A Playdate?

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

Hungry, Hungry

R turned four this week.

Almost everything with R is a new experience for us as parents.  Yes, yes, I know that all children are different and are going to be somewhat like that anyway, but… the differences between a child with Autism and a child without Autism are night and day.  So on Wednesday, after singing happy birthday to R, after cupcakes and giving him a card… he asked where his birthday present was. (Smart kid, our R.)  And after a bit of hurrying on the wife’s part to grab something – we’d not planned on giving him a present till his birthday party in a week and a half – he was very excited to unwrap a “Hungry, Hungry Hippos” game.

Continue reading

Play Time!

Like many children with Autism, the Monster has difficulties with playing with other children.

The problem isn’t necessarily a matter of his want to play with other kids – it’s his ability to communicate the want to do it and then to sustain the interactions.  He’s had a social goal in this past year’s IEP of play with other children, but most of the time, this has required adult interaction to keep him involved in a game of any sort. Continue reading

Party On!

We frequently hear about how children with Autism are excluded from parties – I’ve written about the topic before, unapologetically.  There’s also been quite a bit about how kids with Autism tend to be marginalized by not having a lot of folks come to their parties…

But one good thing in the world is family.  You can have hundreds of folks out there who aren’t going to include your child, but your family will always, always include your kids, no matter what.

This weekend was my nephew Z’s birthday party… and I’ll admit that I’d been somewhat nervous about the idea of taking the Monster to the party. Continue reading

His Own Take On It

My company does a lot for Halloween every year.  It’s our eVP’s favorite holiday – back when we were more concentrated in one spot, there was massive decorating of our areas, trick-or-treating in the office, things like that.  Since we got bigger, the celebration got moved out to a central location (though we’ll still have something in the office tomorrow – pizza and beer, though I’m missing the beer due to scheduling).  This year, our party was at The Cloisters, which is really just around the corner from our house.

For Trunk or Treat on Saturday, the Monster was a pirate – today, he was a cowboy to go along with R.  (Frankly, it’s an easier costume that has him fidgeting with it a heck of a lot less.)  But the fact of the matter is, he still really doesn’t ‘get’ Halloween. Continue reading

Friends?

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

Socially Speaking

Thursdays are gymnastics day – I pick the Monster up from school at the end of the day (rather than his riding the bus home) and zip over to Rebounders to let him get some playtime on the equipment with one of the wonderful instructors in the I Can Do It Too program, which is a good cover for his getting at least some PT that the city’s not giving him.

This afternoon, his instructor Ms. J suggested that we start considering the idea of putting him in a small group session rather than one-on-one like he has now. Continue reading

Rollin’ Along…

The local Autism Society chapter here sponsors a monthly ‘social outing’, and this month’s outing was to a roller rink.  (This is not news to those who follow my tweet feed, @DadEnoughBlog.)

Now… the wife and I probably haven’t been on regular roller skates in about fifteen to twenty years, and the kids have never been on them.  But, there’s a few things about going roller skating that are probably good for social adaptation, or at least for trying out something in an environment that’s all about sensory stimulation: Continue reading