Communication Matters

Monster with his communication bookUnderstanding what the Monster wants or needs usually’s harder than it looks.

He’s not bad about expressing the basics of his needs, most of the time.  He’ll use single words – “eat”, “drink”, “bed” – which usually expresses the gist of what he’s looking for… but getting to the specifics, and to a format that others’ll understand, is another matter.

And at eight years old, this is really starting to become a problem. Continue reading


LanyardI’ve been in diversity training this week, and these kinds of sessions are the kind where everyone is having to suffer through two long days of ‘training’ to teach you the things you should have already learned.  As such, there’re plenty of people I don’t know in the room from different departments, minding their own business and just trying to survive to get out of the session without doing too much…

… and then across the room, I noticed that one of the others was wearing their ID badge on a puzzle-piece lanyard. Continue reading

Critical Communication

Like many children with Autism, the Monster is working with a serious language deficit.

He’s certainly by no means wholly non-verbal – he does have quite the interesting vocabulary, and it’s more often than not the manner in which he uses it.  His use of language, primarily, are one and two word utterances, and it’s an IEP goal to encourage him to stretch that out.

But somehow, a lot of the time, he does get his meaning across. Continue reading

Perhaps Picasso

"A Mountain", by the MonsterAdd another thing to the diverse list of interests for the Monster.

We have a cart near the door to our patio with all kinds of art stuff in it.  It’s been there for a while – I don’t quite remember when we got it or what inspired it – but it has paint and markers and the like in the various rainbow-hued drawers, ready for the taking. Continue reading

Mother’s Day

So, it should be apparent when you’re reading my blog, that I don’t do all of this by myself.  (If you’ve not noticed mention of my wife, then you’re… not reading often enough.)  And on this day, it’s important to remember that she is there, part of everything that’s going on.

Because, truthfully, I wouldn’t be able to be a fraction of the father that I am, if it weren’t for her being the mother that she is.

Continue reading

Samson the Therapy Cat

The Monster and Samson, April 2016Just to get it out of the way: Sammy’s old.  Like… older-than-the-hills old.

I’ve had Samson since he was a kitten.  Friends of mine found him sitting on the trunk of my car nearly twenty years ago, looking pitiful, and asked me to hold him until the no-kill shelter had a spot in a few weeks.  They’ve not yet told me when the opening at the no-kill shelter will be free… Continue reading

Go With The Flow

I will be the first person to admit that I don’t always know how to get the Monster to do things.

I mean, sure, we do plenty of things with behavior modification, like any parent.  He gets jellybeans for toileting appropriately.  He used to get M&Ms for eating food at dinner (and still does sometimes for letting us clip his nails).  But those are easy, concrete things.

What about the more subtle behaviors? Continue reading