Time For Gymnastics!

Folks have asked me what the Monster actually does when we go to gymnastics each week.   I’ve mentioned before about how he goes every Thursday, but I don’t talk too much about what he actually does when he’s there.  And… I don’t necessarily want folks having this image in their heads that my kid’s getting ready eventually for the Olympics. Continue reading

Any Which Way

Part of the kindergarten curriculum here in Maryland includes learning to appropriately write letters, using a proper grip on a writing implement.

Now, the Monster’s known his letters for a long time – he’s semi-obsessed with Sesame Street and has no problems recognizing upper and lower case letters.  He also knows, quite well, how to spell his full name. Continue reading

On the Road – Surfers Healing and the Autism Beach Bash

So… I’m sure that a lot of parents of children with Autism who are already “in the know” about this could potentially be annoyed with me for divulging the existence of this, due to the limited spots available each year.  But.. if you don’t know about this already, you should.  Trust me, you should.

There is this great charity out there called Surfers Healing.  Surfers Healing is a charity founded by a former competitive surfer who has a son with Autism.  The basis of the charity is sharing his discovery of the effect that riding a surfboard has on children with this disorder.

Continue reading

Snake Oil

Note before I start: I can guarantee this is going to offend some of my readers.  If you’re the type to be offended – and you probably already know how, based on today’s title – either turn away or just remind yourself later that you chose to be offended. =p

Yesterday, the National Autism Association had a “Someone Needs Your Ideas” post up, with a parent asking about having a child with eating issues similar to the Monster’s (that the child really only eats chicken nuggets).  Most of the suggestions were very useful and utilize proven therapies (ABA, etc) to achieve some positive results in food broadening… but there were the usual fluttering of “fringe” cures that came in as well. Continue reading


There’s always tradeoffs when you’re dealing with what’s best for your children, weighing what is in their long term best interests versus the shorter-term benefits and trying to figure out where to strike a balance.

The decision on where that balance is really is different when it comes to parenting a special needs child, and I don’t think that’s something I was ever really prepared for. Continue reading

Yes, I Brush My Child

The first time that my wife mentioned brushing our child – and not referring to trying to make some order out of the mop that’s usually crowning his head – I have to admit that I thought she’d lost it somewhere.

The Monster had been going to private speech and occupational therapy for about two or three weeks when the OT suggested that it might be helpful to adopt a brushing protocol as part of his sensory diet.  His therapy at the Therapy Spot is after school and after his ride home on the bus, so he’s already had quite the full day at that point and is riled up.  As an attempt to try to get more out of the speech portion, the OT had been integrating her treatment with the speech portion, giving him additional stimulus to try to help him relax and focus. Continue reading

The Positives

The Monster’s in his second week now of additional therapy that we’re paying for, above and beyond what the school is giving him, since we’re not getting what we really want from the schools (more individual care) and we don’t think he’s getting enough.

So on Tuesdays, after school, the Monster comes home on the bus and is shuttled immediately off for another 30-45 minutes of combined SLP and OT at another provider. Continue reading

Paying For It

Since the school system seems disinclined to provide the Monster with all of the care that we think he needs, we’ve decided to take the “logical” step and get him some outside therapy.  Yesterday was his first trip to a local private provider for supplemental occupational and speech therapy.

As I’ve mentioned before – the school provides him with three speech therapy appointments a week and one OT.  However, the OT was recently reduced from 45 minutes to 30 (though from a push-in to a pull-out appointment) and the speech is two pull-out small group, one push-in per week.  And we think he needs more individual attention than that. Continue reading