Friday, May 29, 2009

IEPs According to Dr. Seuss (author unknown)

Dan was sent this poem via Washington Dads, a support group for dads raising children with special needs. It seems appropriate with IEP season upon us.

IEPs According to Dr. Seuss (author unknown)

I do not like these IEPs

I do not like them, Jeeze Louise

We test, we check

We plan, we meet

But nothing ever seems complete.

Would you, could you

Like the form?

I do not like the form I see

Not page 1, not 2, not 3

Another change

A brand new box

I think we all

Have lost our rocks.

Could you all meet here or there?

We could not all meet here or there.

We cannot all fit anywhere.

Not in a room

Not in the hall

There seems to be no space at all.

Would you, could you meet again?

I cannot meet again next week

No lunch no prep

Please hear me speak.

No, not at dusk. No, not at dawn

At 4 pm I should be gone.

Could you hear while all speak out?

Would you write the words they spout?

I could not hear, I would not write

This does not need to be a fight.

Sign here, date there,

Mark this, check that

Beware the student's ad-vo-cat(e).

You do not like them

So you say

Try again! Try again!

And you may.

If you will let me be,

I will try again

You will see.


I almost like these IEPs

I think I'll write 6,003.

And I will practice day and night

Until they say

"You got it right!"

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Perils of City Driving: Have the streets shrunk or has my van grown?

Wow - where did last week go? My Different Nest has been a Neglected Nest of late, but here is a story about driving in "the City" that I posted recently in the 50-something Moms Blog:

City Driving: Not so fun anymore

Portland Today I drove into downtown Portland (OR) from Camas, WA, the "suburban utopia" I call home for a mid-day appointment. I often go visit the Portland neighborhoods but it has been a while since I've been to downtown, let alone driven in on a week-day.

Either my mini-van has gotten bigger or the streets have gotten narrower, but this trip was a bit harrowing. The simple, and embarrassing, truth is that I'm not used to sharing the road with so many pedestrians and cars. The streets in the suburbs are so, well, wide. The stop lights are fewer, and further in between. And the rush hour traffic home. Oy, I could never deal with it every day.

While I was driving downtown, destination: Smart Park garage, Goal: Don't hit any one, I remembered how I used to drive over to to the East Village from Long Island in my parent's car. At night. At age 17. And it didn't faze me.

As I was driving home, I recalled how I learned to drive on the Long Island Expressway. Yes, our high school driving instructor used tough love to teach us how to merge. In retrospect,he deserved a medal for bravery. But, this afternoon there I was on the freeway, shoulders scrunched up to my ears and hands rigidly set at 10:00 and 2:00 o'clock battling "traffic" that DC Beltway drivers wouldn't bat an eye at.

Now I'm home safe and sound, wondering if it's middle age, suburbia, driving a Dodge Caravan instead of a Dodge Dart - or a combination of all of the above. All I know is that when I retire I want to live IN a city, so I can walk or ride on over to the Early Bird Special.

This is an original 50 Something Moms post. When Carol is not driving her minivan with the largish carbon foot print she writes in her blog A Different Nest.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

On explaining autism to a "neurotypical" 1st grader

A few days ago, our 1st grade neighbor boy, "B", went with Sayer and I on a walk around the neighborhood. Rather, I walked, Sayer rode his scooter and "B" was on his bike but mostly walked along side me, chatting. As we cruised by the elementary school one block from our house, that "B" attends, and he asked me, as he has in the past, why Sayer does not go to his school - aka our "home school."

I explained that Sayer has autism and that he is in a special program at another elementary school (which, mind you, is a only a mile or so away). I asked him if he knew what autism was, and he said he had heard of it.

I gave him the Readers Digest version, saying Sayer learns differently and has some problems talking, and with being a good friend, and can get overwhelmed when a lot is going on. Also, sometimes it makes his behavior not so great. And "B" replied, "Oh, yeah, like when Sayer doesn't always answer me when I ask him questions." Yes, like that, I said.

By then, we were back at our house, and "B" seemed satisfied with my explanation. Sayer, naturally, ran right into the house without saying good-bye to "B", giving me another example to describe to him how kids with autism have limited social skills. With that, "B" was on his way, quite nonchalant.

Has anyone had a similar experience? It's hard to know what is too little and what is too much information to share. Sort of like the birds and the bees.....