On the Road – Autism on the Seas

Early morning Monster on the Anthem of the Seas, Oct/Nov 2018As I’ve mentioned numerous times, our biggest problem traveling has been terror of how the Monster might respond to a trip anywhere.  Our vacations, typically, tend to either involve going with family so we have backup or going somewhere that we can ‘abort’ back home if there’s too serious of a disruption.  We’ve gone to the beach and small trips within driving range primarily, so we end up within a few hours radius of our house where we feel ‘safe’.  Flying somewhere’s been off our radar, despite having gone through Wings for Autism and his seemingly having responded okay to that.  A week on a cruise ship, though, where there are thin walls, no availability of adjusting the environment and especially no aborting back to home?  Out of the question, you lunatics.

About a year ago, my family and I had the benefit of enjoying a morning with some of Autism on the Seas’ staff on Grandeur of the Seas, the Royal Caribbean ship that’s travels from the Port of Baltimore.  The goal of the exercise, besides obviously getting a sales pitch for their services, was to see how the Monster would respond to being on a ship, and to figure out if we could imagine ourselves actually putting ourselves through that kind of an exercise.  I’m also a big believer that a test-drive often doesn’t give you a full, accurate impression of a company’s services, but I could put my thoughts on that aside when the wife and I actually found a few sailings that worked with our schedule and budget and… suddenly, I found our family preparing to go on vacation. Continue reading

Shot in the Dark

Before I left for Québec last week, R got fairly sick.

Now, I’m not talking “rush him to the hospital STAT!” level of sick – he was more snotty than usual, and whiny, and coughing, and running a mid-grade fever.  But, of course, this was the last thing that we needed before I was going abroad for a week, and since I was at home (ie, the Monster was at therapy downtown), it was delegated to me to go take R to the doctor.

Fortunately, it turned out to be minor, but looked worse because it was two things colliding – he had a cold, coupled with an ear infection that was spiking his fever.  But because he’s three, he can’t really accurately communicate what’s bothering him, and so it was touch and feel, and the doctor was quizzing me on what the symptoms were. Continue reading

Herd Mentality

Last night was my latest trip to the dads’ support group – now that my curling is (largely) done for the season, I’ll be going regularly over the summer.

Something that was said last night, which I’ve probably commented on before, was very relavent to me.  We had two new dads, and were talking about how our kids are getting along with their development, and comparing notes on whose child is walking, is talking, is doing X, Y or Z… Continue reading


Last night, for the first time in a few months, I managed to make it to my dads’ support group over at the ARC.

I happen to like going to the group – while it is open to fathers of children with many different kinds of disabilities, the vast majority of our children are on the spectrum.  The group is still somewhat stable on a month-to-month basis at about eight or so, though apparently there’ve been a few dropping in and out like I’ve been doing of late. Continue reading

Community Supports

The wife and I belong to a number of local support groups – sometimes, it does feel overwhelming with their sheer number.

I belong to a “Guys Talk” group – unfortunately, I’ll be missing meetings for a while due to my other obligations.  (My schedule changed abruptly and it conflicts with the support group schedule.  As much as I like going… I need my extra-curricular activities too.) Continue reading

Knock It Down

My wife and I belong to more than a few support groups, at this point.

Besides the “Guys Talk” group that I go to monthly, she attends the Autism Society of America local chapter meetings as well.  This group does a social event every so often, giving our children with autism an opportunity to be out and about and work on social skills, and we’ve had the ability to attend a few over the last couple of months. Continue reading

Welcome to the Group

When I hear the phrase ‘support group’, for some reason, I always picture a circle of chairs in some conference room or social hall, name-tags with first names on them, and awkward introductions of the format, “Hi, I’m [so-and-so], and [yada-yada-yada].”  Followed, of course, by “Hi, [so-and-so].”

Last night, for the first time, I went to a meeting of a support group for dads with children who have developmental disabilities. Continue reading