Party On!

We frequently hear about how children with Autism are excluded from parties – I’ve written about the topic before, unapologetically.  There’s also been quite a bit about how kids with Autism tend to be marginalized by not having a lot of folks come to their parties…

But one good thing in the world is family.  You can have hundreds of folks out there who aren’t going to include your child, but your family will always, always include your kids, no matter what.

This weekend was my nephew Z’s birthday party… and I’ll admit that I’d been somewhat nervous about the idea of taking the Monster to the party. Continue reading

Not Quite a Walk in the PARCC

Last night was a PCAB meeting down at North Avenue, to allow for more discussion about the way that the PARCC exams are going to be administered next month.  Most of our discussions have centered on whether or not schools are ready to administer the exams, whether our students are really ready, and the technology issues around the test itself, since parts of it are slated to be computer-administered.

Bear in mind that the Monster is not old enough yet to be taking the PARCC – he’s in first grade, and the test starts in third.  But one of the things they tout with the exam is that it has features built-in to allow for accessibility for students. Continue reading

Shot in the Dark

Before I left for Québec last week, R got fairly sick.

Now, I’m not talking “rush him to the hospital STAT!” level of sick – he was more snotty than usual, and whiny, and coughing, and running a mid-grade fever.  But, of course, this was the last thing that we needed before I was going abroad for a week, and since I was at home (ie, the Monster was at therapy downtown), it was delegated to me to go take R to the doctor.

Fortunately, it turned out to be minor, but looked worse because it was two things colliding – he had a cold, coupled with an ear infection that was spiking his fever.  But because he’s three, he can’t really accurately communicate what’s bothering him, and so it was touch and feel, and the doctor was quizzing me on what the symptoms were. Continue reading

Back to the Grind

Hey, everyone.  I’m back from my little trip afield, and back to parenting again.  (Okay, okay, so I’m going out tomorrow without the family, and then away again at the end of February for another bonspiel, but…)

Québec was very interesting.  Setting aside all of the other things about the Winter World Masters Games themselves, I was glad to actually be able to do some talking about the other cause that (clearly) matters a lot to me – Autism. Continue reading

Raising Awareness

I know I’ve been quieter than usual of late.  There’ve been a few things going on, least of which is my job and trying to balance it with family time and the like.

Because certainly, as parents of a special needs child, it’s always busy.  The Monster has various therapies three days a week, plus my having PCAB meetings, late-night meetings, the wife having her life as well…

And then I’ll be disappearing for a few days starting on Thursday. Continue reading

Every Day I’m Waffling

Once a weekend, I cook a hot breakfast.  The goal of the operation is not just to feed everyone, but to leave ready-to-heat breakfast for the rest of the week.  (Our daily schedule has about 55 minutes from our wake-up to when I have to be out the door with the Monster to catch the bus.  By the time you factor in my getting ready, it’s usually closer to 30, so pre-made breakfasts are very helpful.)  I alternate between pancakes and waffles, since R likes those well enough…

But for three years now, the Monster’s really only had one of three things for breakfast – frozen french toast, cereal, or a bagel.  It’s been difficult, but at least you know what to expect on any given day. Continue reading

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


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