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R @ 5, Dar @ ?

May 10, 2017, 3:22 pm

“She lost the privilege of loving you, so now you have to love yourself.” Today is our second son’s 5th birthday. Happy birthday little R! Five years ago today, during the first seconds of his life outside the womb, he screamed like a banshee, and I felt as relieved as Steve Young on the 1995 day he beat the Chargers in the Super Bowl. By the time of R’s birth, Dar was 2 ½, and we knew Dar had serious
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The Mensch Show

May 3, 2017, 10:18 am

During the big La La Land-Moonlight mixup of two months ago, I thought Jimmy Kimmel was impressively quick on his feet when he said, onstage, in the center of the chaos, “Well, I don’t know what happened. I blame myself for this. Let’s remember, it’s just an awards show.” Quite right. As much time as Kimmel or I devote to the Oscars, or even movies, we both understand that life is made up of more important things. Unbeknownst to Oscar-night
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Baby, I Can Drive With Dar

April 27, 2017, 10:48 am

I wonder how many of my fellow parents of special-needs kids dread driving with their little love-ball of behaviors? I figure that for every autistic kid who takes to a car like a happy panting dog, there must be another autistic kid who takes to a car like a freaked-out cat. So let me just express my gratitude to the cosmos and the gods that we’ve got a dog here. Dar even likes to stick his head out of the
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Watching “Sesame Street” Introduce Julia

April 19, 2017, 4:50 pm

Last week, my wife, my two kids, and me did something for the first time: we sat down together as a family, in the living room, to watch a TV show. Okay, maybe it wasn’t exactly the first time. When Dar and I watch sports, the other two drift in and out, and I’m pretty sure all of them have been in the room at the same time as me. The same thing happens when R watches his kiddie shows and
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Dar’s New Superpower

April 12, 2017, 2:51 pm

Dar just gained a super-power. At least, that’s how it feels. For me, anyway, but I also think, for him. I mentioned before that we’ve been doing “intense PT-ing.” Without getting into all the gory details, he’s been wearing an alarm that catches wet undies, and when we hear it, we have to make the idea of using the potty GREAT and the idea of not using it to be, ah, aversive. The first two weeks were torture and aversive
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Autism Awareness 2017: How Did the Media Do?

April 5, 2017, 1:49 pm

Happy Autism Awareness Month! Many of you know that Autism Awareness Day is April 2. Lot to be aware of this year: President Donald Trump turned the White House lights blue in honor of Autism Speaks, and Sesame Street introduced its first autistic muppet (Julia)! Many of you are (very justifiably) too busy to find out if or how the mainstream media bothered to recognize Autism Awareness more broadly. That’s what I’m here for! I googled them and found out
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Dad and Dar

March 29, 2017, 4:13 pm

This is a blogpost I’ve been considering, contemplating and even dreading for months now. This is where I admit that taking care of an autistic child compares, in some ways, to taking care of an elderly relative with diagnosed mental problems. This is where I admit that last year, my father was diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s and dementia. This is where I add that last weekend, a friend and I moved my Dad from his house in Benicia, where he’d
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I h8 IPT

March 22, 2017, 3:26 pm

Whatever you did last weekend, our weekend was harder. Don’t believe me? Keep reading. Our home therapists almost never come on weekends. Certainly, their supervisors have never come on a Saturday or Sunday. That changed last Saturday, when Tyler came over to implement “intensive potty training.” Why not begin it on, say, a Wednesday, while Dar is with his therapist doing his exercises? We found out rather quickly that you can’t get anything else done while doing intensive potty training.
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“Perfectly Normal” Reviewed

March 15, 2017, 4:32 pm

The New York Times started its “Op-Docs” feature about a year ago; this is the first time I’ve felt motivated to comment. This 12-minute doc was aired yesterday, on my birthday, March 14; it’s called Perfectly Normal and it’s directed by Joris Debeij. First the name reminds me of “Bosom Buddies.” In the intro, didn’t Tom Hanks say, “see, this whole thing is perfectly normal,” just before Billy Joel’s “My Life” began? Despite the maddening rabbit hole you’ll go down if you
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NPS visits

March 8, 2017, 4:37 pm

Lately I’ve been looking at NPSs, which is special-needs-parents-speak for Non-Public-Schools. For some reason, it’s better to say “non-public” than “private,” because the latter implies something that might not fit the needs of a kid like Dar. One does not simply walk into an NPS. One calls first and makes an appointment, sometimes more than a month in advance. There’s at least one NPS in Berkeley where I’m considering walking up and ringing the doorbell, because no one answers its
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