A Dad's Journey

Father of Autistic Twins Speaks Out

Browsing Posts published in February, 2011

Well, it was a damn good thing we took Michael to the EMT surgery center yesterday.  Not only did he have extensive wax in both ears, but he managed to dislodge the cotton swabs from a Q-Tip in BOTH EARS!

Needless to say, the 1st thing we did when we got home was throw out the Q-Tips.  Truth be told, those things are totally useless anyway.  The only possible use is when you have water in your ear, otherwise all they do is push the way back into your ear. 

As the nurse said, they should be used for cosmetic purposes only!

This time on Monday, it will be Michael.  Oh well, he should take to it much better than Sean who totally freaked out for the next two hours.   I just need to remember to bring his iPad, which has become his new coping mechanism.

By day, I’m a modestly successful business owner, but when I step into the world of elementary education I suddenly become a frickin idiot. 

I believe the female dominated world of elementary educators, administrators, nurses and bus drivers sense that, much like a dog can smell fear.

Try as I may, I seem completely incapable of getting my sons’ successfully on the bus.  On Tuesday, I managed to miss the bus entirely.  Trust is, Susan had taken her car to drive Sean to the doctor and I was in charge of getting Michael on the bus.  Not a problem I had him ready early.   My mistake came when the bus drivers realized that Susan was not at home.  Instead of waiting in their usual spot, the one I kept looking out for, they had pulled up to her abandoned spot, which was out of my eye sight.  They also waited about 30 seconds before pulling away.  Again, while I think they maintain a healthy respect for an angry mom, they aren’t too concerned about a screw up dad. 

The following day I am (once again) in charge of getting Michael on the bus.  As I take away the iPad he is trying to bring on the bus, I didn’t notice that my Houdini son had put a small water glass in his coat pocket (he likes to spin it and listen to the sound it makes).  I proudly present Michael to the bus drivers.  As Susan arrives with Sean, the assistant is bringing out the water glass, hands it to Susan and says “Michael brought this on the bus.”  Once again shamed into submission, I skulked back into the house.  I asked Susan more than once not to discuss the matter, but that was not a viable option.

So I’m left with the fact that there are certain parts of this universe that bring out my inner idiot and there is no place where I am consistently more stupid than in the land of elementary education.  That strange land of IEP meetings, teacher consults, OT & ST evaluations, where your kids are always doing great, but seemingly going no where, where they have more acronyms than the federal government, where everyone seems to focus on the tactical du jour and no one worries about the fact these kids are learning no meaningful skills.   It’s an odd “talk to the hand” kind of land.  And when we’re finally kicked out of it, I wonder if we’ll even remember what we ever got out of it.

This story comes courtesy of California Watch.

By Joanna Lin

Special education students with autism in California have more than tripled in number since 2002, even as overall special education enrollment has remained relatively flat, according to an analysis of state education data released yesterday.

More than 680,000 students — 11 percent of all California public school students — are enrolled in special education. The number of students diagnosed with autism climbed from 17,508 in 2002 to 59,690 in 2010, the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health found.


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Sean has strong sensory needs.

Michael has strong tactile avoidance needs.

And I have a strong need to have them both live productive lives.

Hence, the decision to augment their current OT schedule.  We’re in the process of filling out a sensory profile checklist for each of the boys.  Then we have an exploratory meeting with our potential OTs next week.

I remain, as usual, cautiously optimistic that each boy will benefit greatly.