We probably were asking for trouble, but I think we lucked out in the end, in terms of how things worked.

Most of the time, dealing with a child with Autism and the occasional sensory issue, we take into account what we think he can handle.  This means one, maybe two activities, with trying to quiet things down between them to ensure that there aren’t problems…

And then there are the days where we massively throw the whole thing out the window and roll the dice. Continue reading

Upcoming Locally…

One of the things that occurred to me is that there’s really no one good, central resource for a list of events that are coming up for parents of children with special needs.  (Every group seems to have a superset of their events and a few other groups, but… not all in one place)  So I’m going to try to remember to post something at least once a month with what I know of, and… well, if any of my readership knows of additional events, please feel free to let me know and I’ll add them.

And, because not everything revolves around our children with special needs, I’ll post general-interest parenting things here too, if I’m attending (with or without the kids). Continue reading

Perhaps Picasso

"A Mountain", by the MonsterAdd another thing to the diverse list of interests for the Monster.

We have a cart near the door to our patio with all kinds of art stuff in it.  It’s been there for a while – I don’t quite remember when we got it or what inspired it – but it has paint and markers and the like in the various rainbow-hued drawers, ready for the taking. Continue reading

Life is a Circus

Monster at the CircusThe wife decided we should take the kids to the circus this past Saturday.

Setting aside that I’m not a fan of the circus – I just find them boring, I don’t have anything against the circus – we’ve avoided taking the kids to a lot of these kinds of events since we don’t know how the Monster is going to respond.  Yes, we’ve taken him out to the Science Center, or to other places where there are going to be crowds, but the circus (or any show) is really very different – it’s a sustained period where he’s going to be in a seat in a darkened room, where a meltdown of any kind will disturb others around us.  So I get very hesitant when we’re talking about this kind of thing… Continue reading

On the Road – Morey’s Piers, Wildwood, NJ

Aerial view of Mariner's Landing, Wildwood, NJIs any childhood visit to a beach community with a boardwalk really complete without a trip to an amusement pier?

When I was a child, we used to take a week in the summer and head down to The Wildwoods, and at some point during that week, we’d end up at Mariner’s Landing to go ride the rides.  Now that I’m grown up, and my kids are old enough for at least some of the things that are offered on the piers, it was time to let them get the same experience, albeit removed twenty-something years from my own. Continue reading

How Much Accommodation?

Yesterday, my wife asked me to take the day off so that we could take the kids to Sesame Place.  Baltimore City schools let out early for the summer this week – on Monday – and while the rest of the state seems to still be in classes, it seemed an ideal opportunity for us to fill some time for both children by taking them somewhere fun.

As my long time readers already know, I love how Seaworld Entertainment accommodates guests with disabilities.  Sesame Place has been the top of the heap in this regard – they’ve been so easy with regards to accommodating the Monster, and their policies in general are very disability friendly – so we’ve always looked forward to our trips there.  We’ve even bought season passes, despite the fact that it’s twice as far away (if not more) than the nearest Six Flags park.

MonsterAtSesamePlacePoolSo a visit to Sesame Place is fairly standard for us – we park, we go inside, the wife goes to Guest Relations just inside the gate to get the bracelet and RAP sheet for the Monster, and we go about our day.  And then… this year came with a change. Continue reading

Make Time

One of the best pieces of advice I give to parents new to the world of being a “special needs parent” is a question I was asked the first time I attended the Dads Talk group at the Arc Baltimore:

What do you do for fun, for yourself?

It’s not so easy, when we’re in this boat.  We feel a need to keep track of our kids, and our days are filled with trips to therapy, with dealing with our children’s foibles.  And while we might say that we do things “for ourselves”, that often includes running to the gym at a weird hour, early morning walks, or the occasional date night when you get respite or find a sitter who can deal with your kiddo.

But that’s not really what I’m talking about.  Because while I love going out with my wife – to the theater, to the movies, or other things around – it’s not necessarily “for me”.  And that’s where, as parents, we fail ourselves. Continue reading

Dans Un Zoo, Je Suppose

We ended up with some pretty nice weather this weekend, so it was an occasion for us to actually make something of our copious unstructured time and find some… structure.

To be fair, this hasn’t generally been a problem for us this vacation – the Monster’s been at “School Day Out” at the JCC for two of the three weekdays that we’ve been off (they weren’t holding it on Christmas), and he’ll be at it for most of this coming week as well (again, closed on New Year’s Day).  But it’s something to do, and we have the membership to the zoo anyway, so… off we went. Continue reading