Ramblings

It’s been a long break from blogging for me. There’s no big reason behind it, just a lot of little ones. Here’s a sample of my rambling thoughts from the past few weeks. Next, it’s time for me to catch up on my reading.

  • When did our idea of the perfect educational setting become 20 students, all of the same age, placed in a room with one adult with a four year college degree? OK, so we vary the number of students and some teachers have advanced degrees. Still, it’s a pretty narrow model considering the diversity of learning styles people have. Why is this model considered ‘mainstream’?
  • I hate the word ‘retard’. I mean, I really, really hate the word.
  • There are not nearly enough child psychiatrists in central Connecticut. I expect other areas have the same problem. I can’t believe how often my wife and I hear of families that can’t find any child psychiatrists taking new patients.
  • I built a PC for the first time last month. My 11 year old has wanted to build one for a long time. For his benefit, we bought a case with a see-thru side panel and blue LED lights for the inside. He loves making things and if it has lights, all the better. I can also now say that my kids use Linux.
  • I want to figure out how to balance privacy with writing about my kids. Maybe nicknames would help. I’m getting tired of writing “my 11 year old” or “my 7 year old”. It sounds so cold.
  • Anyone who says razing children with autism is a nightmare has never parented a neurotypical teenager. OK, it wasn’t a nightmare, but there were days when it felt like it. Fortunately, we all keep growing. As of last weekend, I am officially no longer the parent of a teenager. I am now the proud father of a mature and responsible 20 year old. It feels really good.
  • In know one particular special education administrator who avoids taking responsibility for doing anything they don’t want to do. The only way to get something done is to put every request in writing. Without it, I can expect little but excuses. I get so tired of writing letters.
  • For years, my wife and I have been taking the boys out for breakfast on Saturday mornings. We have a lot of reasons for doing this, one of which is that the local diner is a great place to practice social skills like eating politely, using inside voices and speaking clearly when ordering. My youngest doesn’t always speak clearly and will look at everything except the waitress when he orders. After observing this yesterday, I coached him to aim his voice at the waitress and I demonstrated by moving my hands back and forth between my mouth and the place where the waitress stands. I fully expect that next week when he orders, he will move his hands back and forth between his mouth and the waitress. He’ll probably still be facing somewhere else when he says “French Toast!”
  • I received a brochure in the mail for an upcoming autism seminar. Instead of focusing on treating autism, the seminar is about the attitudes and beliefs of the people providing support. I have never come across a seminar with this type of focus. I’m glad to see the dialogue on autism become broad enough to support a seminar like this.
  • There’s a lot of ‘stuff’ on the internet vying for my attention: Email, RSS, Bogs, News sites, forums. I find it tough to filter it out. That’s one of the reasons for the long blogging break
  • There are far too many issues with school transportation. I am stunned at the things that slip through the system. On the first day of school this year, two buses showed up to pick up my youngest and his classmates. We got a call from the van driver picking up my middle son. He asked to adjust pickup times and locations for several days. He called again at the end of the day and asked if we would meet him a mile away from the house because he was running late! Last year, my youngest was not dropped off at his correct bus stop for the first three days. We discussed all transportation arrangements at the PPT but when the bus showed up at the end of the first day and he wasn’t on it, the bus driver said he knew nothing about it, and didn’t know where my son was. The driver didn’t seem to care either. My son got off with a classmate a stop earlier. Yes, we panicked and almost went back to ‘special’ transportation. Ugh!! There are too many people involved: the school, special educators, the district transportation staff, the busing company, the bus drivers. No one acts like they are responsible.
  • It’s time to finish some of the posts that I have percolating.
  • The leaves are changing colors in New England and we saw the first wave of ‘leaf peepers’ come through this weekend. I just love the change of seasons.
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3 Responses to Ramblings

  1. Carrie says:

    I just use fake names for m friends and family on my blog. Emma and Ethan aren’t my kids’ real names. :)

  2. Laura says:

    Glad your back writing. Have enjoyed reading your blog from time to time. I hear ya on being busy, catching up on web and other things. Just use fake names on the kids as the previous comment states. Thanks for sharing your ramblings.

  3. Ian Parker says:

    I call my daughter ‘the Bear’, but I often call her a version of this in person, i.e. real-nickname-Bear (we rarely call her by her given name).

    Re: “the bus driver said he knew nothing about it, and didn’t know where my son was” What?!? I’m now panicking and my daughter has a year to go yet before starting school (Jr Kindergarten).

    Re: changing leaves. Enjoy them while you can. Ours are dropping fast, with well over half of the trees completely bare. It’ll look good again once the snow falls (a blanket of white can make anything look good), but the intervening period is a bit drab.

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