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New help!

January 16, 2020, 3:28 pm

Great news: Dar has a new doctor! His current doctors wanted this. No one is being replaced. Instead, for the first time, we’re adding a child psychiatrist to his “team.” And confession: I may be a little bit in love with her. Context! We’d been looking for a child psychiatrist for months and months, going back to the day when Dar’s neurologist suggested such a thing (that had barely crossed our minds). At the time, I said, can you refer
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After Camp

January 9, 2020, 1:07 pm

Hello and welcome back from Winter Break. I’ve enjoyed the excuse not to update the blog because…this has not been the easiest period in Dar’s life. Suffering is supposed to ease. But sometimes, it gets worse, with no end in sight…for decades. The most recent period of awfulness began on Dar’s final day at his first-ever camp, sleepaway or otherwise. I won’t say their name because I don’t want to jeopardize his chances of attending in the future. Now, you
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Happy New Year! Happy New Decade!

December 31, 2019, 10:08 am

And thanks so much for checking in! In case you missed it, I said most of what I wanted to say about the 2010s here. Dar has drained me of the energy to better summarize his decade and to speculate about his decade ahead. I guess those few words will have to be symbolic enough. Dar is…very difficult lately. I mean, we’re talking about new and scary difficulties that I’m not ready to share quite yet. But it helps me
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Vineland 3

December 13, 2019, 8:55 am

Last week, the supervisor of Dar’s ABA therapist asked us to complete the latest Vineland survey, which is now Vineland 3. The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale was designed by experts at Pearson Education to measure and quantify degrees of intellectual disability, developmental disorders, and other delays. I absolutely understand why I am required to fill in this form from time to time. I am a parent of a special-needs child. My child is nowhere near a questionable case, but there
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Maui 2019

December 5, 2019, 9:40 am

This week, we pretend that Dar can speak and put together an annotated photo collection. Since I can’t know what Dar’s imagination conjures, I’ll use mine to conjure something…unrealistic. Hey Dad! I had a terrific time in Hawaii! Thanks for everything. I’m still amazed that the below was the view from our room. What a lanai! And look at that break in the hedgerow, perfect for me to sneak out and find the beach…kidding, of course! #sorrynotsorry You know how
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Happy Thanksgiving Week!

November 30, 2019, 5:49 pm

And thanks for checking in here. See you next week. Share this post

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Making Things Happen is Hard

November 21, 2019, 5:28 pm

This picture shows a letter from the Mind Institute at U.C. Davis, rejecting our application for them to study and/or help Dar. I have, or had, this fantasy that maybe Dar can somehow, someday be useful to society…maybe scientists could study his brain and find a way to prevent the next kid with severe autism. (Do NOT bother to respond by equating autism to a superpower or handedness or eye/hair color. You live with Dar for a week, you spend
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All The Screams Are Loud (Screams Are Loud), And The Sky Is Grey

November 15, 2019, 1:50 pm

Last weekend, I had another stranger confront me about Dar. I think I handled it a lot better than the last time that you read about. Practice makes perfect! Friends in South Berkeley invited our entire family to their house for a Game Night. Sometimes I wonder why we even consider bringing Dar to such events. We have no helpful relatives in California. We could hire a sitter, but a sitter is money. We could arrange care through our state-alloted
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North!

November 7, 2019, 11:11 am

Hi loyal blog readers! Have you ever wondered what I would be doing if Dar were neurotypical? Well, I have! Dar is not my 24/7 preoccupation. I also work, look for work, parent the other bambino, and make time for wifey. Like you, I also deal with a hundred other distractions regarding debt, creditors, licenses, city forms, paperwork, insurance, medical stuff, permissions, applications, approvals…et cetera. Still. I feel strongly that I could be doing more if Dar’s condition wasn’t sucking
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Powerless and Traumaless

October 30, 2019, 3:14 pm

Let the record show that in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, we visited the Charles M. Schulz museum in Santa Rosa, which very narrowly escaped incineration in California’s worst fire of 2017. Three days after our visit…a new and devastating fire, California’s worst of 2019, began to threaten the place again. Before this is over, we’ll all be living like Pigpen. Let the record also show that we are not the victims here. All your and my
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