The meeting went just as well as expected, which is to say awesome, which to say I love everyone and everything right now. Including you! Oh, you. Come give us a cuddle. Noah will transition to the general education classroom for math after spring break, surrounded by the nicest, most supportive team of bona fide Noah Fangirls that we've ever encountered since starting this journey over five years ago. These people looooove him and think he's amazing. And of course I tend to agree. I should note, in case anyone was/is concerned that we're getting rushed or pushed out of services: There is actually no change or reduction at all in the number of service hours on the IEP. As Kari explained in her comment: It's simply a placement change, aka where he will RECEIVE those hours of service and special ed support. Least Restrictive Environment; pull-outs vs. integration; etc.... Read more →


So that...figured. Despite all my big talk and confidence on Friday, Ezra completely freaked out and melted down at his first belt test. It was held in a different room, with a different instructor, and Ezra decided to show his displeasure with these changes by being as obstinate as humanly possible. "Okay, boys and girls, everybody please sit criss-cross applesauce facing me." Ezra sits criss-cross applesauce facing the opposite side of the room. "Everybody line up in a straight line right here." Ezra plops himself down in a random corner, seven feet away. "Everybody stand up." Ezra sits down. "Everybody sit down." Ezra stands up. Aaaaaaaaand ecetera. I pulled him aside on at least two different occasions and told him we'd need to go home if he didn't start...uh, where to begin? Cooperating? Listening? Participating? Doing everything that is the exact opposite of what you are doing right now? He... Read more →


UP: He's a brown belt now. Which (if you aren't up with the karate-belt-color progression, and don't worry, I only know because there's a cheat sheet on like, every wall of the dojo) is the highest belt for his current age group. He's determined to make it all the way to black belt. (Please note the Ezra Legbomb in the above picture. Sibling belt tests are exhaustifying, y'all.) DOWN: He had a panic attack when Jason emptied a new box of Cheerios into a space-saving plastic container. He screamed and cried and hurled his body around. It wasn't right, normal, regular. A tiny deviation from the constantly running script in his head and the world crashed down around him. I wrapped him up in blankets and talked about the time Baby Ike got into the Cheerios and dumped the entire container upside down the floor, which was just so silly,... Read more →


NEWISH RECENT HOTNESS: Family Homemade Pizza Nights. Okay, I'm perhaps overstating the "homemade" part. We use pre-made frozen dough from Whole Foods. We dump canned tomatoes in the food processor with a handful of bagged pre-peeled garlic and some olive oil for the sauce. Top with cheese, pepperoni and oregano. Bake on a cookie sheet at the highest temperature your pathetic electric oven can crank up and CLEARLY you will be immediately transported to a rustic pizzeria in Italy. Or maybe just to that pizza joint at the airport. Close enough. I am not, however, exaggerating the "family" part. We get pretty super into it. We may or may not have special outfits. Complete with accessories. Ezra is always nice enough to lend Ike one of his non-pizza-specific aprons. (What? Don't all four-year-olds own multiple aprons?) Family Homemade Pizza Night is strictly pants-optional, however. As for Noah... Once upon a... Read more →


I used to wonder when we'd be "done." After the speech therapy? Occupational therapy? After the mock preschools, special preschools, summer camps, kindergarten or...? I don't even know what I thought "done" meant. No more therapy? No more IEP? A final ruling out of SPD, PDD, ASD, ADHD, AFLACDIAFOMGBBQ? A child with no label? A child who is "cured" and "easy" and "totally predictable" and "not such a quirky little amped-to-11 question mark?" Obviously, duh. Bless my precious little heart, I just wasn't that bright. Noah is who he is, he will always be who he is, and we will always — ALWAYS — do everything we can help him be the best Noah he can be. You know, like we do for all of our children. (It's not like non-SN kids simply raise themselves with a little help from a pack of neighborhood dogs, after all.) There is no... Read more →


Noah first met his occupational therapist at summer camp. He was three-and-a-half years old and had already developed a fierce dislike of school (and any school-like activities) and a deep distrust of teachers (and any teacher-like adults). But for some reason, Ms. M___ was different. He liked her. He liked her a lot. For over three years now, she's worked with him. First, almost daily, at preschool, then weekly. She was his anchor, the thing he looked the most forward to all week, the one person who could always — ALWAYS — coax the most and the best from him. Balance, coordination, motor planning, social skills, play skills, handwriting, attention span, self-regulation. She's encouraged him, pushed him and challenged him. But most of all she's believed in him, and loved him. Genuinely, unconditionally. She's the first person to hear about Noah's victories and breakthroughs, big or small. She is one... Read more →


I don't know about you, but I'd give money to that face. Before anyone jumps to the wrong (yet probably all-too-common these days) conclusion: No worries, Noah's photo wasn't ganked from my blog or Facebook. TLC is the non-profit organization that has been helping Noah (and us) for years now. It's where he attended the Miraculous Summer Camp of Miracles and The Preschool That Changed Our Lives. He still receives weekly occupational therapy there for ongoing issues with rigidity, self-regulation, social skills, etc. A couple years ago they asked if they could take photos of Noah and his therapist for brochures and stuff, and we agreed. I always forget about it, though, until one of the photos shows up somewhere, blast-from-the-past style. I don't know how much longer Noah will require OT. (After several ridiculous tussles with several ridiculous insurance companies, we are finally on a plan that covers the... Read more →


On Friday I took Noah to his school's Open House. We met his new teachers, checked out his classrooms, and I was completely thrilled to see that the school assigned him to the teachers of his dreams, to exactly the kind of teachers Noah has historically responded best to and worked hardest to please. (Young, babyfaced-types with gobs of enthusiasm and no fear of Bribery With Snacks.) (I am about 99% sure his special ed teacher from last year hand-picked them for us.) Before we left, Noah insisted on visiting every former teacher and classroom. There were big hugs and high fives and marveling over his missing front teeth from his kindergarten teachers (and yes, Hot Teacher Is Still Hot, Only Now More Tan And How Did I Not Notice The Tattoos Oh My God), and then we stopped in to visit his preschool teacher. He had the same teacher... Read more →


We met with a new child psychologist this morning. So I spent last night organizing and re-filing the mountains of old paperwork we've collected over the years. Old evaluations, assessments, treatment plans, progress reports, IEPs, re-evaluations, insurance rejections and appeals and God knows what else. Something old, something new, something photocopied, something blue. (The cup. The cup is blue. The cup is also full of vodka.) Reading through those old files is both oddly inspiring and completely masochistic. On the one hand, how far he's come! The things he says and does! The mind-boggling number of victories, both large and small (and medium and miniscule!), that we've celebrated since that fateful day when I took my non-verbal almost-two-year-old to the pediatrician. When that pediatrician cocked his head to the side and asked, "Does he walk like that a lot? On his toes?" He did it. We helped. I have no... Read more →


Once upon a time, I was the mother of a little boy who was scared of the bathtub. Who was scared of so, so many things. He wanted to be brave. He tried to be brave. But when your brain sends you into fight-or-flight mode over the sound of a nearby lawnmower, or the feel of grass on your bare feet, it's hard to brave. It's hard to try new things when you can't process them, when you can't articulate what you're even afraid of, when you can't work those new things out to their logical conclusion. Even when the logical conclusion is: This is supposed to be fun, dammit. "I know what that is!" he said, pointing at the rental snorkel gear. "It lets you breathe underwater! Can I try it?" Uhh. Okay? Sure. Yes. The thing is, if we'd asked or offered, he probably would have said "NO."... Read more →