Today is Dar’s first day of school! Yay!!

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Last week we took Dar to get a haircut. We bit the bullet: the gorgeous curls aren’t coming back and we needed something less 70s supergroup-touring and more manageable. We had to plan the haircut like a military operation, squeezed in during the one hour of the week where neither me nor wifey was at or doing work. You see, one of us holds down his arms, the other holds his head in place. Oh, we try to let him be free, but he begins screaming like an audition for the new Paranormal Activity. And late in August when the place is full of students? Yeah, just the look on the face of Dar’s stylist said it all – GEEEEEEEZ.

But today is Dar’s first day of school! Yay!!

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Dar’s potty training is going terribly, I mean horribly. He sits there and has no idea what we want. He’s never been bothered at his own excretions. We have a good laugh every time the newest therapist suggests that one of Dar’s expressions of discomfort has anything to do with the bathroom. We keep a very fun Elimination Record spreadsheet on the door. Here’s hoping anyone reading this never has to do an elimination record. The silver lining, if you can call it that, is that my entries pretty much never vary. I just enter the code for “no elimination” or sometimes “elimination before potty.” Easy-peasy, Dar won’t squeezy.

But today is Dar’s first day of school! Yay!!

Dar’s feet have been particularly disgusting in this hotter weather. Within an hour of playing outside in the yellow patch and patio where our green lawn used to be, his feet look like he’s come back from a firewalking seminar…blacker than ten coal mines. I clean them with baby wipes at least at the end of every day. He screams and resists. He hates having them cleaned or touched. I think about how other societies treat people who clean feet. Eh, maybe his treatment of me is about right.

But today is Dar’s first day of school! Yay!!

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Last week NourishLife, LLC paid us $25 because “According to the FTC, NourishLife, LLC and its owner, made false and unsupported claims that their dietary supplements, Speak and Speak Smooth, improve speech in children, including children with autism and speech disorders.” Yeah, we believed that snake oil to the tune of the high three figures. And it looks like their website is still peddling the same old claims. I tell you, the way they take advantage of families like ours…

But today is Dar’s first day of school! Yay!!

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We lost a GREAT therapist on Friday, someone who we thought really improved Dar. She left the ABA company we use and moved to Oregon. So much of education is teacher-dependent, I genuinely believe that. I’ll have to do a separate blog post just to explain what a fabulous, dedicated teacher she was. And she cried when she said goodbye to Dar. We gave her a mix CD of gratitude, and no, we don’t do this for everyone. (I know, snarkier readers: “what’s a CD?” I suppose we should have given her a thumb drive of songs and relied on that to play correctly, then?) Want to hear what was on it? Sure you do.

  1. Thank You – Ashanti
  2. Thank U – Alanis Morissette
  3. Thank You – Dido
  4. Thank You – Led Zeppelin
  5. Thank You for Being a Friend – Andrew Gold
  6. I Wanna Thank You – Bobby Rydell
  7. Thank You Girl – The Beatles
  8. I Thank You – Sam & Dave
  9. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again) – Sly & the Family Stone
  10. Gratitude – Earth, Wind & Fire
  11. Give Thanks and Praise – Bob Marley
  12. Gratitude – Beastie Boys
  13. Thank You (Live) – Descendants
  14. Thank You for Being You – The Pastels
  15. Thank You for Sending Me an Angel – Talking Heads
  16. I Want to Thank You – Alicia Myers
  17. Thank You – Busta Rhymes feat. Q-Tip, Kanye West, & Lil Wayne
  18. The Thanksgiving Song – Adam Sandler
  19. Thanks for the Memory – Bob Hope and Shirley Ross
  20. Thank You for the Music – ABBA

Yeah, I think we got the good ones in the right order there. Spotify up for the next person you have to thank. You’re welcome.

But today is Dar’s first day of school! Yay!!

Last Monday, we emailed all of last year’s Dar team (ten people) asking for a start-of-year IEP. Heard nothing for four business days. I love it when I email a group and no one replies, figuring that someone else will take care of it. Then I myself received a group email about a big special needs meeting in mid-September. I emailed the sender back: thanks so much, and hey, did you see the email I sent you about a week ago? That did earn a speedy reply…to tell me that someone else would be getting back to me about Dar’s IEP. Eventually…uh, yesterday, we heard back from someone willing to talk about Dar’s first day (today). The notion of an IEP was punted.

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But today…on the schoolyard, jam-packed with nervous parents and kids, I was lucky to spend five minutes with Dar’s school’s principal, who told me that yesterday they decided on an IEP date. She didn’t know when it was, but “soon” didn’t seem crazy. And I met Dar’s new teacher, who seems nice. And I saw Dar’s 1-on-1 aide from last year, and thank Jeebus she’s back and enthusiastic and even remembered how to use Dar’s talking program on the iPad. And it’s the first day, and the pencils are new-sharpened, and the play-doh is clean, and the chalk is unbroken, and the books are stain-free, and everyone’s nicely dressed and freshly faced.

It’s a day of hope. Anxiety will keep until next week. Yay.