Yes, But Where Has All The Posting Gone?

Just thought I’d pop my head up here for a moment.

Many of you are probably wondering why I’ve suddenly gone so very, very dark in my posting – not that I was posting a lot of late before the last few weeks.

We’re in the midst of trying to get the Monster’s IEP straightened out before the new school year begins in about five weeks.  (Yes, you read that right.  We’re still in the middle of the IEP process, with school starting on August 31st.  The Monster’s last IEP expired in March.)  Couple that with a ton of work-based stuff for me, and it’s just been a little hectic for me to think about how to best censor myself so I’m not saying things I shouldn’t as we’re preparing for the IEP meetings.

promise I’ll have something meaningful/deep to write later this week, after the Monster’s latest IEP meeting on Wednesday morning.

In the meantime, to all my fellow special-needs parents out there – keep fighting the good fight.

How Much Accommodation?

Yesterday, my wife asked me to take the day off so that we could take the kids to Sesame Place.  Baltimore City schools let out early for the summer this week – on Monday – and while the rest of the state seems to still be in classes, it seemed an ideal opportunity for us to fill some time for both children by taking them somewhere fun.

As my long time readers already know, I love how Seaworld Entertainment accommodates guests with disabilities.  Sesame Place has been the top of the heap in this regard – they’ve been so easy with regards to accommodating the Monster, and their policies in general are very disability friendly – so we’ve always looked forward to our trips there.  We’ve even bought season passes, despite the fact that it’s twice as far away (if not more) than the nearest Six Flags park.

MonsterAtSesamePlacePoolSo a visit to Sesame Place is fairly standard for us – we park, we go inside, the wife goes to Guest Relations just inside the gate to get the bracelet and RAP sheet for the Monster, and we go about our day.  And then… this year came with a change. Continue reading

On the Road – Hersheypark

hersheypassEvery summer, my company finds something for us to do with our families.  For several years in a row, it was the company picnic at a local swimming club, but… then we grew a lot.  So it got moved, first to Six Flags America (see On the Road – Six Flags America), and then the last two years have been at Hersheypark.  (Given where the staff at our company live, it just makes more sense to have it north of the office than south.) Continue reading

Dancing Queen

We’re used to the Monster saying weird, random things out of the blue – it’s part of how his Autism presents.  A lot of the time, it’s a fill-in for another word – oftentimes, the word is “banana” or “Sesame Street” or the like.  And every so often, he says something new that we’re not quite understanding.

A few weeks ago, it was random earworms – an Ariana Grande song, then “Bills” by Lunchmoney Lewis – but today, he came into the media room while I was cooling off, saying something about “criss-cross.” Continue reading

Between Trips

I’m only home for a short bit between trips – the wife and I returned from the Dominican Republic last night, and I’m off to Minnesota today for the weekend – so I’ll keep it a little bit short and sweet.

I’ve mentioned in another post that we have a communication log for when the Monster’s at school.  Our communication system isn’t fantastic when it comes to how we handle things when we’re not around at home… Continue reading

IEP Year Four

Today was the second meeting for next year’s IEP.

As any special-needs parent can tell you, any IEP meeting tends to be stressful – the goal of an IEP is to ensure that your child has the necessary supports to learn, and the supports and therapies that go into the document govern where your child is going to go to school in the coming year.

And the one thing that was apparent, coming into this year’s IEP review, is that Mount Washington is not the right placement for the Monster. Continue reading

How Was Your Day?

IEPThis is based on a conversation I was having on Twitter last night with another parent of a child with Autism.

The Monster’s only partially verbal – he can communicate his basic needs (“Eat!”, “Drink!”, “Go to sleep!”) but he’s not very good at a narrative of what’s going on in his life.  In some ways, I’d joke it’s like living with a teenager a couple of years early (“How was your day?” “Fine.” “What did you learn at school today?” “Nothing.”), but without the ability to really get useful information from follow-up questions.

One of the most useful things that we had added to the Monster’s IEP is a communication requirement. Continue reading