Let’s See Those Pearly Whites

Monday was the semi-annual visit to the dentist for R and the Monster.

We use Dr. Bowden at Pediatric Dentistry - the practice has been wonderful with the Monster, and has a great strategy for easing kids into getting their teeth checked regularly.  During the first year, you have appointments every 3 months (every other one is unbilled) to get the child accustomed to someone poking into their mouth, and then you settle into the usual twice-a-year practice of getting your teeth looked at.

Save that the Monster’s never quite been content to get his teeth checked. Continue reading

A Week Away

The Monster’s first day of first grade starts a week from Monday.

This will be another large change from him, on the scale of the change that he went through when he was pulled out of the private nursery school program he was in at the JCC and sent to Garrett Heights Elementary/Middle School for pre-K.  The first day of school will find him at a new building – our zone school, Mount Washington – and in a far larger class than he’s been in previously in any prior environment, with fewer adults around him. Continue reading

And We’re Back

Sorry for being quiet for most of the last week.  As much as I had intended to get ahead on posts and have the system automatically publish while I was gone, I just never got around to it – the story of my entire sabbatical – and once we were away, I didn’t feel like rectifying the problem.

So, my wife and I managed to get a stress-free week away from the children in Cancún.  Part of this, honestly, meant getting over our concerns about leaving the children with someone who was not family for longer than a few hours… and it seems like everything went alright.  (The idea to FaceTime fell through, though – the bandwidth from the resort was just not up to snuff.)

For our having been gone for eight days, the children did not seem to have minded it very much.  We returned to an R who is a bit better verbally expressive than he had been before, and a report that the Monster even was more verbal (and better toileted) than he is with us.  Both children seem like they’re no worse for wear while we’ve been gone, and… well, except for how the sitter probably did things a little different than us, they seem to be settling back into their normal routines this morning.

I’ll resume with real posts tomorrow, though.  As much as I like vacations, it’s good to be home…

Stepping Up

I think everyone has seen, through the two plus years that I have been blogging about being the father of a child with Autism, about how I advocate for my son in the schools to get him the resources he needs to succeed.  You’ve seen my struggles and frustrations, and the occasional victory, all while I’ve groaned and grumbled about how the school district seems to be rigged against children like my Monster and that they don’t seem to hear us when we complain to them.

Well, it looks like I’m about to have more of a voice.
Continue reading

On the Road – Water Country USA (redux)

This weekend, we zipped off to the Tidewater region of Virginia to go hit the two amusement parks – Busch Gardens and Water Country USA – and two baseball games.  Unfortunately, one was washed out due to the weather, but…

I know I’ve reviewed Water Country USA previously (see On the Road – Water Country USA), but this time, due to the weather on Friday, we were able to do more of a visit that would answer questions that are of interest to Autism parents. Continue reading

Of Monsters and Manuals

So we’re coming up on the vacation trip, and we’re starting to finish our preparations to ensure that the kids are taken care of properly while we’re gone.

Now, when we leave the kids with their grandparents for a night, it’s fairly straight forward.  But the kids aren’t familiar with the babysitter, nor she with them, so there’s additional preparations that have to be made.  (To be fair, the sitter’s met them a few times before this, and she’s sat for us while we went out, so it’s not like she’s some total stranger… but she’s not family either.) Continue reading

So Much Paper

As I mentioned a while back, the wife and I are hiring someone to watch the Monster and R while we’re out of town.

This is going to be our first vacation without the kids since… well, my sister’s wedding, back when we only had the Monster, and well before his diagnosis.  (For reference, he was a 10 month old at the time, and stayed with his grandparents.)  We’re fortunate enough to find someone with experience with children with Autism, coupled with the fact that the Monster is going to be out of the house for most of our time away, as he’ll be at camp from 8 AM to 5 PM each day.

Still, we’re trying to make it as easy as possible for the sitter, so the wife is making her all kinds of papers that talk about what passes for normal around the house.

Continue reading