Have a Ball

I wasn’t very athletic as a child.  Yes, I played rec soccer and little league, and I learned to play tennis, but a lot of that was my parents’ insistance that I play some sports.  (I did ski, but there’s a reason I don’t quite hold that in the same class, as will be apparent shortly.)

The irony is that as I’ve gotten older, I have taken up more sports on my own – I’m a curler (if my profile picture hasn’t given that away), I enjoy the occasional volleyball game, and I dabble with golf.  The major difference is that I now mostly participate in sports for the social aspect, and gravitate towards sports that emphasize that – for example, I don’t think I’d enjoy golf as much, especially with my horrible handicap, if it didn’t offer the opportunity for me to chat with the rest of my foursome. Continue reading

On The Outside

I genuinely try to keep a good sense of humor about the things going on in our lives.  I think that’s come through very well in the majority of what I write. There’s enough horrible things in the world that something like this – having a relatively high-functioning autistic son – is a minor speed bump in an otherwise pretty decent life.  It’s not like we’re dealing with a fatal illness, with poverty, with hunger, with homelessness or the scourge of war.

No, it’s just a clump of small problems that tend to wander around as a mad little mob, waiting to pop out at the odd times.

Continue reading

Are You Ready For Beddy Time?

Of all the things that we do have trouble with at home, the least stressful of them is bedtime.

I remember, as a child, putting up plenty of fights about bedtime – wanting to stay up later to watch TV, or to read, or to just do anything besides go to sleep, which was boring. (Those were the days.)  And inevitably, I had ways to get around those problems, but in the end, my parents won. Continue reading

Loch Ness Monster

The Monster loves the water.

I’ve heard this as a common refrain with a good number of parents of children with ASDs, that their kids love the water – I’m sure it’s something to do with the sensations that come from being surrounded by liquid.  As it is, it’s one of his favorite things in the summer, being told that he can go play with water in some form, be it the inflatable pool in our backyard, the water table we have here, water tables at various museums or the large pool at the JCC. Continue reading

Welcome to the Group

When I hear the phrase ‘support group’, for some reason, I always picture a circle of chairs in some conference room or social hall, name-tags with first names on them, and awkward introductions of the format, “Hi, I’m [so-and-so], and [yada-yada-yada].”  Followed, of course, by “Hi, [so-and-so].”

Last night, for the first time, I went to a meeting of a support group for dads with children who have developmental disabilities. Continue reading

The Idiot Box

Like most children, the Monster probably watches just a wee bit too much television.

Both of us know that we shouldn’t let our kids watch as much television as they do.  It is, though, an easy solution to the problem of a reward and a distraction when other things are going on – the television is always there, especially in the age of cable where favorite shows are little more than a click away with On Demand and 500 stations blaring constantly. Continue reading

Always Our #1

We had always planned on having multiple children.

Neither my wife nor I are only children – she’s the middle child of three, I’m the eldest of four.  Both of us had felt that having siblings had helped with our growth when we were little, and gave us someone to relate to as we’ve grown older.  So it was a no-brainer, after the Monster was born, that we’d at some point have a second child, even if we were going to wait a bit between them. Continue reading