Model Behavior

R had a parent-teacher conference on Monday, when the schools were out.

For the most part, he’s doing fine according to his teachers – he’s a bright, sweet, thoughtful child, at least around them.  They did express some concerns about things they’re seeing, but buffered it with the fact that he does have an older brother who is on the Spectrum, and that most of those behaviors that concern them seem to be ones that are in imitation of his brother.

And that, of course, is where it gets weird with having siblings sometimes. Continue reading

How to Eat an Elephant

This week’s feeding therapy was, by the wife’s report, not a success.  Apparently the Monster pinched, kicked, screamed and anything else he could come up with, rather than actually eat a little bit of grilled chicken.  (Which is funny, because he’s eaten it before, as well as plenty of other white meats.)

But one day’s therapy isn’t really the yardstick that we should be measuring this by. Continue reading

Playtime

My wife was out of town from Friday afternoon till about midnight last night, attending a memorial service for a friend’s parent.  I stayed behind in Baltimore because we can’t really count on the kids to behave at these kinds of things – R is a rambunctious three year old, and the Monster has his good days and bad.  (Plus, hotel.)

The original plan had been that we were going to go up to visit my family, who live about 90 minutes from where the memorial service was, and that I’d have stayed there with the kids while my wife ran to-and-from, but due to timing changes in the service, it was just easier to stay behind in our house.  So what’s easier for the kids… Continue reading

This… Is… Football!!

Full disclosure: This post has nothing to do with Autism, for once. :)

I will say here what the #1 lesson is from my dads’ support group, as I’ve said many times before – you have to take “you” time now and again, as the parent of a special-needs child, or you’re going to go insane.

I posted on Friday that the wife and I were going to Pittsburgh for the weekend.  We’re back, safely, from our visit to Steel City, having brought the Ravens good luck in their AFC Wild Card game.  (In fairness… the Ravens have yet to lose when I’m in attendance, so there. :p)  The kids seem to have had a fantastic time with their aunt, uncle and cousin, who were kind enough to come watch them so the wife and I could get away. Continue reading

Working Around It

There are a lot of times that I hear the things that my friends do, and wonder if they realize how much they take for granted how easy it is to find childcare solutions for their NT kids when spontaneous opportunities for experiences come up.

It’s not to say, of course, that my wife and I are starved for opportunities to do things without the kids.  We do (finally) have a fantastic, regular babysitter who the kids adore.  My in-laws are also very gracious in watching the Monster and R on a regular basis when they can, when something out of the ordinary comes up…

On the other hand, though, I also hear how frequently some of them can simply arrange a sleep-over for the kids when something else comes up last minute. Continue reading

Om Nom

For a while now, we’ve been trying to get the Monster to broaden what he eats.  As I’ve mentioned multiple times, it gets a little tiresome when the only thing he’s willing to eat at home for dinner is pizza, with the occasional chicken nugget.

(Which is probably a little unfair, since he will eat chicken fingers if we’re out at dinner at a restaurant, and is still generally willing to have a hot dog at the ballpark.  But still, by and large, our weekly routine has started to include a stop at a pizza joint to get some for him, so we don’t have to cook it ourselves.) Continue reading

Dans Un Zoo, Je Suppose

We ended up with some pretty nice weather this weekend, so it was an occasion for us to actually make something of our copious unstructured time and find some… structure.

To be fair, this hasn’t generally been a problem for us this vacation – the Monster’s been at “School Day Out” at the JCC for two of the three weekdays that we’ve been off (they weren’t holding it on Christmas), and he’ll be at it for most of this coming week as well (again, closed on New Year’s Day).  But it’s something to do, and we have the membership to the zoo anyway, so… off we went. Continue reading

One Little Candle

Hanukkah’s ending tonight, but I’m considering it a victory so far.

It’s not that I think that the Monster understands what the holiday is about, or that he looks forward to the holiday coming through.  Or that he’s really getting the blessings down in a manner that’s going to survive to next year’s recitation.

No, this year’s victory is that he’s not trying to blow out the candles. Continue reading

What’s the Goal?

So in my last post, I made my comments about MSSNG, Autism Speaks’ new initiative with Google to try to foster more research on the genetic side of the Autism equation, as it were.  And then this morning, in my twitter feed, I saw an article that did, at least, clarify for me what folks’ problem (or one problem, at least) is with the whole thing.

It’s the question of the goal of this research. Continue reading

MSSNG The Point

Last week, Autism Speaks announced a new initiative – MSSNG – that’s aimed at throwing more research at Autism in hopes of understanding the disorder better.  For those who have checked out the site, they have a snappy video and some links to news about the initiative, as well as a brief explanation of the matter.

Or… you could be listening on Twitter for the folks who are squealing about how evil this whole thing is.

And the latter group is missing the point.

Continue reading