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

Communication is Two Way

The key thing is – communication is the transmission of information from sender to receiver.  It can’t happen in a void, or with just one person.

The funny thing is, when I worry about how communication works, I’m usually worrying about the Monster.  But it just goes to show that you can’t forget, in the heat of the struggle, about that simple rule above. Continue reading

Upcoming Locally…

One of the things that occurred to me is that there’s really no one good, central resource for a list of events that are coming up for parents of children with special needs.  (Every group seems to have a superset of their events and a few other groups, but… not all in one place)  So I’m going to try to remember to post something at least once a month with what I know of, and… well, if any of my readership knows of additional events, please feel free to let me know and I’ll add them.

And, because not everything revolves around our children with special needs, I’ll post general-interest parenting things here too, if I’m attending (with or without the kids). Continue reading

When It Works Properly

IEPWe had the Monster’s latest IEP meeting yesterday.

To be fair, the meeting wasn’t a full IEP review – it was to evaluate his progress since the IEP was approved, to go over the assistive technology assessment, and to review a request by us to have the Monster retained in the second grade.  But the phrase “IEP Meeting” usually strikes such fear into the hearts of the parents of children with special needs, and…

Well, some times, the process works the way it should. Continue reading

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