Category Archives: Uncategorized

This school fits juuuust right. 

Our sweet Roar is making so much progress. We pulled him out of his preschool and put him in a special school with a 1:2 ratio that will focus on his social emotional learning. 

Prior to this move, Roar could not function through a single day without exhibiting self-injurious behavior at school. He struggled to regulate his emotions, engage with peers, meet the multi step demands of his teachers, and navigate the daily routine. 

Roar’s sensory needs hijack his brain. It’s awful to watch. If you stop the behavior without providing an appropriate alternative, he begins scratching his arms/thighs or banging his head on the floor. 

His teachers tried ignoring the behaviors but that led to escalation. They tried intervening but that led to escalation. They tried isolation but that led to escalation. They tried holding him but that led to escalation. They tried every tool they had but at the end of the day, they just didn’t have enough tools to help my kiddo. Our relationship with the staff wasn’t always rainbows and sunshine, in fact there were a few incidents that I found unacceptable but I do feel they tried their best until desperation took over. 

The new school is incredible. The teachers meet Roar’s needs and limit the demands placed on him. He doesn’t have to wear shoes (big issue), he’s allowed to climb and even encouraged to do so (big issue), he’s supported when he escapes situations that overwhelm him, his hoarding is treated as a coping skill rather than a problem behavior, vestibular sensory input is incorporated into his day at regular intervals. 

Stay tuned. This kid is making serious progress. 😉

Opportunity of a lifetime (mine or Cubs?) 

I was invited to the United Nations World Autism Day (And Luncheon). 

The focus of the event was on autonomy and self-determination. My anxiety is going up from just writing that last sentence. Why?

Cub has an IQ more than two standard deviations above average. He’s a super smart dude. He can learn and memorize anything, if he’s interested in doing so. Awesome right? Why would I be anxious? With an IQ like that, he’ll be fine, right? 

Cub has issues with motivation and understanding the value of proving his knowledge (homework). He doesn’t see the value in communicating and collaborating with peers, viewing them as inferior. 

Cub also has serious social issues. He believes everyone is his friend. He inherently trusts people. Because he doesn’t lie, he believes others don’t either. He isn’t good at using words to communicate his thoughts and feelings. 

His future is uncertain. He has anxiety about adulthood, too. He tells us often that when he is an adult he wants us to live in the house next door. 

Can he go off to college, make friends that are a good influence, maintain good hygiene, use time management skills to complete assigned tasks, absorb course material and test well, produce work materials that prove his understanding, learn what he needs to know to be a successful professional in his field of choice, etc?? Nope. Not with the skills he has now. Challenge accepted. 

Our ultimate goal for our children is independence, autonomy, and self-determination. Charting the path from here to there is hard work. 

Thankfully, the United Nations is asking the world to be more compassionate and to accept the neurodiversity of autism in the professional work place. Only 15% of adults with autism are currently independent adults (meaning free of financial, legal, or decision making support). There are specific initiatives that are putting adults with autism in supported high quality employment. That means, one day, kids like Cub may be able to achieve the illusive independence. 

So, “I’ll start walking your way and you start walking mine. We’ll meet in the middle near that old Georgia pine. We’all gain a lot of ground, cause we both give a little. Their ain’t no road too long when you meet in the middle.” 

Can’t stop me now 

Our Roar is a risk taker. Not a typical toddler curiosity initiative. A full blown “hold my beer” “challenge accepted” thrill seeker. 

A week ago, I walked into the living room to find Roar hanging from the mantle. He just stared at me like “I failed to consider my dismount. Would you assist?” 🙄

Our constant battle these days is keeping him from swinging from the dining room and kitchen chandeliers. Before Roar, I thought “swinging from the chandeliers” was a saying. Isn’t that cute? 

Picture worth a thousand words

 Our Cub talks A LOT. In fact, he never stops. He talks about space, science, math, physics, God, and more. The one things he never talks about is how he feels. I know he’s sick because the thermometer  says so. I know he’s tired because he lays down. I know he’s hungry because he hides in the pantry and eats a bag of marshmallows. I know he loves me because……. 

That’s the tricky one. I know he loves me because I just do. He says the words “I love you” with the same enthusiasm as “pass the ketchup.” 

My mom, Shiva, went to grandparents day at Cub’s school where he presented her with this piece of art. It’s a picture of him blowing hearts to her. 

Thanks so much to the teachers who helped Carmen find a way to show his love! 

Roar is 2

Roar turns two! We celebrated early because we will be out of town next weekend. 

We got him a toy that hopefully will capitalize on his love for music and his ability to count. We will see! Really hoping for some colors and shapes soon. Or frankly, any labeling words! 

I voted! 

It felt good to get it off my chest and cast my vote. But I’m still angry. I have lots of reasons- one below. The divisiveness of this election is horrifying. I’m afraid to watch the news with my kids around because I don’t want them to hear about penis sizes, grabbing pu$$ies, fat pigs, ugly people, lying, etc. 

but let’s pretend they didn’t say all that. 

I also am appalled that our candidates believe that inner cities are bullet filled, crime riddled, poverty stricken, gang governed outhouses.  Inner cities are at their worst: government subsidized housing that requires background checks and constant income monitoring- make too much and you are out, the population (yep, actual people) consists of third generation welfare who through not fault of their own have never been given a leg up, Whose skill sets are minimal because of failing schools, whose medical care is inaccessible and unaffordable, whose job opportunities are limited because of inadequate public transportation and limited skills,  whose law enforcement are rookie officers on Nights because that what rookies get, and whose adult males are often shot first and investigated later. They rely on friends and family to protect them and maintain order. Forgive them for not living the way you’d have them but frankly, you’ve never given them a chance. 

My boys need to hear the truth about inner cities. You ready for the truth: “People live in inner-cities.” See what I did there? I made them people. Relatable humans. No judgement.

I have worked for law enforcement on nights, I have worked with abused and neglected children in inner cities, I have worked for a public defenders office in one of the largest cities in our country, I have worked for a law firm helping low income families gain access to healthcare, I have transported and provided supervised visitations between children and families in inner city housing, I have taught in an inner city early education center. I have been humbled by these experiences. Inner city populations are some of the strongest and most resilient people I’ve ever met. Let’s stop throwing them a pity party. Let’s throw them a baby shower, a birthday party, a graduation party, and retirement party.