I’m a 46 year old neurotypical dad with a 13 year old son with severe, non-verbal autism & epilepsy. I created this blog to rant about autism & epilepsy while celebrating my son who I affectionately call “the king” :-). For the full Autism Daddy experience like my Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/AutismDaddy
(originally written & published on March 18, 2013)
The two most inappropriate gifts that my son Kyle has ever gotten both came from fellow autism parents who should have known better!
Kyle is non verbal and severely autistic as y'all already know by now. And the rest of his class is along the same lines. Severely autistic kids, mostly non-verbal.
So there was a bd party for another kid in the class today. And I guess the kid's mom brought in cupcakes cuz I heard reports from the wife via the king's 1:1 aide that my son ate two cupcakes today! Woo-hoo!
So, the inappropriate gift?
The mom sent home a party favor to every kid in the class. Very thoughtful…but unecessary. And here was the party favor gift that we got in his backpack today…
A book about Martin Luther King Jr. Nothing wrong with that… for a typical kid!!??!! But probably everyone in the class are still reading toddler books! (My son is still eating toddler books :-) Not age appropriate history books! WTF?! Don't you know your own kid?
Now I know there's gonna be people that'll say that we should give our ASD kids something to strive for and age up with them and we should stop infantilizing our kids….
But an MLK book with quotes from the good doctor?! Come on!!
But that's not even the worst most inapproriate gift my kid has gotten. The most inappropriate gift my kid has gotten still "boggles" my mind! At the king's birthday party 2 years back my son was given the game "Boggle" by a different autism mom...the mom of one his classmates at his previous school!
You know the complicated word game Boggle ('ages 8 and up") with the little dice shaped pieces with letters all over them.
My son would have those in his mouth in a freaking heartbeat! And I know the kid who's mom gave us the Boggle. He's not playing Boggle any time soon either. :-) I think he'd be swallowing the pieces too!
C'mon moms, don't you know our kids yet? They're 9 years old! If you waited to the last minute to get a gift and "Boggle" was the only thing in the drug store where you bought the birthday card, I get it. We've been there before. In fact, we're always there getting gifts last minute, on the way to the party.... But put the Boggle down and just put $ in an envelope.
Ok, that is all. Short post tonight cuz I gotta run. It's almost the king's bedtime and tonight I'm gonna sit him down and read him a great bedtime story…all about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
If you're gonna shop Amazon anyway, can I ask that you enter Amazon by using the search box above? This way I can make a little money. This blogging thing has been awesome & life changing for me... but I must admit that it's taking up a lot more time than I ever thought... so if I can make a few bucks it'll make it easier for me to justify....Love you all! Thanks!!
My friend sent me this funny video on YouTube today (see below) that really captures what me as an autism dad used to go through. It's a video for the new Fiat 500L car. It's a pretty funny 80s New Wave music video spoof about a British father trying to get his screaming twins to sleep while driving & driving & driving in the middle of the night...
As he drives, he starts to sing about his long-lost youth and he wonders how he’s gone from Jack the Dude to Jack the Dad.
It made me think of how far my boy Kyle has come. It made me think of the days a few years back when he was about 5-6 years old, back before the magic of melatonin when we couldn't get Kyle to sleep, no matter what we tried. So we would get in the car and drive...but not just drive locally...no my boy needed the smoothness of highway driving. So the wife and I would get in the car, sometimes 10-11pm-ish and just drive back & forth on this highway near us...20 minutes north & 20 minutes south until the king was in a deep enough sleep that we could bring him home and carry him to bed. Sometimes I would give the wife a break and go on my own...me exhausted...but with a strong cup of coffee so I wouldn't fall asleep at the wheel.
At least I wasn't alone, I read somewhere recently parents drive on average 1,300 miles a year trying to get their children to sleep. And that's typical parents! I'm sure us autism parents put even more mileage on our cars!
Let me hear all your crazy autism related driving to sleep stories! Please share them in the comments below!
This should be a very interesting evening. I hope to get home at around 6pm and take over hanging with the king for the rest of the night.
Because at 7:30pm wifey is hosting an autism moms "game night" at our house. 12 autism moms coming over for chips & dips, beer & wine, and card & board games galore.
The questions are...
1) Will the king go to sleep at his regular time with all that racket going on downstairs
2) If the king does fall asleep at his regular time, do I join in on the mommy partying?
I think if you've been reading this page long enough, you know the answer to question 2.
Saturday February 2, 7:44am
I just discovered that at some point yesterday wifey matched up all the Tupperware containers with their lids in our cabinet.
I am so turned on right now....
SAME DAY, 10:52am
The king mid-jump at his swim this morning...
Sunday February 3, 8:32am
Breakfast with the Beatles!
Tuesday February 5, 9:34pm
The king is asleep and the wife and I are cleaning up and clearing off the table when she grabs a box of Cheerios off the table and says
"By the way don't eat these. These are Kyle's only. These are penis Cheerios"
That means that he had his hands down his pants while grabbing handfuls of o's out of the box.
My response to her?
"Let's write a big P on the box."
Wednesday February 6, 11:11pm
Met a friend out for drinks around 9 after both our kids went to bed. God I love buffalo wings and beer!
Thursday February 7, 11:29pm
School's already been cancelled for tomorrow. There's 16 inches of snow heading our way. This winter can really kiss my ass.
Friday February 8, 8:26am
I just found the king sucking on a penny. A penny from 1974!
When I discovered it I kinda threw up in my mouth a little....Especially when I think about all the nasty things that penny has seen and the nasty places its been in its 39 years on this earth!
Can I wash out his mouth with bleach? :-)
---- Saturday February 9, 7:04am
Almost 23 hours of snowfall! "Winter Storm Nemo" promised us 16+ inches of snow and Nemo delivered!
Sunday February 10, 9:37pm
Just got back from dinner & a movie ("Identity Theft") with wifey. She is now gonna watch the Grammy's on our bedroom DVR and I'm settling in for "The Walking Dead" in the living room.
Tuesday February 12, 7:01pm
The king & I are home alone eating popcorn and watching Dora on the iPad.
Wifey's at what sounds like a pretty cool event planned by a local "Special Moms"group.
A bunch of special moms are meeting at a restaurant along with a bunch of first responders for an event "dedicated to learning about the training of first responders and educating our heroes about the cognitive and physical needs of our children in case of an emergency."
Or as my wife put it on FB when trying to convince her special mom friends to join her "plus, bonus, we get to hang out with a bunch of firefighters and cops and stuff” :-)
SAME DAY, 8:14pm
here's a text exchange between me & my wife from 2 minutes ago...(if this doesn't make sense read my previous status update)
ME: Any hot firefighters?
HER: About 10!!
ME: So you'll be home late then?
HER: Don't wait up!
February 13, 8:09pm
made a return this afternoon :-(
The king had
a seizure at school and then fell asleep. Wifey picked him up from school about
30 minutes early. According to wife he was fine all afternoon then napped again
At 7pm he got
up, ate dinner, and is now up as a pup and in a great, happy mood!
in such a great mood I'm actually looking forward to him staying up a little
later tonight...so we get some more time to hang out!
February 14, 10:51pm
This is what
being a 43 year old autism parent is all about.... :-)
I just woke
up in a confused stupor on the couch with the wife dead asleep next to me. The
same episode of "Modern Family" from our DVR has been playing in a
continuous loop for over 2 hours.
virtually every night. The king's bedtime routine has been awesome lately. He's
asleep by 8:30pm at the latest.
that, the wife and I usually sit down on the couch, wide awake, ready to take
the night by storm.
just watch 'Modern Family' and then I'll throw a load of laundry in and then
maybe we can do other stuff" she says. :-)
later here we are...
February 15, 12:21pm
almost made it. He almost made it all the way from New Year's to winter break
without missing a day of school.
fighting a cold all week. It never seemed too serious or to be bothering him
too much... but today he woke up and just felt warm. We took his temp, under
the arm, and it was 101.
So we kept
him home. The streak was broken! :-(
took him to the doctor and alas he's got strep throat.
Yeah it sucks
but I almost rather know what it is. Maybe that's just a sign of being an
autism parent for such a long time.
don't scare me anymore. A few days on antibiotics and a lot of rest and liquids
and he should be back to normal in a few days.
We just need
to keep his fever down now that we are living on Seizure Street, but I figure
he'll be back to normal by Monday...just in time for the week off...
There's a power struggle going on right now in
the AD household. The king is wide awake after a two hour strep throat induced
nap. He is in a fine, happy mood.
sitting on the couch eating her dinner and trying to watch "her
to watch "What Not To Wear" but his majesty wants to watch his shows.
So he's "eeee-ing" loudly while bouncing on his big green ball right
in front of the tv with his big noggin blocking her view. :)
comically pleading with him "C'mon buddy, you've been home sick all day
and mommy let you watch whatever you wanted. Now it's mommy's turn to watch my
ignoring her and bouncing & eee-ing away.
February 16, 7:24am
Did I mention
that when wifey took the king to the dr yesterday they threw him on the scale
and he's up to 72 pounds!
Nov 27, 61.5
Dec 29, 68.6
Feb 15, 72.0
Now we just
need to use this increased appetite to increase the variety of foods he will
where are your socks?! It's cold in here...why do you keep taking off your
conversation has been going on all winter) SAME DAY 12:06pm
The sick (and giant!) king takes an early afternoon nap...
February 17, 4:25pm
The king is
holding a full granola bar and is taking bites out of it. That's kinda a big
deal around here cuz lately his majesty prefers it broken up by an adult into
bite size chunks and put on a plate.
When I handed
him the full granola bar he looked at me like "what the F am I supposed to
do with this?!"
But he ate
it... I guess he was hungry enough to "rough it"
:) SAME DAY, 3:51pm
I've said many times that the king can find his reflection in ANYTHING. Well now he's tall enough to see his reflection in that little tiny mirror on the wall only if he stands in that exact spot about 6 feet away on his tippy toes... LOL Well I guess that proves that his eyesight is pretty good... :-)
February 18, 7:57am
"I'm sorry I'm not putting on your show
fast enough, but SOMEBODY stole the card out of the cable box last night so the
cable won't work. Where did you hide that dude?!"
February 19, 7:13am
the wife but I can't wait to go to work today! :-)
The king is
off from school all week. He's getting over strep throat and has been stuck in
felt like crap for a couple of days too. She might have strep.
dealing with being sick better than wifey.
I might even
need to work late tonight...
:-) SAME DAY, 7:34am
Just a typical Tuesday morning med break for his majesty... This is what the double whammy of autism & epilepsy looks like...
I got home from work at 6pm to find the king
asleep on the couch. The wife said he just fell asleep.
She said he
had a good happy day, but the nap probably signifies that the strep isn't completely
out of his system.
sleep thru the night if we let him but I gotta wake him up around 7:30pm to
give him his evening cocktail of meds...
between me & the wife earlier this evening while Kyle was taking a strep
throat induced nap.
had a good day, but he was a lot less cuddly and affectionate with me
"That must mean he's feeling better, he's on the mend."
"Yeah I know."
kinda like it when he's sick don't you?"
"Yep. I do."
(cuz he's not
normally that affectionate with her...others, yes... her, no)
February 20, 2:06pm
I just bought
2 somewhat affordable tix to see THE WHO & ELVIS COSTELLO at The Theater at
MSG in NYC next Thursday night!
not the 19,000 seat MSG, but the 5,000 seat Theater downstairs!
It is a
benefit concert for Teen Cancer America and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer
Valentine's Day & Mother's Day & Father's Day to me & wifey!!
all 3 gifts wrapped into one)
who's watching the king? :-)
Verizon Fios cable installed today. Two HUGE benefits?
1) No card
for the king to pull out and hide.
2) They have
Sprout so the king is watching "Play With Me Sesame" on demand right
He's like a
pig in shit!
February 21, 9:56am
-- I just got in to work. What a pleasant morning so far.
The king is
off from school this week but has been stuck in the house since Friday
recovering from strep throat.
not contagious anymore wifey said "Let's all go out to an early breakfast
before you head off to work. This way it'll feel like he's on vacation."
So the 3 of
us, with Paula in tow went to a local diner for breakfast. And he was so good!
got an appetite these days we ordered his breakfast as soon as we got there and
he ate & "yumm"ed it all up.
A good time
was had by all.
Once in a
while my wife actually comes up with a good idea!
ladies, I'm kidding.
February 23, 9:01am
get filed under "Too Much Information" but here goes...
The king has
a bit of George Costanza in him.
reason he likes to take his pants, underwear, and sometimes socks off when he
has to poop.
:-) SAME DAY, 9:51am
The king using his bed like a trampoline. The way I see it he's got about 2 inches left to grow til he hits his head on the ceiling and we have to redirect this jumping or (more likely) put his mattress directly on the floor...
The king is
asleep and the wife is getting all dolled up cuz she's going out to see a
friend's band at a bar. Maybe I'll find a good movie on cable... :)
February 24, 2:17pm
We just got
back from the king's special needs gymnastics & swim sessions...his first
big physical outing this week since he had strep. So nice (for mom & dad)
to get back to his "normal" routine.
watching "Jack's Big Music Show" while bouncing on his big green
A few minutes
ago he was curling up getting all cuddly on the couch and I said...
don't you take a nap this way mommy & daddy can have some private time.
C'mon dude I'll give you a hundred bucks if you go to sleep."
And the wife
said, "Is that all I'm worth?"
And I said,
"No, but that's all I can afford right now."
this the other day and it made me chuckle.
Part of the
public bathroom routine...
grab a paper towel. Dry your hands. Throw it away."
He grabs a
paper towel and goes thru the motions of drying his hands. But basically his
version of drying his hands is just crumpling the paper into a ball...and
At least he's
got 2 out of the 3 down.
He must be
thinking, "why are they always handing me paper to crumple up and throw
February 25, 7:48am
A little reading & flapping before leaving for school... SAME DAY, 7:31pm
So good to be
back to the old routine after a week off from school for the mid-winter recess!
uneventful school day, a happy king when I got home from work!
And now the 3
of us are all sitting in the living room on our own screens. Wifey & I are
on the couch each on FB on our phones. And his majesty is sitting on the
ottoman transfixed on "Elmo The Musical".
The king has
eaten dinner already. Turkey chili is simmering, waiting for wife & me
after he falls asleep.
I said to the
wife earlier "It's Monday night! That means it's fall asleep on the couch
while watching The Biggest Loser night!"
And she said,
"Looking forward to it..."
February 27, 7:16pm
I was just
thinking about "Desert Island Discs"
So, here's 15
albums that if I got stranded on a desert island (wouldn't that be nice!) I
couldn't live without.
My rules are
no Greatest Hits Complilations & no live albums.
So these are
my favorite studio albums that I couldnt live without...right now.
the list would've been different...Next year it'll probably be different
Here we go in
no particular order...
Red Hot Chili
Peppers, Blood Sugar Sex Magic
Guns N Roses,
Appetite For Destruction
Spend The Night
The Machine, Rage Against The Machine
Slippery When Wet
Charlotte, The Young & The Hopeless
So those are
my 15 Desert Island Discs at this very moment in time...
yours? And remember my rules!! No live albums or best ofs
February 28, 7:19am
The look of a typical school morning breakfast in the AD household (when his majesty feels like sitting at the table) SAME DAY, 2:21pm
Sitting at my
desk at work eating the awesome lunch that the wife packed me. Leftovers from
last night. Sausage & peppers and tomato salad w/ black olives...
God I love
sausage & peppers...
wife's ok too. I think I'll keep her... :)
night, date night with wifey, Elvis Costello, and The Who!!! :)