Building on Sand

So we’re into the four weeks before school where everything’s going to keep changing for the Monster.

I suppose my biggest concern coming into the summer was going to be the fact that his schedule wasn’t going to be a constant.  Consistency is important when it comes to his schedule, and we’re just not able to give him that this year, with the programs all having different start and end dates. Continue reading

You’ve Got To Fight For Your Right To Party

I’m going to step back into this.

On Friday, the New York Times posted an article in its Parenting section on including children with special needs in birthday parties.  (You can find the article here.)  I think that readers of this blog can already guess that I’m not the type to have kept my opinion to myself. Continue reading

Halfway to Fall

Today was the last day of one of the Monster’s day camps.

We were fortunate to find out about a speech and language camp run by a local university, and had the Monster there three days a week in a program that gives him at least some social exposure to other children as well as therapy sessions that our insurance will cover.  Unfortunately, because it is staffed by students from that same university, it’s not a whole-summer program – it ran only six weeks, and ended today, four weeks shy of the start of school. Continue reading

Speak Up!

When we went in for the IEP in April, we asked the city to provide ESY services for speech therapy, at the very least.  Because their speech therapist hadn’t sent a new report that proved her concern that there’d be some regression (she only sent a letter stating in three paragraphs that she was concerned at the possibility, without evidence), the city denied the request.

Now, it’s not like he’s not had speech therapy over the summer.  My insurance is covering a session a week at the Hearing and Speech Agency (HASA), and he’s attending a special day-camp three mornings a week that provides more speech therapy. Continue reading

I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.

As I’ve more than alluded to, the Monster’s first IEP meeting was not a process that I particularly care to repeat anytime soon.

I was informed by our advocate that the average IEP meeting takes about two to three hours.  I was told by the dads’ support group members that a five hour IEP meeting is not particularly unheard of for a first-time through the process… Continue reading


Parents of children with ASDs are, I’m sure, aware of one of the biggest things we can do to ensure that our children behave themselves – make sure that there’s a factor of predictability to what’s going on.  The Monster, for example, knows his schedule well – whether he sticks to it himself is another matter altogether, but.

Of course, going on a trip means throwing that all into chaos. Continue reading

Out and About

Summer is the time of year where we have a bit more free time – especially before the Monster starts public preschool in the fall – to actually do a bit of wandering about on recreational activities.

By far, the most frequent place we go is the pool at the JCC – it’s something we’ve paid for already and it’s an activity that he enjoys, as well as an environment where any behavioral issues aren’t going to be as apparent.  (Well, save perhaps for in the kiddy pool if he’s taking too much time with other kids’ toys, though most parents understand that any unattended toys in that pool are fully up for grabs.) Continue reading

Echo… echo… echo…

We all know that we’re supposed to watch what we say in front of young children.  As a child, I’ll admit that I did have a tendency (and yes, I still do at times) to repeat phrases and dialogue that I found particularly amusing, and not always at the most appropriate circumstances.  Now that I have kids of my own, I really do try to watch how much ‘inspiration’ I give them for such behavior. Continue reading

Push The Button

For anyone who didn’t see the 60 Minutes segment either the first time it aired or on this weekend, it’s available online here.

When the Monster was 2, he really wasn’t verbal in the slightest.  Certainly, he had a good mass of words to pull from, but was using a single word at most for communicating his wants and needs.  Baltimore City Infants and Toddlers Program put him into the PIES program, where they introduced us to the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) which was a marvel to us – suddenly, he could follow a schedule, show us what he wanted within a selection of limited choices, and it helped to foster his development of the canned phrases he’s using today. Continue reading