Coffee & Quirky Works

I began saving work ideas and business models for my son last April, on this blog’s Quirky Works! page. As I described in “A Dream Job,” we’re at the outset of the “transition” process from school to adulthood, and we don’t really know yet what is in store. I wanted to collect examples from other families with kids like mine, to find out how others are finding ways to help their autistic loved ones build employable skills, find job opportunities, and make meaningful work a possibility.Under construction Read More

The Few. The Proud.

My non-verbal, autistic teenager received a U.S. Marine Corps recruitment letter in the mail last week.

I didn’t see that one coming.

Sometimes I forget what other boys his age are doing. Most of the time, we’re too busy living this life to think about how others live. I’m in that zone of special needs parenting, focused on my only child, his interests and his needs. By design and habit, we’re fairly isolated from the “norm.”

I don’t usually have the time or energy to compare my son to other teenagers (or even to my own memories of life at 16). Those traditional adolescent rites of passage—first driving lessons (and driving mishaps), proms, graduations, college applications—those aren’t his thing, and most days, I’m OK with that. Read More

For What It’s Worth

So here it is February, and this is my first post of 2016.

That pretty much sums up life in this house lately.

Things have been so erratic and unpredictable around here, it’s hard to be an effective parent, much less write about it with any semblance of order or theme. Every day seems to bounce in a different direction than originally projected. When sleep is disturbed and his anxiety is high, I expect the worst; yet he laughs on through. Then, a day begins well enough for me to envision smooth sailing; yet by evening we’ve crashed and burned.

I’m finding it more and more difficult to write as a parent-blogger. I don’t write fast enough to keep up with the variations. I might start a post in the morning, and before it’s polished, the mood, the atmosphere, the energy has changed and whatever I thought I was going to say no longer feels authentic.

But this volatility is all authentic. This is what it feels like to parent this kid right now.

I have another draft almost ready to go, it’s just a short little nothing piece. An exercise to get back in the habit of writing, which I’ve been trying to do since the New Year began. But the winds shifted before that draft was ready to post, and now it may have to wait. Or join the others in the virtual scrap heap. It just doesn’t feel true at the moment.Death_to_stock_communicate_hands_2 Read More