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“Autism Dad,” or, “Severe”

October 11, 2018, 9:08 pm

I can’t hate the gig economy, because I feel that my generation created it for reasons that go beyond capitalist imperatives. Hanging out recently at my 30thhigh school reunion, I sensed that many of my classmates are inveterate project-creators. Most of us don’t commit ourselves to a 40-year career in something; instead we dream of doing the next cool thing, even if it’s not particularly lucrative. So what does it mean to have a generation, and a next generation, of
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Teach Your Children Well

October 3, 2018, 8:42 pm

This is a blog about raising my autistic child. In the middle of what we will someday look back upon as This Brett Kavanaugh Madness, a lot of people are talking about raising children – raising girls to be strong enough to speak up and/or resist, raising boys to treat females with respect. I sometimes feel that raising Dar is a third Venn Diagram circle that doesn’t really overlap with either of those two. Of course, that isn’t quite the
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New Jersey Mulligan

September 27, 2018, 1:21 pm

I’m in the Garden State, so I’m taking a mulligan. Twice as much next week. Thanks for checking, loyal readers! Share this post

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Around the World, Around Dar’s World

September 20, 2018, 11:19 am

When I was eight, my mother took me around the world. It was audacious and efficacious and perspicacious. Dar is eight. We haven’t taken him around the world. Instead I wonder what the world looks like that he traces in his own mind. He can never tell us. When I was eight, we visited Hiroshima for the 34thanniversary of you-know-what. We walked past thousands of people holding hands and chanting. We walked into a museum displaying mannequins with permanently melting
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Instead of Cock-a-Doodle-Doo

September 13, 2018, 4:58 pm

I’ve long thought that I would make a terrible farmer. One reason is that most farmers seem to own chickens, and chickens tend to wake up at daybreak and cock-a-doodle-doo their little throats out. When I hear that noise, it makes me want to do something to those throats that the Audubon Society would not like. But I live with that anyway. I live with Dar. Instead of cock-a-doodle-doo-ing, he tee-tee-tees. And it’s loud. And it wakes me up. And
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Dog, Dad, Dar

September 7, 2018, 8:26 am

Last week I returned our family dog, Athena, to the pound from where I’d adopted her about a year ago. I only learned the phrase “owner surrender” last week when I had to do one. I can put up with a lot, but I draw the line at violence. She was an angel with humans…well, it’s more accurate to say that with humans she eagerly leapt into their/our laps like a frisky terrier. But with dogs, we had one too
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Dar As a Star Student

August 30, 2018, 10:00 pm

This is Dar’s first week in third grade. His new teacher is very nice. She asked Dar to come to the classroom on the day before school started, and so I brought him. Did it help his adjustment? Who knows. He also has a new aide who seems capable and professional. This is the beginning of Dar’s fifth (!) year at his current school, Thousand Oaks. How much has he learned in the previous four years? Well, he’s learned a
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From Hose to Hot Tub

August 22, 2018, 11:27 am

Regular readers know that Dar loves water. But there are circumstances when he doesn’t. One of these occurs at water parks when he refuses to ride waterslides. Another occurs when we wash his hair; he screams at the decibel level of a dozen car alarms. We think perhaps it’s because he doesn’t know what we mean when we implore him “CLOSE YOUR EYES!” Or maybe he does know but he doesn’t like the traces of soap. So I was skeptical
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Hurricane Darbor

August 15, 2018, 2:02 pm

How do you solve a problem like Maria? No idea. How do you solve a problem like Dar? I don’t really know that either, but I know that we try things that have made him smile in the past. One of these is taking him to water parks. Another one of these is avoiding previous mistakes at water parks. This last weekend, we made sure to avoid arriving at the park during the minute it opened, to avoid those queues
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The five things Dar wants to do

August 9, 2018, 11:24 am

This is a picture of Dar enjoying my tickles. That’s great when it happens. Not pictured: all the times he doesn’t want to be tickled. During that vast majority of his waking hours, what does Dar want? For something like eight years, we never knew what Dar wanted. I can hardly understate the difficulty and despair that goes with living this way. Ever hear the phrase “be careful what you wish for”? Right. Well, be careful wishing for knowing what
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