Musings from an Orthodox Jewish work at home mom of twins with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Archive for October, 2018

Public School Goodies Coming to a Behavioral Charter School?

After a zillion really terrible IEP meetings as my son was getting kicked out of public school a couple of years ago, I’ve been content with his new school— not THRILLED mind you, but content. A lot less aggression as he has very few students in his class and there are maybe 40 students in the whole school with an amazing student:staff ratio. Everyone is trained in TCI, everyone knows what to do in case of meltdown, and there are plans for dealing with aggression stemming from autism. But I’ve had two problems with this school— the lack of gifted services, and the gym curriculum or lack thereof. As far as the latter goes, there is NO adapted phys ed and therefore there are no gross motor skills on the IEPs for this school’s students. It doesn’t matter that he’s always had gross motor goals and adapted phys ed at his previous school. Furthermore, gym class is simply run by the intervention specialists— they do kickball, dodgeball, defend the castle and that’s about it—- VERY different from the diverse phys ed curriculum of public school. I asked about how we can get one of the public school adapted phys ed teachers down to his school if not to see him once a week and get gross motor goals on the IEP, then at least evaluate him and tell me how to focus his gross motor for the next while because I’m no phys ed teacher and there is very little this boy needs more than gross motor work. Last year I got a lukewarm apology— sorry, that’s not done, no gross motor goals on IEP, oh well. This year…… success! Fred’s first gross motor eval at this school is coming up and it looks like he’ll be able to have one of the adapted phys ed teachers (ironically… his twin sister’s!) come down to his school to work with him! All I had to do was ask nicely two years in a row. More info about the gifted stuff to come— basically they HAD been individualizing his math and science work but they had reason to stop doing that. In my next post I’ll tell you what’s up there.

Hamster Butts

no reason, just because they’re cute and funny.  I need laughter in my life.

Can’t Engage With the World When Kept At Home

Always a crazy balance. Do I bring them places where we’re likely to have a severe double scream fest? Or do I keep them home where we’re likely to have a severe double scream fest anyway because a bored Wilma just pushes all of Fred’s buttons?

The things said about my children:

“maybe you should have left him at home”.
“why does she bring them here if she knows they can’t handle it?”
“they should be living in residential— why does she keep them at home?”
“BOTH her kids act like this—- must be the parenting skills”

and on the other hand…

“they’re scapegoating their kids again— they should have come and brought them (even though there will be hundreds of people)”
“your kids can totally handle this (glad you know them better than we do!)”
“my granddaughter would NEVER behave like THAT!”
“is your son still a retard?”
“why does your son act like a banshee?”

If we don’t come to something, please understand. And if we DO come and something happens, please understand. Sometimes I’m willing to try and sometimes I’m not. For instance if I know certain people will be there and I know it will be a trigger, we’ll stay home, thanks.

Pajama Time

#youmightbeanautismparentif you ask your son with a genius level IQ to put on his pajamas. Because you’re downstairs chatting with your dinner guest instead of upstairs telling him what to do next he thinks that means bring the jammies downstairs to put them on. We sent him back up before it happened but…. I know *MY* IQ went down a few points.

Don’t Travel WITH Them, Don’t Travel WITHOUT Them

Vent I posted on facebook:


Yes, I post the funny stuff and the lighthearted stuff and the stuff that (hopefully) will mostly make you smile….. about my children. I don’t post often about her colon diagnoses and her nightly medical treatments or the fact that he’s almost 12 and still biting strangers (but thankfully, more often, just mom and dad, the fact that he got kicked out of public school and goes to a special behavior program, or the fact that she’s only successful in school because of highly trained intervention specialists that know what to do when a middle school student starts crying under a desk to escape a task……. I TRY to keep facebook posts lighthearted and fun and that’s why I post a lot of funny things my kids say and I don’t post a lot about the bruises I’ve gotten from my kids or the permanent damage done to one of my fingers or the amount of intense screaming that happens in this house during ABA hours.

But if you for a moment think that means that I should be able to plop my kids overnight with a babysitter and go wherever, or that I should be able to take my kids WITH me and go somewhere they’ve never been…, I do not travel without them. And no, I do not travel with them. You can call it scapegoating if you want, but until you learn all you need to know to do her colon flush and all you need to know to response block his attacks, AND offer to babysit even for one night, this is life over here. If you’re horribly offended that we don’t come to see you, you’re welcome to unfriend us, facebook wise and otherwise. Our true friends GET IT.

Food Fight!

Just saving funny stuff.  🙂

What Is ABA?

Some of you know that both of my kids do “ABA” for multiple hours a week but have no idea what that means. I like this video because it shows a real life example of a child being prompted to put his shoes away, put away groceries, pack his lunch, and walk the dog.

In our house, real life examples are different than this and include playing a game by the rules from beginning to end, having a conversation that starts, flows nicely, and stops, doing math homework with minimal screaming (Wilma), practicing piano with minimal screaming (Fred), riding a bike while paying attention to cars coming out of driveways, going to the store and paying for items, appropriately greeting visitors who come to the door, clearing the table, putting away laundry, sweeping, changing trash bags, etc etc etc. Wilma likes to help me cook. Both kids worked very hard on shoe tying and mastered it. Wilma worked very hard on the dinnertime skill of not interrupting. Fred worked very hard on the dinnertime skill of using utensils and not hands. Many of these things are what neurotypical kids pick up naturally but our kids need extra support. For us, ABA is a structured way to give them that extra support. Fred likes to work for candy. Wilma most recently worked for a little purse from Justice. Both earn money— Fred likes to spend his on hotwheels and Wilma likes to spend hers on virtual currency in the “Roblox” game.

Hope that was a good explanation!



Fall Wax Leaf Project

Wedding Response Card

THIS is a family with a sense of humor!


“with all the gadolim and tzaddikim that will be at this wedding, it’s not the place for you anyway.” — -this was actually said to my husband.  By the bride.   We’re invited to this chassunah but when my husband said we’re likely unable to come (locals almost never have their weddings HERE because…. LAKEWOOD!) the bride said…. THAT.

Her father approached our Rabbi to complain about the pants my husband wears because some of them have more than 2 pockets.  More and more people in our community are upset when my husband wears a colored shirt.  Or a sweater (not a button down shirt)…. and now?  Pockets.

If you care more about what we wear than who we are, then nope, we’re not very interested in attending your wedding anyway.



Tag Cloud