Wednesday, September 29, 2010


We've all been a bully or been bullied by someone at some point in our childhood. Whether we were part of a herd mentality or it's something we saw at home, we have all been affected by it at some point.

But the bullying in the news is over the top. To bully someone to death for suspecting they are gay, to break someone's arm for being a male cheerleader, or when an adult bullies a child with autism.

It begs the question, what example are we as parents setting at home? Are we bullying our spouse, our children, other family members? Are we standing by idly while one of our children bullies their brother or sister in front of us?

Are you teaching your children tolerance and respect for others? Or are you sending your children a message that anyone who is "different" deserves contempt? 

Are you teaching your children to think for themselves when their friends are being mean? That it's ok to stand up and say hey you're being mean and knock it off.

I understand peer pressure and I get that for the most parts our kids want everyone to like them. But there are some kids who are different, who embrace their differences, who aren't afraid of a choice that may make them a target and shouldn't we celebrate those kids who are not afraid to be different?

What is to be gained by standing by while a child who has special needs is picked on by their classmates? Are you teaching your children it's ok to pick on someone with special needs? To use the word "retard" as a joke? That autism is something made up because there are parents who can't control their kids? That it's ok to THINK you are making yourself look better to pick on and abuse someone who can't defend themselves or doesn't understand you really aren't their friend?

Please please teach your children that no two people are exactly the same. That differences are wonderful. The classmate you mock and belittle today may be the one to save your life one day. Not everyone has to be friends but everyone should be treated with respect.

You are your child's most important example. Make damn sure you are a good one.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


It's interesting how we all handle our kids challenges. We all want what's best for our kids. We push them. We fight for them. We won't give them what we know they want unless they specifically ask for it. Some of us know already that we are in for lifetime care as the physical and/or mental needs are so great. That our babies will always need a high level of care. For others, there still is the hope that they will have independent lives.

So you ask, J, just where are you going with this?? While in the grocery store recently I ran into a mom whose son is in Boy Wonder's class.  She admired Sweet Baby Girl. We chatted for a bit. She then told me she was resigned to her son being a baby for the rest of her life. I had not much of a repsonse for that statement. I've met her son. He reminds me of Boy Wonder. The difference is her son is not getting all the after school therapy that Boy Wonder is getting. Her district won't pay for it and she can not afford it. The boys are not quite 5 and to hear her say she's resigned herself already saddens me. I wonder where her son would be if her school district would step up and do what's right and quite frankly APPROPRIATE. 

I'm not resigned. Not just yet. There is still hope, possibilites. Maybe even a miracle or two. But resigned? Not even close!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The FAPE Dilemma

Free and Appropriate Public Education right???

So when Boy Wonder was about to turn 3, we engaged a Child Advocate to help us through our first IEP meeting.

At that time, the school district was not willing to pay for any home hours. The Special Education Director's personal belief is that a kid should be a kid.  We had 10 hours of ABA and Speech Therapy in home at the time in addition to the minimal services we were getting through Early Intervention. The Child Advocate advised us to stop all private therapy so that when Boy Wonder's progress wasn't satisfactory we could then attempt to get the district to pay for it. Big Daddy and I decided that this would not be in Boy Wonder's best interest.  We continued paying for home hours ourselves and added on additional hours.

 Boy Wonder currently has 11 hours of ABA and 6 hours of Speech Therapy at home. The district pays for 2 hours of ABA.  He would be not have made the progress he has made without all of the private therapy. We are about to retain an attorney. We are going to request an independent evaluation of Boy Wonder's current program and ask that the district pay for the in home therapy.

He's come soooo far. I know his progress is nothing short of miraculous but I think he can do better.  I am not sure if where he is now will get him where he needs to be.

Time to stand up for my kid. Put your seatbelt on.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Verbal Vomit

THE DIVA can not stop talking. It is all non stop chatter around these parts. Whether she's asking questions, talking back to the tv or bossing Sweet Baby Girl and Boy Wonder around.

She was chattering non stop while we were out in the public the other day. A woman said to me, "I bet you can wait for her to be quiet." I just smiled and shook my head.

Because all you other mamas of non verbal/pre verbal children know when you have a child that talks and talks you know what a gift it is. They can chatter day and night and you'll never tell them to be quiet. I might ask her to lower the volume but never do I tell her to be silent. That sweet little voice is a balm to my heart even when it's shrieking at me to get her more grapes now MOMMMY!!!

So I don't care if she talks all day and night just so long as she does.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The First Day of School

3 years ago Boy Wonder was diagnosed with Autism. 2 years ago, I put him on the bus to go special needs preschool. Today, I think of all the other parents who put their "special" babies on the bus for the first time. I want you to know it will be ok. You'll do it because you know it's what your baby needs. So put them on the bus, go inside have a good cry  and they'll be home before you know it.