How to Raise a Curmudgeon

Big Brother is a sweet kid. Really.He has a good heart (yes, kids with Asperger's can show empathy), is extremely smart (too much so for his own good), and has a keen sense of humor.That said, I am under no illusion that my son is easy to deal with. To start with, he's not exactly chatty.  A man of few words, long winded conversations are not his forte.No one would ever, ever describe him as a people pleaser.  He'll never be one to fall for the Just-Do-It-For-Me crap or any other guilt-laden requests....more

The End is Near!

With all the talk about the of the world coming to an end this weekend, have to admit I'm a little unnerved. However, this is not due to the predicted Armageddon. My panic is squarely footed in a seemingly mundane, but very real event. In exactly one week's time (if we all make it till then), I will be witnessing the end of the world as I know it. How can I be so sure? Simple. This is when my family embarks on one of the most tumultuous times in history: Summer vacation. ...more

Revisitng ABA

Did I ever mention how we're tried just about every therapy out there?  ABA, RDI, OT, CBT, Speech, Beyond Consequences -- you name it, we've tried it.  Yes, we're THAT desperate.Did I mention we were also utter failures at just about every one?  I was just ready to give up and commit myself to the funny farm when we were awarded a grant to do some behavioral therapy with Big Brother.  Not one to waste an opportunity, I enlisted the help of the autism treatment center where he did his summer camp and after-school program....more

Choosing Wisely

When I was younger, there was a movie that left a big impression on my idealistic mind.  I know I'm probably dating myself, but does anyone remember Sophie's Choice? For those youngsters that don't,  Meryl Streep was the main character who was forced to make a decision no mother should have to make -- choosing which child to sacrifice and which child to save from a concentration camp gas chamber. At the time I was aghast. How could a mom make this type of decision?  How could she possibly choose one child over another?...more

Everyone's an Expert

Growing up, I have a distinct memory of my dad.  Whenever he heard some talking head on TV spouting out nonsense on this subject or that, he'd shake his head, let out a sigh and say, "Everyone's an expert these days."  Isn't it ironic that today, his own daughter bills herself as one?  He must be getting a good chuckle out of that one. But I am -- at least when it comes to my kids.  I don't happen to have any fancy letters after my name, but am still the pro when it comes to dealing with our own unique brand of special needs. ...more

Age of Confusion

Having two kids with special issues is pretty tough. Having two preteen kids with special needs is downright confusing. Lately my son has been a pill.  Mouthing off, yelling at the slightest provocation.  We've been scared that he's starting to cycle again.  But this morning, as he made some snarky comment about feeding the dog, it suddenly became clear and I blurted out, "You sound just like a teenager!" His twin sister fairs no better.  Her bad attitude is legendary in these parts. ...more

There's A First Time For Everything

Hello all!I've been lurking here for over a year and am finally getting around to an actual post.  Yes, I'm not exactly what you'd call quick.Anyway, onto an introduction.  I'm a mom.  I'm a writer.  I have four kids.  And I blog.Sounds pretty typical, right?  Not so fast.We're not your average rainbow and unicorn family here.  Domestic bliss is never an adjective used to describe us.  Why, we're kind of -- for lack of a better word -- complicated....more