving.

Continue reading

Review – If I Need Help

ifineedhelpA few weeks ago, the Monster wandered off from us at Sesame Place when the park was extremely crowded.

The nature of the Monster’s Autism is that he’s limited in his ability to communicate with others.  If prompted, he can tell you his name (first and last, but you often need to prompt him along), but he doesn’t know our phone numbers, our names, his home address… or at the very least, he doesn’t know how to share them with others.

We were very lucky, that afternoon, that park security found him and took him to Lost Parents, and that he was sufficiently communicative when I got there that he positively identified me as his father, but… in a larger amusement park, anyone could have found him, and we could have been running all over.  And out in the wider world, if he were wandering in our neighborhood? Continue reading