To Be Implemented on Mars

IEPSomewhere along the way, I heard someone tell me that an IEP (an “individualized education plan” for anyone new to special-needs speak) should be written so that it could be “implemented by Martians” – that someone who had not ever met the child in question could pick up the document, read through it and, assuming they can read English, implement the goals and required supports.

The Monster has had an IEP for three school years now, and the current IEP expired about a week or so ago.  So it’s time, as you can imagine, for us to review and update the IEP for the 2015-2016 school year.


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A Free Pass

A short while back, Autism with a Side of Fries asked a question, regarding things you’ve found that work well with our kids and whether or not you share them out.  I was upfront with responding that I don’t ever hold back on any places that I find work well or accommodate my Monster nicely.  I remember what it was like – and I’m constantly reminded when I find some place new – to not know of anything that lets us have something that’s a semblance of a normal life…

And on the flip side, there’s when I boggle at how folks don’t seem to know of some of the resources that exist.

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Independent Study

It’s frustrating, sometimes, seeing the things that the Monster can’t do, compared to other children his own age.

Granted, it’s not like he’s fully non-verbal, or that he’s entirely incapable of doing things for himself.  I do count our blessings on that regard, because it could always be much worse.  (Though, for the record, “it could be much worse” is a horrible, self-defeating outlook on life.) Continue reading

Ah, Luxury!

One of the downers of being the parents of a child with Autism is that we feel like we can’t get out as frequently as other parents.

Now, I know that a lot of that is just our perception (coupled with the fact that the wife and I are probably too frugal for our own good).  It’s hard to find a good sitter who can cope with both R – in the throes of the Terrible Threes – and the Monster, much less handle how the Monster’s not entirely verbal.  So we’ve actually not had the chance to go out on date nights as frequently as we should like. Continue reading


A while back, I wrote about how the Monster’s starting to have his adult teeth come in (see Well That Bites), at least the front two on the bottom.  We’ve been watching the baby teeth in front of them get more and more loose, and trying to figure out what to do when he gets to the point of losing one.

Last night, he let the wife tie some floss around the more loose of the two and pull it free, since it was just barely hanging on. Continue reading


One of the few constants about children is that they need to eat.  (It’s that, sleep and poop, honestly – the big three.)  And despite being behind verbally, he does let us know that he’s hungry, if not in the most elegantly phrased way, but by shouting ‘EAT!’ at us.

As I’ve talked about several times, the Monster is a very finicky eater.  We’ve not figured out if there’s a rhyme or reason to his choices for what he will or won’t eat, which leaves us frustrated more often than not.  It’s not uncommon, from what I’ve seen looking around the community, but it is a giant pain in the ass.  For more than a year now, his meals have been fairly fixed at home, with dinner being a slice or two of pizza.

So for a few months now, he’s been involved in a feeding therapy program every other week (it switches off with some behavioral therapy he’s getting).  This therapy’s introduced the whole concept of “food friends” to try to get him to eat more, and it’s had some modest success – he’s been drinking milk again, as well as eating macaroni, albeit one noodle at a time. Continue reading

I Am Your Dentist

The dental visit went pretty well, all told.

Pro-tip: If you’re going to hold your special needs kid out of school for an early-morning dental clinic visit, call the school so they know.  Otherwise, you get a weird, awkward phone call from the office, while his one-on-one aide is standing there, asking why he’s not there. Continue reading

Interruptions Galore

Living in Maryland, the weather is the worst part of the winter.

Certainly, we don’t get it as badly as I did where I grew up, where we got hit with serious snow multiple times a winter.  Nor are we getting it even as badly once as Boston has on multiple occasions this winter.  But… let’s just say that Maryland is a little nervous when it comes to the white stuff – they seem to close schools at the drop of a hat.  (I’m exaggerating, but only slightly.)

So…  this week, schools were closed on Monday, and then closed early on Tuesday due to the weather. Continue reading