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Happy Autism Awareness Day 2018! 10 Quick Things to Be Aware Of

April 1, 2018, 10:32 pm

  What do I want my fellow open-minded, open-hearted citizens to be aware of during World Autism Awareness Day? Be aware that, as the saying goes, if you’ve met one child with autism, you’ve met one child with autism. It’s a wide spectrum. Be aware that intellectual disabilities have no proven association with school violence. In these post-Parkland days, I am thrilled that America is having a larger conversation about the unacceptable levels of violence at our schools. But I’m
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What to Write?

March 28, 2018, 10:07 pm

I haven’t been able to decide what to write about Dar this week. A lot of things are happening, but I’m not sure any of them merit a full blog post. Should I talk about his great relationship with the dog we adopted five months ago? The way he giggles when he approaches and pets her? That’s a nice topic. Should I write about how much he’s raiding the fridge for ice cream lately? How we have to keep it
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Birthday Break

March 15, 2018, 2:24 pm

This autism blog took a little hiatus for my birthday (March 14). See you next week. Share this post

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Dar’s EEG

March 8, 2018, 12:59 pm

Last week Dar had an electroencephalography, also known as an EEG, which is a diagnostic test. The whole thing was a waking nightmare that was supposed to be a sleeping nightmare, but with a guardedly happy ending. Let me explain. To recap, Dar has been stimming with a sort of Stevie Wonder-motion, closing his eyes, slightly shaking his head, and arresting his fingers raised in front of him. Several times in January, the school noted him doing this stim more
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“The Silent Child”

March 1, 2018, 6:30 am

Every year, I pay my own money to see the Oscar-nominated live-action shorts; it always makes for a fine afternoon in a theater. Never do I expect the short films to shine a light on my situation with Dar. This year, I got one-two sucker-punched. In a good way. Spoilers. Are you really going to see these short films? Got your Shorts.TV account all set up? Okay, in that case, don’t keep reading. Everyone else, keep going. The first film
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Dar @ Tahoe 2018

February 21, 2018, 4:08 pm

Why do we do quick vacays in Tahoe? Partly because Dar has been happy there. The kids had a four-day weekend; we almost left on the Friday. But Friday was the ten-year anniversary of my and wifey’s first date. We deserved to eat in a San Francisco restaurant of our choice. We’ve stayed together through all this autism! That’s like 50 years of a marriage not wracked by disability. We left Saturday morning at 9:00. We were in South Lake
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How Sweet a Stereotype Can Be!

February 14, 2018, 3:59 pm

Happy Valentine’s Day lovers! Hope you have/had a romantic interlude with your sweetie. My wife and I drove from Berkeley to Pleasant Hill with Dar so that he could see a neurologist for the first time in six years. As I wrote last week, we’re worried that he might be having seizures. Oy gevalt, the intake forms. I hate having to relive the pregnancy complications again and again. I hate having to relive the first two weeks in the NICU.
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Everybody’s got a thing, but some don’t know how to handle it

February 7, 2018, 11:17 am

Dar has been doing something that I affectionately call “the Stevie Wonder.” My true friends know that I own ten Wonder albums, have cheered for him in concert, and pretty much love everything he’s ever said or written, so if I say my kid is doing a Stevie, it’s a compliment. Dar closes his eyes and shakes his head. He often pairs this with suspending his hands in front of him, freezing them with the fingers bent, almost like miming
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Is It Fun to be Needed?

January 31, 2018, 4:11 pm

The other day, I took the younger child up to Dad’s retirement community. A grandma there saw me and R in the hallway and said, “Hey, you know something?” The funny thing is, yeah, I do know something. I knew exactly what she was going to say. But it would have been rude for me to tell her that. Plus I wanted desperately to be wrong. I wasn’t. “What?” I probably said. “That kid is going to grow up someday,
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Sometimes There Are Tickles

January 18, 2018, 12:53 pm

I have not been feeling great about Dar’s progress lately. You may have sensed this. It’s times like these that it helps to remind myself that I can, if only for a brief moment, conjure up the Dar of an alternative timeline who was born without autism, born with the same intelligence level as you or me. If only for a moment, I can live in that alternate timeline. Sometimes Dar isn’t in the mood for tickles. But often, he
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