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Waterworld 1.0

August 16, 2017, 8:00 pm

Until last weekend, Dar had never been to a water park. Then again, he wasn’t the only one. On our family’s drive out to Waterworld California, I asked wifey, “Have you ever been on a waterslide?” “Of course.” “When?” “Orlando.” “You went to one of the water parks there?” “Sure.” “Really? Cause when I was in Florida I went to four Disney parks and two Universal parks, but not the water parks.” “What is a water park?” After a little
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Dogless Dog Days

August 9, 2017, 11:21 am

There’s a new Vice episode about autism, and they pack a lot of good information into 40 minutes. The first featured kid, Griffin, is a lot more like Dar than most media representations of autism. Like Dar, Griffin is seven, male, non-verbal, uses a tablet for a talker, and it’s a minor miracle when he can express his needs. So for those of you who are reading this and want a video sense of what Dar is like (something I don’t
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Hairy Twitter and the Half-Baked Controversy

August 2, 2017, 11:33 am

Over the last few days, J.K. Rowling got herself into disability-related trouble. The basics of the case are here. The TL;DR version is that Rowling tweet-attacked Trump over mistreatment of a disabled child, the child’s parent corrected Rowling, and Rowling deleted the tweets and apologized to the family but not Trump. The TL;DR version of MY blog post is: keep up the good work, Joanne. Don’t let this setback change the way you advocate for society’s most vulnerable. Parents like me are counting
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Why Dar is Like Mister from The Color Purple

July 26, 2017, 3:40 pm

Dar’s new thing is not being able to live without me and/or wifey, especially in the evenings. He’s following us around the house more during the day, that’s for sure. I go upstairs to hit the head, I can almost be certain Dar will follow me. (In that particular scenario, I don’t mind, because I’m modeling behavior for him.) He tracks me around the halls, the garage, the laundry room. Not all the time. Dar still spends a great deal
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DSR <3 H2O

July 19, 2017, 1:13 am

Have I mentioned Dar’s obsession with water? It’s worth a full post. Last month wifey and I were considering buying a house down the street from us. The thing that I loved best about the house was that Strawberry Creek ran right next to it (if you know the Berkeley Rose Garden, the house borders the creek as it leaves the bandshell area), giving us a natural Japanese-like water feature. This also threatened to become the house’s worst problem, because
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Caught-ism

July 12, 2017, 11:45 am

For the first time in the 3000-words-a-week, almost-4-year history of this blog, I’m going to confess to a crime. Sort of. But before that… Speaking of firsts, for the first time let’s talk about the Better Care Reconciliation Act, the Senate’s current bill that means to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare). I’m not a big fan. I have that in common with about 83% of Americans. But my personal connection is different than most.
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Dar’n On The Fourth of July

July 5, 2017, 3:11 pm

Dar likes road trips and the seashore. We like making him happy and taking time off. One cheap way for all of us to get what we want is to take minor holidays on the central coast, as we did during 2017’s long Independence Day weekend. Window policy changed on this trip. When I drive around Berkeley with Dar, I often roll down the window next to his back seat, because it makes him happy. I used to roll it
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ABA Provider Report, June 2017

June 28, 2017, 11:35 am

Hi loyal readers, Going to spend this week quoting liberally, but not authoritatively, from Dar’s ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) Provider’s report that we were given this month. If you’re one of those glass-half-full people, you can see this report as helpfully making sure that Dar continues to receive services, or perhaps you can see this as “WHEW! Glad my kid doesn’t get judged like this.” If you’re one of those glass-half-empty people, you can see this report as a whole
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First Grade Finish Line

June 21, 2017, 2:35 pm

Hey parents! What do you do with all that stuff that the school sends home on the last week of school? I’ve got books, journals (with literal scribbles, no words), various reading guides, and all kinds of other paperwork including a “Top Five Moments of 2016-2017” montage: Exploratorium, Music with Lisa Z., Girls Basketball, Adventure Playground, Tilden Little Farm. In Dar’s case, he truly wouldn’t mind if I threw it all away. He doesn’t even take a second glance at photos
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A Pause for Applause

June 14, 2017, 8:56 am

On one recent day in Tahoe, two unrelated people met Dar, tried to chat him up, and separately marveled, wow, you’ve really taught him well to never speak to strangers! Ha. That’s an opening joke, not relevant to today’s post. Today I want to tell you about Dar’s hand-clapping. He doesn’t clap hands like you and me. No, this is where his latent cerebral palsy really manifests itself. He sort of holds his left hand like it has an invisible
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