One of the truisms about having children in general – and especially when you have children with special needs – is that being a parent can do horrible things to your relationship in terms of giving time for one another.
I’m not saying that I regret having kids – the Monster and R are wonderful critters who make life fun, and I adore being a father and spending time with them. But, it definitely puts a cramp on spending meaningful time with my wife, both in terms of mood and energy, and when you factor in the attempts we make to still sustain independent lives for ourselves in addition to our marriage… it’s a lot.
So a while ago, the wife and I decided that we had to make an attempt on a regular basis to actually get away and spend time together. Continue reading
It’s been a few months now of ABA for the Monster.
I’ll admit that… well, we came into it without my having a very good idea of what we’d get out of it, to be honest. I’ve heard about ABA – applied behavior analysis – before, and we’d not availed ourselves of it because we didn’t know how to fit it into our lives. That my insurance through work happens to pay for a lot of it was the kicker to get us to rearrange our lives to fit it in, and we’ve gone with the theory of ‘that which is not harmful and might work is worth trying’, so… Continue reading
I started out this morning on this topic on Twitter, and realized I probably should just expound on it here instead.
When we’re out and about, we usually refer to the Monster as “non-verbal”. I took him with me to a meeting on Thursday night, and one of my friends commented that she doesn’t understand why I refer to him as “non-verbal” when he’s clearly able to speak.
So… Continue reading
Today being the first day of Rosh Hashanah, we went to shul as a family.
(No, don’t be shocked that I’m on the computer. :p )
Granted, the Monster’s school is closed today for the holiday, more perhaps a function of the number of observant staff than the student body. It’s slated to be open again tomorrow, and he’ll go to school for his therapies then. R’s school doesn’t close for the holidays, but he has an excused absence.
And this year, we decided to not just lurk in the quiet room… Continue reading
I’ve probably stated, ad nauseam, that we’ve been terrified of travel with the Monster. The big issue isn’t the “getting there” part, the changes to schedule, or other odd shifts… but nighttime issues.
And still, for some crazy reason, we’ve taken at least one more-than-a-day trip each year for the last few. Continue reading
One thing that I think all parents of children with special needs worry about is whether or not their child will make friends.
Now, don’t get me wrong – the Monster loves other children. He likes being around other people, and when the other person is someone familiar, he definitely seems interested in at least saying hi or whatnot… even if he’s not really hot at playing with another person. But… playdates are few and far between, because his social skills are so behind the curve.
So imagine our shock when we got a note from another parent, via the camp, asking for a playdate with him. Continue reading
R’s in a fairly weird spot – he’s the younger sibling, but by nature of how profound the Monster’s Autism is, he’s oftentimes thrust into the role that a big brother would take. It’s a lot to shoulder, when you’re five years old.
And… when given the chance, it’s lovely to see how he rises to the challenge. Continue reading
We’re fortunate that we’ve not had a problem to date of the Monster deciding to run away from us anywhere. He’s certainly had minor elopement incidents – one particular trip to Sesame Place comes to mind – but by and large, we’ve been very lucky. Between a couple of factors, that the Monster’s a compliant child and that we’ve gone through behavioral therapy to work on awareness that he needs to stick with us, we’ve been a little more relaxed about the whole thing.
(It also helps that he has his necklace, and doesn’t fight us about wearing it, which is a second layer of help in public.)
But that all said, we’re lucky that we’ve not had to worry really about elopement. I hear all the horrible stories, and my wife makes a point of bringing them up when they appear on Facebook or the like. But…
The fact is, Monster’s a homebody. Continue reading
I suppose that certain things are inevitable when you’ve a child with communication issues. Frustration often boils over, and we’ve been accustomed to the fact that there are times that a meltdown’s going to happen… and to date, we’ve been fortunate that the Monster’s easily diverted. Certain kinds of meltdowns at certain times could be easily enough interpreted, and…
Well, we’ve reached a new behavior that’s not so easily diverted. Continue reading
So while I’ve been quiet, we’ve been gearing up for the kids’ summertime activities. Both R and the Monster are going to camp for at least part of the summer (the Monster does have school in July, while R’ll be there the whole time), and last night was the camp orientation. Continue reading