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What’s Up, Doc

April 29, 2020, 11:11 am

Dar was rushed to medical care yesterday! Like you, I’m guessing, we have been so, so, so, careful not to get sick since the quarantine began. Wearing socks in the house at all times. Drinking fluids like they’re going out of Netflix. Et cetera. It all reminds me of my protocol the day before an international flight. I don’t skip stairs, I grip water glasses carefully, I don’t touch common surfaces, I avoid suspicious food. Probably I’m a lunatic, but
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Lockdown and Load

April 23, 2020, 6:45 am

I want to start with so much love and gratitude for health-care workers and hospital workers as well as all the delivery drivers and various service providers that are all risking their lives for the rest of us. THANK YOU AND WE OWE YOU MORE THAN THANKS. Welcome back to the blog! I have fixed the mobile settings so that now when you bring it up on your phone, you shouldn’t see four-year-old articles and should instead see something like
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“Ah, nothing’s ever easy.” – my friend Dylan in New Zealand

April 9, 2020, 4:27 pm

For my new book Blockbuster Performances, I asked my friend Dylan, who designs book covers among other things, if he might like to throw something together about actors and big-budget films. He came up with some amazing ideas. But then…Palgrave Macmillan clamped down and, long story short, required a certain kind of cover. I hated having to email Dylan the bad news, but when I did he replied cheerfully “Ah, nothing’s ever easy” and then moved on to the next
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Happy Autism-Awareness-Coronavirus Month!

April 2, 2020, 9:54 am

Happy Autism Awareness Day! And how’s your Autism Awareness Month going? In our little family, the phrase “autism awareness” has more meanings than we want it to. Of course, there’s the topic of this post – raising your (and general) awareness about my son’s autism. But then there’s also that child’s lack of awareness as caused by autism. He’s 10 years old can’t count to 10. He doesn’t know how to use the toilet or how to say yes and
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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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