Digging Through the Archives

Ian1 One of the running themes on this blog has been the joys and struggles of raising a kid with special needs. Because I've been rather sloppy about tagging my posts, I decided to pull everything together in one mega-post. It took up way more of the morning than it should have, because I've written so much over the years and because everything is so scattered. There's more in the archives, but I just don't have the patience to find it all right now. I might come back to this project at a later date.

Some of these posts were painful to read. Things were really tough a few years back. The good news is that he is a great kid and he's in a great school and he's super happy. His teacher just told me to get him into an art school pronto, because he's so gifted. Anyway, here's our story.

Ian is Two. The blog post that started everything. Immediately after this, two readers wrote me to say that Ian probably had neurological differences. I was a bit ticked off at first, but they were right. Imagine getting a diagnosis from faceless readers (who later became friends) from a few hundred word blog post. I'm grateful to them. Six months later, Ian received Early Intervention.

Working with Ian and helping him talk. 6/13/2004, 3/17/066/5/06, 10/02/09, 12/15/09,

Ian at four.

Just description. 10/28/043/11/05, 7/17/05, 9/26/053/6/0610/25/06, 4/9/06, 10/24/06, 10/13/06, 11/15/06, 11/26/06,   7/24/06, 11/12/069/20/07, 1/28/07,   9/24/07, 12/7/07, 9/2/08, 4/2/094/02/093/15/071/22/08, 5/4/082/1/09, 9/14/09, 11/29/09, 1/21/10, The Monorail to WiiLand,

What To Do When Your Child Can't Talk

Kids that Scream

The difficulty with putting a name to the problem. Autistic Categories, Hyperlexia, The Google Stage, Classification and the Brain (An author kindly credited me with coining the term "the google stage."

Therapy, bureaucracy and bills. Who Pays?, There's Something Wrong with Your Kid, Shhh, Learning Curves, Inspection, fighting with teachers,The Poison Vaccine, A Special Needs Mom, Educating Kids on the Spectrum, Not a Neat and Tidy World, Supporting Kids,

General: Two Sides of Parenting and Autism, The Geek Syndrome, Freaks on Parade, Temple Grandin,

Photos: 4/22/056/25/08, 11/14/08, 3/23/09, 5/17/09 7/14/09,



5 thoughts on “Digging Through the Archives

  1. Jodi Picoult has a new book out — the main character has asburger’s — it was fascinating. I’m not sure it’s accurate, but she tends to do good research so it may be pretty good.

  2. “Imagine getting a diagnosis from faceless readers (who later became friends) from a few hundred word blog post.”
    Amazing, really. I read your post, and I think it says something about both the need and complexity of early diagnosis. I’m becoming completely convinced that early intervention is not just a skeptical pie in the sky myth, but one that potentially changes brains. But the community is still so far away from being able to accurately predict the development trajectory of 2 year olds.

  3. I on the other hand think that just because you may be able to diagnose early doesn’t mean early intervention is the thing in every case. How can we really know? My daughter’s doing at least as well as lots of kids who started getting speech therapy at 22 months. There are some studies saying normal developmental preschool with normal peers is about as effective statistically as ABA programs.
    I was struck by the AWFUL speech therapist you mentioned that strapped Ian into a chair and made him do puzzles. That shouldn’t be allowed.

  4. In advocating for early identification (when possible) and early intervention, I don’t actually mean to be advocating formalized intervention programs. I just want people to have early knowledge, so that they don’t at least fall into the trap of reinforcing the wrong connections and development.
    One of the striking parts of Laura’s stories is the “talking, talking, talking”, even when she got no response, even when it didn’t seem to be doing anything. I suspect a lot of people intuitively do the opposite, stop talking to someone who isn’t talking to them. And, I think keeping the environment rich, and as normal as possible might help, not so much because it’s “enriched” but because it’s normal, in spite of the atypical development.

  5. Therapists don’t have any magic. Even though I talked, talked, talked to Ian, I would get tired. Well, I got exhausted. Therapists gave me a break. They kept up with the talking, talking, talking. They had some new tricks and new toys. They did stuff that I hated doing, like board games. The good ones had endless patience and knew how to urge him forward. The bad ones tortured him.
    Enriched and normal. Yes, yes, yes. Limited video game time. Extended family parties. Activities. Even a trip to the mall can be stimulating. This sort of stuff is good for every kid (and adult) brain, but it’s especially important for the special needs kid. The trick is that often those kids resist strange situations and prefer to stay home. Gotta push them.

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