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Not now: “Imagine.” Now: “Instant Karma (We All Shine On)”

March 20, 2020, 12:17 pm

This is about Dar and your and my coronavirus fears, but give me a minute to get there. I know America hasn’t been united much lately, which is why it’s so nice to see that America managed to unite in hatred against the video of celebrities in isolation singing along to John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Well, it’s still one of my favorite songs. At my mother’s funeral service at the Berkeley Rose Garden, 15 years ago, 100 or so people sang
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Love In The Time of Corona

March 12, 2020, 10:34 am

I love Gabriel Garcia-Marquez’s book “Love in the Time of Cholera” (an Oprah Book Club selection), although this blog post is about a different kind of love. I’m only borrowing Gabo’s title, not the plot, no never the plot. Gabo’s too deep, I’m too shallow. My usual words have felt particularly hollow of late, what with all of our combined fears about the coronavirus. I mean, with everything else, what’s one severely autistic kid more or less? I hear comparisons
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Dar’s BIP in his IEP, March 2020

March 5, 2020, 7:18 pm

The problem behavior impeding learning is: Target behavior is tantrums. Instances of tantrums include a combination of at least 2 of the following: dropping, crying, yelling, aggression, banging or kicking items/surfaces, SIB Frequency Average of 2x per day Intensity varies, can range from crying and stomping foot to dropping and aggression Duration Averages 15 minutes per incident What are the antecedents for the problem behavior? When asked to sit in a chair Waiting for a high preference activity/item During group/academic
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Mouse Morality

February 26, 2020, 12:57 pm

Yesterday, the world’s biggest movie studio, the Walt Disney Company, announced a leadership change. Bob Chapek takes over from Bob Iger. But the truth is that nobody really knows the larger effects that their company has on everyone – not Iger, not Chapek, not Walt Disney, not Abigail Disney, not John Lasseter, and certainly not my son Dar. I mused about this as I walked around the Orlando theme parks over President’s Day weekend. We might say that “Disneyfication” has
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Triennial trailer

February 19, 2020, 5:16 pm

This entry is really a trailer, or preview, of a much longer entry to come soon. For a while now, Dar’s team has been preparing for Dar’s “triennial” evaluation IEP, something that the district does every three years to confirm Dar’s eligibility and to reassess and re-evaluate current procedures and goals. Some of this has involved unusual work for me in completing evaluations and such. The district contacts me when it needs my help, but in this case was less
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Why is Dar Like the Western Front?

February 7, 2020, 7:08 am

They say a picture tells a thousand words. For me this picture tells at least 1,917 of them. But I’ll just share a few of those with you. Regular readers of this blog can understand why I might compare Dar’s condition to World War I’s Western Front. Years of struggles seem to provide no tangible benefits. We dig our trenches deeper, we try new strategies, and we end up frustrated. By the way, this is my Christmas week. This is
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It Was Going So Well…

January 30, 2020, 2:35 pm

Sleep deprivation is a real mind-suck, life-suck, and productivity-suck. This isn’t news. No, instead it’s one of about a hundred things for you to think about at three in the morning. It’s a velvet fog, and not in the jazzy Mel Torme way. God help people who are suffering from insomnia or chronic pain. I believe Michael Jackson would be alive today if he could just get to sleep at night. Maybe that just goes to show you that all
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Good week

January 23, 2020, 9:51 pm

Yes, Dar has been calmer this week. Thanks for checking in and checking this out. The new regimen…may be working. Fingers crossed. Thanks to that, this week I have actually had time to do some reading, including a lot of things about autism. Maybe I should signal boost them here? Maybe not. If Dar’s five-alarm fire is down to three or so, the relative calm reminds me that I have a lot of other things to sort in my life
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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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