One of the hardest things for me, as the father of a child with Autism, is trying to understand how my son relates to the other children around him.

Now, the Monster loves other people.  For having a disorder that causes so many problems with communications with other people, he certainly adores being around certain people – he loves his little brother, and his family, and there are people who he develops attachments to.  But ask him who his friends at school are, and he’s not able to give you a real response. Continue reading

The Flip Side

Three days into the school year, and the IEP chair from the Monster’s school is still ignoring the single, easy question that I asked her.  Of course, so is the person who is in charge of implementing IEPs in the district, so I might have to pick up a phone and start being my normal self again.

On the other hand… things are getting off to a good start with the specialists. Continue reading

I’ve Got A Bad Feeling…

The new school year begins on Monday.

As I’ve mentioned previously, my wife took the Monster to his new school today to get him familiarized with the place before the chaos of the official “seat sneak peek” tomorrow night.  it was a quick breeze-through visit – the staff were busy in a meeting, and so he was given the chance to go see his classroom and the like, and my wife briefly met his teacher and the vice-principal of the lower school.

I have to say, honestly, that I’m already concerned. Continue reading

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