Skip to Content

“What’s the Opposite of Opposite?”

May 23, 2019, 8:41 am

“What’s the opposite of opposite?” my just-turned-seven-year-old asked me last week. When a kid that age asks their parent a question, and that parent doesn’t answer, but instead beams with pride, what does the kid think? “My parent is crazy?” “When will I learn the answer?” Or…”maybe I just did something very cool?” More than do something cool, I feel like Dar’s brother just invented a way of understanding his brother. And I love that, because long after Dar’s mom
Continue Reading »

Share this post
FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestEmail

They Can Transfer Your Kid For Screaming Too Loudly

May 16, 2019, 9:04 am

This post is here to help parents of kids with autism. If you don’t need the help, feel free to move on to the next page. Like just about anyone with a severely autistic child, I habitually read a lot of information online about autism. When we sought to transfer our child from a “mainstream” school to a more specialized one, I read many, many horror stories. They’ll tell you that you need an advocate. They’ll tell you to record
Continue Reading »

Share this post
FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestEmail

Dar’s First 2 Weeks at His New School

May 9, 2019, 8:19 pm

Everyone is asking me: “how is Dar’s new school?” Answer: It’s kinda great! I think it’s really early to make any big judgments. Nonetheless, we have an IEP in a few weeks as a sort of a check-in. What will we be talking about? If this was your nine-year-old, we’d ask him what he thinks of the place. Since this is Dar and he can’t tell us, we have to go by other metrics. One of those is my experiences
Continue Reading »

Share this post
FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestEmail

Mayday!

May 1, 2019, 6:02 pm

Happy May Day, y’all. I *will* be talking about Dar’s new school at some point. Probably next week. But I thought to use May Day to mention that I feel a lot of solidarity with working people everywhere and that…I hate to see them over-spend their lives on someone like Dar. Just today I saw a young woman who had spent the school day with Dar and she looked…I hope this is okay to say…exhausted. I think a lot about
Continue Reading »

Share this post
FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestEmail

Bye-Bye, Thousand Oaks

April 24, 2019, 12:56 pm

Monday was Dar’s last day at Thousand Oaks after almost four years there. Wifey and I were invited to help celebrate. We took time out of our workweek to do that. Dar’s third-grade teacher has been an angel. Her name is not Ms. Starr, but I’ll call her that here. Ms. Starr is one of those relentlessly cheerful people who seem like they were born to handle a room of elementary-school kids. Per Ms. Starr’s instructions, on Monday wifey and
Continue Reading »

Share this post
FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestEmail

Dar’s Last Day at Thousand Oaks is Monday

April 17, 2019, 1:09 pm

Six-and-a-half years ends on Monday. Dar started at the Berkeley Unified School District in October 2012, just after his 3rd birthday, starting at a state-sponsored pre-school along with the other severely disabled and severely income-impacted. Next week the BUSD will begin to subcontract his school days to a Non-Public School that is entirely dedicated to kids like Dar. They seem very nice and they’ve sent a few emails that help establish expectations. I’m sure I’ll have more to say about them
Continue Reading »

Share this post
FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestEmail

Trigger: Pulled

April 11, 2019, 10:01 am

This may turn out to be easily one of the most significant weeks of Dar’s little life. We just made a decision on his next school…where, if things go well, he will spend all of the 2020s. Whewwww….that’s a big decision to have made. I’m exhausted just from that. I want to talk about it…next week. Thanks for checking in. Best, Daniel Share this post

Share this post
FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestEmail

This Autism Awareness Month, Let’s Be Aware of Dreams

April 3, 2019, 9:14 am

This Autism Awareness Month, I suggest we be aware of the power of dreams. On Autism Awareness Day 2019, on April 2, Dar made sure to make us aware of him. He woke up screaming at Dark O’Clock, which was at about 5. Why does he regularly wake up sounding like you would sound at the moment you got Joe Theismann’s career-ending injury? (Picture your lower leg bending forward like it normally does forward.) Since he can’t tell us, we’re
Continue Reading »

Share this post
FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestEmail

Republicans Are Using My 9-year-old Kid to Hurt America

March 27, 2019, 10:47 am

I can barely believe that Secretary of Education Betsy Devos has proposed, as part of President Trump’s new (months late) budget, to end ALL funding to the Special Olympics. Not just a trim, but an absolute end. Before Eunice Shriver created the Special Olympics in 1968, kids like my kid were just retards to be hidden from the world. The Special Olympics proved that there is a place for them to shine. And that led to other such things. But
Continue Reading »

Share this post
FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestEmail

Wheels Are In Motion, Things Are Happening

March 21, 2019, 7:01 am

Who could forget when Seinfeld landed Babu in prison and, when he and Elaine visited him there, the moment when they flapped their hands and said “The wheels are in motion! Things are happening!” Well, I can’t forget it. Maybe life would be better if I could forget more Seinfeld moments, but I’ll never know. Wheels are in motion, things are happening. Yesterday I had a long phone chat with the head of special needs for the district. This would
Continue Reading »

Share this post
FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestEmail