The Normal Things

The Monster’s IEP is full of all kinds of things that he’ll need for later in life.  He’s learning to read and write, and to do basic math.  This week, they’re working on identifying coins in class, and in the past, they’ve done some units on other bits of social studies.  But… the IEP also misses some things that he needs for later in life.

We had a few sessions at KKI of out-patient OT to get him working on some of his life skills – brushing his teeth (he does that so-so), tying his shoes (getting there slowly) and the like.  And that’s also very important because, barring our getting him velcro shoes for the rest of his life or not worrying about his teeth…

And then there’re some of the simple things that are ‘normal’ things to learn. Continue reading

Word Order

What we call things matters.

I think I was first struck by this years ago, when I was sitting in a pew at synagogue and my clergy-person at the time was talking about the distinction between being “a Jewish-American” and “an American Jew”.  It’s a question of what word modifies which, and which one gets the emphasis, and the distinction that word-order makes has stuck with me through years. Continue reading

Dancing Queen

We’re used to the Monster saying weird, random things out of the blue – it’s part of how his Autism presents.  A lot of the time, it’s a fill-in for another word – oftentimes, the word is “banana” or “Sesame Street” or the like.  And every so often, he says something new that we’re not quite understanding.

A few weeks ago, it was random earworms – an Ariana Grande song, then “Bills” by Lunchmoney Lewis – but today, he came into the media room while I was cooling off, saying something about “criss-cross.” 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

Breaking It Down

As you’ve all noticed, no doubt, I’m hardly shy about the fact that the Monster has Autism.

The biggest obstacle I’ve seen is really the fact that Autism is invisible – it’s not like a lot of disabilities where the matter is visible to anyone who can see the affected person.  Because the Monster (usually) looks like a happy, healthy boy, folks just assume he’s normal until he does something that’s “not normal”. Continue reading

Blessing or Curse

I’ve seen a lot of carrying on this week about Toni Braxton’s new book, most specifically to the snippets that are being distributed far and wide about how she saw her child’s Autism as ‘punishment from God’.  A lot of it has been handwringing in the tune of “how can people feel that way”, as if such thoughts make someone a bad parent.

On the other side, I hear a lot of folks expressing the viewpoint of “God gives special children to special people,” and the outcry against that point of view. Continue reading

Bring Your Kids To Work Day

Today’s “Bring Your Kids To Work Day” at my office.

As I understand it, once upon a time, this was really meant as a means to either encourage children to get an appreciation for what their working parent did during the day, or as a way to have your children consider their career plans as they get older.  This isn’t quite what’s going on, but… I’ll buy the intention, at the very least. Continue reading

Real or Fake?

So after yesterday’s “ooh, he has a soul” moment… it’s time to step back to things that are actually about the kid. 😉

Many evenings, while my wife’s making dinner, I take the time to get the Monster’s homework out of the way.  It’s generally more meant as an effective use of time – every moment that’s spent doing homework while one of us is busy is a moment later that can be used for fun when both of us are available.  His class, “Together We Grow”, actually follows the real kindergarten curriculum, so his homework is little different from what other kindergarteners in Baltimore are working on. Continue reading