What Sticks

The Monster’s last day at Middle Rockers, 2016-17 season

Ordinarily, I handle getting the Monster to his school bus anyway, and then leave straight for work.  The point of this being, if his school bus is late or doesn’t show, I can then run him to school before it starts without my wife being made to run a huge loop to drop both kids off.  While she’s on Injured Reserve, this responsibility still lands square in my lap.

So of course, today being his first day back at school after spring break, the bus didn’t come. Continue reading

Hot Dog is a Baloney

One of the things that I’ve noticed most with the Monster’s verbal issues is the way he perserverates on certain phrases, even when they don’t make sense.

We had an incident, a while back, where he was repeating something that sounded like Spanish, but wasn’t anything I could decipher.  It turned out it was echolalia just churning back something he’d misheard from a Dora the Explorer game, once we heard the source and matched the cadence with what he was saying.

And then there’s the times where it’s genuine nonsense, and we’ve no idea what he’s trying to say. Continue reading

Putting It Together

One of the major gaps in the Monster’s expressive language skill-set is his ability to tell something in a narrative fashion.

Give the kid an object, and most of the time, he’ll give you a fairly good description of the physical or factual qualities of the item with a little bit of prompting.  Ask him about his day, on the other hand… and you get a blank look. Continue reading

Not For Us

So the Monster’s getting one more week of camp at the JCC, courtesy of their “Sunday Funday Everyday” program.  Because I’m home from work for the week, the wife and I are taking turns with the run to drop him off and pick him up.

Much of the staff from the program was also present at Camp Milldale, so they’re already acquainted with what he can and cannot do, with his foibles and the like.  This was a good push to get him to go there, and so it was very easy to part with the money for the additional week. Continue reading


In theory – as far as the wife’s aware – the Monster starts his ESY speech therapy tomorrow.

We’ve noticed, as I mentioned earlier, some regression in his skills since school let out.  Aside from the issues in the bathroom, we’ve been dealing with the fact that he’s not been quite as verbal as he was during the school year, though the fall-off hasn’t been quite as bad in terms of absolute slip.  What we have noticed is a slide back to more familiar patterns that he used to use earlier in the spring. Continue reading

Emerging Skills

As we’ve gone through the IEP process again recently to get the Monster his ESY services, we’ve been left with the feeling that we’re just not getting all of the services that we would really care to get.

A lot of this comes in the area of speech therapy – he does get three sessions a week.  None of these sessions are individual – they’re all small group or a push-in to his class (which, itself, is not very large) – and while both of us would like to see him get at least one individual session a week, I’m very quickly coming to the realization that a) we’re not going to get it and b) it’s not going to happen even if they wanted to, as they’re already short on resources. Continue reading

The View From Outside

All of us, I’m sure, have had the “how to boil a frog” experience at some point.  Gradual changes are easily ignored until they’re past where we’d normally notice.

It’s hard to miss how the Monster’s verbal ability’s gotten better over the last year.  He’s more often using longer constructions – admittedly, still canned sentences, but at least they’re longer and more “English-sounding” – but that’s also been dependent on his mood at a given moment. But that’s also just from what we can see when we’re around him – and that’s perhaps three to four hours a day. Continue reading

Too Many Choices

One refrain that we hear frequently when dealing with children who have Autism is that we should limit the choices we offer them. It’s meant as a constructive mechanism to ensure that they’re not overwhelmed with trying to decide, and helps to encourage verbal communication with children with language delays.

It’s also something that, after an entire day stuck in the house with the Monster, I’ve discovered that both the wife and I suck absolutely at. Continue reading

Speaking Of…

One of our biggest concerns when it comes to the Monster getting to something approaching a ‘normal’ life is his ability to use language.

It is, in public, the biggest marker that there’s something different about him.  Other children his own age are off conversing about this and that, narrating about their day, and he’s, by comparison, very quiet. Continue reading

Phrasal Future

Sorry for not posting yesterday – things just got way, way too hectic at work, and I just ran out of time to get something scribbled up here.

One of our biggest frustrations with the Monster’s verbal ability is a lack of narrative tone.  He’s very good at descriptive, literal use of language, and has been known to burst out with an observation about his surroundings – what’s in his view, what’s where, describing things… but he’s not much for telling the story of his day. Continue reading