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Punt

December 6, 2017, 9:04 pm

Don’t believe I’ve ever before titled a post “Punt.” But this week’s autism post has to be punted. Too many deadlines over here. Will come back with double content next week. Thanks for keeping up with me! Share this post

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“The Answer, My Friend…”

November 30, 2017, 10:11 am

Two days ago I got a call from the office of a doctor that Dar’s general physician had referred us to. The calm-voiced lady on the other end said, “We received your intake forms. Dr. E______ believes that the school needs to provide much more support for Dar.” “Oh, okay, well, thanks for that. How soon can we see the doctor?” “Well, we would like to refer you to another doctor.” “Uhhh…” “Dr. E______ doesn’t really see kids like yours…”
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What I’m Grateful For

November 22, 2017, 10:14 pm

Grateful for all the ways in which Dar’s autism could be worse. He could be screaming more than he is. He could be hitting himself more than he is. He could be more generally violent to others. He could refuse to show any affection at all to his mother and me. When I see autistic people on TV, I often think, “I’d trade Dar with this verbal, aware, Raymond Babbitt-like person in a heartbeat.” But…there is worse, so I’m grateful. Grateful to
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BIP4DMSR

November 15, 2017, 2:17 pm

I have been meaning to write a post-IEP-mortem. We and his school team agreed to meet again in December; I’ll have more then. Right now, the most important thing to report is his new Behavior Intervention Plan. I’m happy with this; my only question is why didn’t we have this before? I think one answer is that we DID have it before, at least informally. But the formal is good, because it means they’re taking his tantrums more seriously. I consider that pivot a
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Dar-light Savings Time

November 8, 2017, 10:47 am

The following story takes place on Sunday, November 5, 2017, at 5:00am. It also takes place on Monday, November 6, at the same time. And on Tuesday, November 7. And today, Wednesday. I knew we’d have a problem with Daylight Savings Time. I just didn’t know how big a problem. 5am rolls around and Dar wakes up. Despite years of attempts at conditioning, he gets loud. Real loud. We can lock him in his room but we can’t keep him from
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Halloween ’17

November 1, 2017, 1:08 pm

After a combined 13 years as a parent, this was pretty much my first Halloween. By “combined 13,” I mean that I have an 8-year-old and a 5-year-old. And by “first Halloween,” I mean this was the first time that I did what I picture parents of “normal” kids doing. By the way, Halloween has long been my favorite holiday, I think mostly because I love the idea of identity fluidity, of putting on masks, of excuses to look at
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Dar’s 8th Birthday Party

October 25, 2017, 10:51 am

Birthdays matter. They pop up in fiction all the time, because they’re shorthand for “here’s a celebration and reminder of who this person is.” Most kids like thinking about birthday parties, even ones not their own, and it’s not just cake and games: they like celebrating their friends (and themselves) and reminding their friends (and themselves) who they are. But what if you don’t know it’s your birthday? Doesn’t that suggest that you can’t celebrate yourself or remind yourself who
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Dar’s birthday IEP 2017

October 18, 2017, 2:37 am

Uh, Dar had a birthday on Sunday. His IEP was Tuesday. I will have more to say about it next week.  Until then, I’m just going to knock your socks off with IEP verbiage. This is to make parents of kids with IEPs go “Oh, thank God I’m not alone” and parents of kids without IEPs go “Oh, thank God that’s not me.” Forthwith: FROM THE AAC SPECIALIST: [Dar] Smith-Rowsey is an engaging 7-year old boy enrolled in Ms. Anita’s
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Fire Interruption

October 11, 2017, 4:54 pm

This week’s normal blog entry about my life with my autistic child has been interrupted by the Atlas Fire, which CNN just called the most destructive wildfire in California’s history. A school where I teach has been turned into an evacuation center; my father’s retirement facility is on notice for evacuation. So I’ve been a bit distracted. Nonetheless, Dar’s IEP will happen this Tuesday, and I’ll probably have updates about that next week. Until then, here’s some autism news that
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When The iPad Locked Us All Out

October 4, 2017, 11:26 am

I don’t plan these weekly columns very far in advance. But if I did, I certainly wouldn’t have been planning to write about having to wipe down Dar’s iPad, restart his entire communication system, and begin rebuilding it from scratch. In the last 48 hours, I’ve spoken the following words so many times that it almost comes as a peculiar relief to type them. Monday, while at work at St. Mary’s College, I got an email from Dar’s special-needs supervisor
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