No Surprises: Raising a Son with Asperger’s–and Training His Dad

A trip to Disney Land–what could be a better gift for your small child? Certainly Parent-of-the-Year awards were likely–if not for originality at least the East German judge would most likely hold up a “7.8” for enthusiasm. My wife and I had been giggling to ourselves for over a month as we prepared for the look on our four year-old’s face when we pulled into the parking lot. We knew he’d see Mickey Mouse on some billboard and it would be magic time. Wrong. Again. Aidan didn’t see a mouse; he smelled a rat. As my wife unpacked the video camera during a supposed routine morning drive while in Los Angeles visiting friends, he looked suspiciously at her. It was third day of our visit to the coast and both kids were pretty numb after going in and out of seat belts in various cars, airplanes and strollers. We watch… Read More…

Kid-with-Fish Picture: Leon, Jerry and a Free Ticket

There’s something very romantic and nostalgic about a kid holding a fish–especially if it’s a first-catch. There’s that mix of pride, fear and joy that is far different than you find with most any other kid-meets-creature encounter.  Far different than the parent holding a camera shouting: “Nope.  Go back to where you just ran over that worm with your bike.  Get down on your hands and knees and smile!” It’s nothing like stepping on a spider or worm-steamrolling–both instances are necessary for sanity or unavoidable just after a rainy day…or one of my more vivid bits of cruelty as a child–Ray-of-Death with a magnifying glass and a pedestrian ant. And I’ve been that parent.  When we’re on the dock and accidentally actually catch something, it’s a big deal!  “Go get mom,” I would holler to the other kid.  “Have her bring her camera or phone or something!”  And there we… Read More…

Lawn Kayaking: Distractions and Default-Settings

  We were at Aunt Cathy and Uncle Steve’s house in 1999.  The kids and their cousins were enjoying a kayak ride through the lawn, courtesy of their Aunt Claudia, who always shared in the unique moments of her nieces and nephews. We always laugh that the perfect gift for a baby shower would be an abandoned car.  Just stick it in the backyard and you’ll never need to assemble that expensive play-structure or worry about broken necks on a trampoline. Some children’s barbers actually give their victims a giant ball of masking tape and by the time the kid is finished de-sticking his hands and re-sticking the ball to his face, the chair or his mom the haircut is done.  New barber shops for tots have the same idea. In Detroit, a local chain has made some pretty good money using this tactic for guys in what has become known… Read More…