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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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After We’re Gone

January 11, 2018, 10:57 am

Yesterday, I noticed the press focus on a new series of tweets by Kumail Nanjiani. Although I follow fewer than a hundred actor-celebrities on Twitter, I’ve been cheerfully following Nanjiani for years. I’m thrilled for his success with the excellent film The Big Sick, especially considering he had to carve that out of a very personal place. Digging deeper into that personal place is what got him some of this week’s headlines. (The cynical Oscar-watcher in me notes the timing,
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Dar feeds me

January 3, 2018, 1:52 pm

Have I never dedicated a blog post to this before? Well here it is! Most parents know that dinner rituals matter. Most parents try to get their kids to sit down to eat with them. Most parents expect their children to stop staring at a screen and start staring at their food for at least a few minutes every evening. Most parents don’t have severely autistic children. It’s hard to get our little bundle of neuroses to stay still in
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Feeling so grateful

December 20, 2017, 8:59 pm

My last post about Dar’s autism and daily challenges was pretty personal, and I heard from SO many of you…it really meant a lot. Also made me re-think rushing out the next blog post. Maybe I need to spend a little more time working on Dar’s condition, a little less on blogging. With you inspiring me, that’s what I’m doing this week. Thanks a lot. Again. Share this post

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Can’t Keep Keeping Dar Home

December 13, 2017, 11:08 am

Dar just had an existential crisis of a week. Every Wednesday morning, I take Dar to a private therapist for speech therapy. We’ve been doing it for five years. Last Wednesday was unprecedented. He refused to do or answer anything at all, even the most benign of questions. He was, as I say, “on freakout” for the entire first fifteen minutes. Of course we dialed back session and tried to be playful with him, but he wasn’t having anything. We
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Punt

December 6, 2017, 9:04 pm

Don’t believe I’ve ever before titled a post “Punt.” But this week’s autism post has to be punted. Too many deadlines over here. Will come back with double content next week. Thanks for keeping up with me! Share this post

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“The Answer, My Friend…”

November 30, 2017, 10:11 am

Two days ago I got a call from the office of a doctor that Dar’s general physician had referred us to. The calm-voiced lady on the other end said, “We received your intake forms. Dr. E______ believes that the school needs to provide much more support for Dar.” “Oh, okay, well, thanks for that. How soon can we see the doctor?” “Well, we would like to refer you to another doctor.” “Uhhh…” “Dr. E______ doesn’t really see kids like yours…”
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What I’m Grateful For

November 22, 2017, 10:14 pm

Grateful for all the ways in which Dar’s autism could be worse. He could be screaming more than he is. He could be hitting himself more than he is. He could be more generally violent to others. He could refuse to show any affection at all to his mother and me. When I see autistic people on TV, I often think, “I’d trade Dar with this verbal, aware, Raymond Babbitt-like person in a heartbeat.” But…there is worse, so I’m grateful. Grateful to
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