Suburban Sprawl
Breakfast with Anna Wintour

Maybe It's Because I Forgot to Teach Him the Secret Lunch Bunch Gang Sign

So I'm turning 30 next week -- blah blah yes yes whatever not the point of this entry FOCUS people -- and when Jason asked me what I wanted, I did not even hesitate. All I wanted in the world was to not ever go back to the ruddy stinking Lunch Bunch nonsense.

He got me a MacBook instead.

Oh, I'm kidding. (Sort of. MmmmmmacBook. Shiny!) He took Noah to the class today, alone. I wish my reasons were more admirable -- to expand Jason's involvement in Noah's various therapies, to give him first-hand experience with what we're dealing with, or to maybe see if Noah behaved better without my neurotic self there. All perfectly good reasons, all perfect steaming loads of bullshit. I just didn't want to go. Don't make me. I can throw quite a tantrum myself, actually.

So Jason went and I stayed home and obsessed over Jamie Lynn Spears, clearly the current poster child for responsible, involved parenting.

It did not go well, again. Noah continued his full-scale freak-out over anything vaguely structured and bawled and clung and thrashed and screamed. Last week Jason listened to my report and wondered if maybe, JUST MAYBE, our kid was not SID or SPD , but was just an under-socialized brat who is allowed to run wild all day, which made ME freak out because I had been wailing that THIS IS ALL MY FAULT WAIT SHUT UP YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO ARGUE AND SAY THIS NOT ALL MY FAULT.

This week, Jason was a little baffled by what he witnessed. Noah was not just annoyed by being asked to sit on a chair. It wasn't like sitting on a chair at that particular moment was keeping him from the activity that he REALLY wanted to do. Noah was scared -- absolutely terrified -- of sitting in that chair. Or washing his hands. Or doing this or that or anything the teacher asked him to do.

And I think I get that. Back when I used to have anxiety attacks, I would have anxiety ABOUT my anxiety. I'd freak out before leaving the house because what would happen if I freaked out after I left the house? I was panicking about panicking.

Noah doesn't process things the way he should. I don't understand it, and obviously he doesn't understand it.  I don't know how he'll react to certain situations, and neither does he. Thus: someone asks him to sit in a chair, he doesn't understand why, he doesn't know what that person is going to do to him once he's sitting on that chair, they might sing or touch his face or hold his hand or do any number of things that set him off. Therefore: I am not going to give you that chance, motherfucker, and I am not sitting in that chair.

I don't know. Maybe?

Someone commented on the entry about last week's class and said, basically, what's the point? Don't go if it stresses you out, you're making a bigger deal of this than you should, he'll outgrow it, etc.

I would love to not go. I loved not going today! I love that there's no class next week and I won't have to think about it until January. But. I'm going back in January. We'll actually be there two days a week then, because Noah's also enrolled in a Hanen program that starts up soon. (Big perk for that one? NO MAMA IN THE ROOM. MAMA HIDES IN ROOM DOWN THE HALL. MAMA'S IPOD GOES UP REAL GOOD AND LOUD.)

For us -- personally, and our situation is not your situation and I would never, ever presume that there is only one "right" way to do things and Lo, We Are Doing It -- the therapy is kind of a no-brainer. We either deal with this behavior now, or we deal with it in September, when we get a call from Noah's preschool about Noah causing disruptions in class, when Noah is three and no longer qualifies for help from Early Intervention and we're dealing with a whole other class of services. Taking a wait-and-see-if-he-outgrows-it approach seems unnecessarily risky. Sure, he might! He might not. Then what?

And I know. He's two. Two-year-olds push and test and can be serious, serious assholes. It's hard to really explain the many nuances of Noah's issues in a blog entry -- how yes, he's only two but...still. Something'

Jason saw it today. Something...different. Something wrong, something whatever. I guess I have to ask you to take our word for it, or at least not to call us neurotic to our faces.

There's a small window, I think, before "issues" that interfere with behavior kind of meld into "behavior" that interferes with living life. There's a lot of sitting in preschool. In chairs! People sing! Badly!

I'm proud of our boy and the job we've done -- I know he feels safe and confident at home. He loves me. He strokes my face and hair and says "Oh Mama," before covering me in kisses. When he came home today from class he wanted me to hold him and cuddle him and tell him everything was just fine. I wish that were enough, but I know my job doesn't end with preparing him for the wilds of the basement playroom. There's a big scary world outside of our little house, and I can't stay home on Wednesdays and pretend that Noah's ready for it.



You go girl -- you know what is best, and never forget it or let the web nerds tell you what to do... and the Macbook -- seriously? wow staying home is good to you ;-)


Oh, Amy. I'm feeling for you.

Teo has not, thankfully, had a reaction like Noah's had to his OT class--but maybe that's because Teo doesn't GO to any class like that because we live in DC.

Maybe next time, try taking photos of the class, so the NEXT time you have to go, you can review the stuff with Noah? Just to make it a little less scary with each new class?

Nothing But Bonfires

Oh my god. Jamie Lynn Spears. When freakin' NICKELODEON has to confirm your pregnancy, something is a little off.


I don't remember the last time I commented here but I just wanted to say that this entry was so touching - Noah is lucky to have you both as parents.


you're both wonderful parents. Don't ever let anoyone allow you to question that. Noah is a beautiful boy, and seems truly wonderful. You'll all get through it; it may take awhile, but you will - you all will. Best wishes to you and your family, Amy.

Someone Being Me

I was wondering when you were going to mention your birthday. I thought maybe you were avoiding it and hoping we would all think you were perpetually 29. (Don't worry we will anyways.) I think it is good that Jason got to go today and see what you saw last week. Now you know it wasn't just you and validation has to be good for something, right?


I feel your pain, really I do. I'm the mother of a 4 year old girl who's a charter member of the "something's off" bunch (SPD, anxiety, expressive language and it's hard to know exactly what else). I'm sorry the therapy sessions are so difficult. Is it possible there are any one on one options, or would it be possible for you to visit the center with Noah sometime when there is no session going on so that he can familiarize himself with the room, the equipment, and hopefully the therapist in a quieter less threatening way?

A lot of this stuff seems to be one step forward and half a step back (or yes, sometimes 2 steps back). Hang in there, and I hope you all find coping mechanisms that work for you. As hard as it is, just keep reminding yourself that the earlier you start getting help the easier it will be for Noah.


Regardless of what anyone says (okay so I am totally invalidating my own opinion here...) just remember that you are a great mom. You are doing what you know in your heart, head and gut is right for your kid. He's yours - and how you deal with this and everything else, thats yours too. There is no one-size fits all have to do it your way!
Good job with Noah- hes wonderful


I love your take on Noah!! I would love for you to come and talk to the parents in my class ... I teach that big scary Early Childhood Class ... I take the little guys from EI when they turn 3. It does get better.... but, yes, we do sing bad :-D


I love your take on Noah!! I would love for you to come and talk to the parents in my class ... I teach that big scary Early Childhood Class ... I take the little guys from EI when they turn 3. It does get better.... but, yes, we do sing bad :-D


For what it's worth, I (a complete and total stranger from Interwebsland) think that you are doing exactly what's right. I've been asked the same question in regards to taking my son to therapy he hates. The only answer I've ever been able to come up with is that ignoring my son's issues won't make them go away and I would be doing him a huge disservice to not find a way to help him deal with them.

The right thing isn't always the easy thing and I think that's a million times more true when it's your kids that you're talking about.



I don't blame you for not wanting to go. It sounds beyond painful and stressful. I'm sorry he has to go too.

And the one where you are down the hall? Oh gosh honey - I'm not sure which will be worse, being there or not being there.

Prayers and hugs and good karma and all that stuff!!!!!


Follow your heart. Mama knows best.


Follow your heart. Mama knows best.


Not that it matters in the least to you, but I completely think you're doing the right thing.

We had three different doctors put us off whenever we'd share our concerns that Scooter was "different, and not just in a taking-his-time kind of way." Lots of "he'll grow out of it" and "every kid's different." We pushed harder when his preschool teachers brought it up and entered the land of OT and speech therapy, mostly for SPD, but a little, just a slight whisper, for possible ASD. Everyone has told us we're so great for catching this so young, but he was 3 1/2 when this started and if we'd trusted his gut, we would have started at least 18 months sooner.

Eventually, he'll look forward to his structured activities and they'll just be part of your weekly routine. (Or at least that's something to tell yourself repeatedly.)


I just picked my daughter up from "school" (which is what we call daycare because it dilutes the guilt a little bit), and one of her "friends," which is what all the kids are required to call their classmates, thus none of them really knows that definition, ran up to me and told me that his mother wouldn't be there for the Gingerbread House decorating-thing, which all the mommies were supposed to be at, because he was naughty last night and he lost time with his mommy as a punishment.

And, yeah - Jamie Lyn Spears... well someone could write a book about her - oh, she herself has already done that...

In any case - I wish more mothers were more 'neurotic' like you.



I've mentioned before that Eamon was speech delayed. He too would freak out at any type of enforced activities ie: circle time, sitting to eat lunch at pre-pre school etc. Over the last six months we have slowly scaled back to about one freak out per class (two hours long). But it (the repitition) is working, along with his speech therapy and his control over language to help him over his fears. Keep doing what you are doing. It is hard and it stresses everyone, but as hard as it is you know that it is the right thing to do. And today, our early intervention/ speech therapy file was closed. When Noah is 32 months old, I'll bet the same thing will happen to you. Courage and good luck!


I think the therapy is a wonderful thing. It can ONLY get better.
My neighbors son (who has speech problems) is in the "special" kindergarten class because they never addressed his problems. They listened to the pediatrician who told them not to panic, "boys are stubborn...he'll grow out of it." They never put him in preschool because they knew he'd freak out all day. Now they wish that they'd gone with their gut feeling...early intervention would have done wonders for him.


Noah is very lucky to have parents like you. Think of all the people who spend their time as adults in therapy because their parents didn't take the time to recognize and help them with their issues as children. He is lucky that you identify his needs and take the time to prepare yourselves and him to facilitate his learning how to deal with them. I don't know you very well; but it makes me very proud of you. Also - I'm surprised that comments are open; and I'm very impressed that your stand on the subject is so strong, that you are willing to take the words that are going to come at you, and not let them waiver your conviction. Kudos.

Kelly G.

Repeat after me... "I am doing a good job, I am doing a good job..." Repeat as necessary because you are. I worked with Wisconsin Early Autism Project (I AM NOT SAYING HE IS AUTISTIC, this is just my area of experience)as a therapist and worked with 2 different families. The family that was very involved and pushed their son out of his comfort zone for his own good and the family who refused to do anything that caused a tantrum, to the point of firing therapists whom he had tantrumed with. The little boy in the first family THRIVED and was able to go to Kindergarten and 1st grade with very little assistance. The other has been in assisted care facilities and never really progressed as much as he could of. I know each kid is different, and each family is different, but you have to do what you think is BEST even if it isn't easy or fun for any of you. So again, you are doing a good job! It is a wonderful thing to have the entire internet to vent too also.

Suzy Q

Didn't Noah do pretty well in day care with other kids? Without you there? Or, is that too long ago to even count?

Anyway, I hope it gets better...soon!


Oh, Amy, Noah is going to be ok. I saw him mon. and he did fine in a room full of kids and people he didn't really know.

That does not mean I think you are doing anything wrong or overreacting. I think you are doing everything right.

But sometimes, you just need to hear everything is going to be ok. And it is.

I'll take Noah to lunch bunch if you want, as long as I don't have a trial that day.

And, um what preschool is Noah going to? B/c I can't get Michael in,anywhere!


you are doing a good job. you are a good mom.

All Adither

So conscientious you are. The world would be a better place with more mommies like you.


Hey, sounds to me like you are doing a fabulous job. Your kid has a great mom.


You might try doing a social story (
You can use pictures (as someone above suggested) along with a brief description of all of the things that will happen and what will be expected of him at each stage of the program. It might help him adjust a little faster and take away some of his anxiety. Definitely keep trying, I know it's hard but better to get this addressed now (as you pointed out).


I absolutely know nothing more about SID/SPD than what you've said on your blog, and I never read the comments, or make comments, so sorry if this has already been brought up. BUT, have you thought about setting an at home schedule that you go by everyday? If you followed it and did specific things like coloring time, where you sit at the table together IN CHAIRS and color, then maybe he would get used to HAVING to do things a certain way. Maybe putting names and reasons to doing things like that, would help him with understanding why someone else would want him to do specific things at specific times.

Anne Glamore

This is so beautifully written, and you're right-- parents (well, maybe not Lynne Spears) have a certain instinct for whether something is "off" or not, and the hard part of parenting is facing those difficult issues head on.
Today the panic, tomorrow the peer pressure, the day after that, the car keys.

You go, girl! (And Jason!)

Analisa Roche

New reader here from the weblog awards. You *so* shouldn't have to defend your decisions for your child's care. You know him best.


Amy, I read all your posts about what you're going through with Noah voraciously, but I haven't commented much because the topic is outside my experience and I don't know what to say. However, after reading this one I have to say how much I admire your attitude in all this. I think you and Jason are amazing parents, and Noah is lucky to have you.

Also, Macbook = love. My husband got me one for Christmas last year and I'm never going back to a PC. :)


Echoing what a couple of other commenters have said: visual schedules might be GREAT for Noah. Our speech therapist (who LOVES Hanen, btw, she really really loves it) really drilled in the importance of visual schedules, and I bet that it would (eventually) greatly help Noah.
He would have a visual aid that helps him understand what happens after he sits in the chair (as, snack, singing, puzzles, whatever). Then it might be less unpleasant for him.

Anyways, you're doing great and the early intervention really will help all ways round.

And speaking from experience, sometimes it takes a little bit of a push to get the non-primary caretaker (ie, Dad) to really 'get' that the issues are more than a stressed out mom. So kudos for Jason getting more involved at a gut level, so to speak!


I agree whole heartedly with you. Like I said last week, my son did outgrow his stuff eventually. I just know that it would have been easier on all of us if we'd known he needed help earlier. I wish I'd known he wasn't just being difficult.
I feel really bad about some of the things I made him do in my ignorance. Even if they were simple things like making him wear a sweater to our family gatherings so he'd look cute in the pictures or making him eat food that touched each other on his plate. He would act like I was making him eat razor blades!!! It was torture for him and I didn't know.
You are so lucky to have each other and no matter how you handle it, everything will be okay. It got there for us and it will for you.


Good for you. You know what's best and that's what counts.

So, now 2 of the 3 Spears children have reproduced-what does the world have to fear from the brother?! I think you should TOTALLY find an advance copy of Brit's mom's book...she could definitley give you some really good parenting advice. I think the title of it is "A Girl's Guide to Totally Effing up How You Raise Your Kids" or something like that.


I, for one, would never say you're neurotic, because I'm going through some of the same feelings.

"Wait and see" isn't a good way to go with these kinds of things, and I think you're doing the best you can. Early intervention can help kids adapt long before smaller problems turn into bigger ones. You know what is best for Noah, and you will do the best for him.


New reader here coming out of lurker mode. I have a developmentally delayed two year old boy and this all sounds so familiar. As tough as it is and may get your instincts to continue therapy are right on. We started all kinds of therapy a year ago which began with colossal freakouts involving my ds breaking the blood vessels in his cheeks from the screaming. The freak outs still happen once in awhile but have gradually decreased as he has adjusted to therapy. For us therapy always works better away from home. However, the large group setting seems to set him off the most. Is it possible to start Noah out in a smaller group setting? We have also noticed improvement when we are out of sight. Just my two cents. Good luck!


I wish that parenting was always kisses and cuddles. When I redirect my 1 y/o, who already throws tantrums, he sticks his lip out and cries as if I've just devastated his whole world. For a second I want to give in, but remember that the love and concern and real responsible parenting happens when you take the hard road. You're doing very well by Noah!


You keep doing what you're doing. We have to do so many things that are so hard, but that we know, in our hearts, are right for us, for now. Hang in there.


I don't know you. I'm not a mother. But I read your blog, and it's so thoughtful and moving and smart and funny. . . I can from that deduce that you are a wonderful mom doing everything you can. And everyone needs a break. hopefully his speech skills comes along, and then he doesn't have to freak out because he can express himself better, and he will get socialized better, and everything will turn out fine. i have to echo the thought that being a parent is many times about doing the hard stuff, not the goodnight kisses. that's why i'm completely terrified to be a parent. i hope things get easier for you.
also, happy birthday!


You sound like you are doing the right things for your family. You know your child. It's hard, especially if sometimes your husband doesn't quite get it either. It took awhile for my husband to admit that something was "off" about my guy. I might say this in every comment, but hang in there, you're not alone. And you're doing the right thing for your child.


I just stumbled across your blog. Our son just graduated from the early intervention program in CA when he turned 3 in November. He had weekly PT, OT, and Speech since he was about eight months old. I work full time and have a daughter who is only 17 months older than our son, so it has been a tough couple of years. The program was a godsend for us, but we had MANY tough sessions where I fought back tears in front of the therapist but cried all the way home in the car. The hardest thing for me was having well-meaning friends and acquaintances say that he seemed pretty okay to them and would grow out of his issues without therapy. He is doing really well now, but a big part of that is because of the intensive therapy he's had. He's in a regular preschool class with his sister now, without any therapy, and he's thriving. Best of luck to you. I hope your little boy thrives too.


There are experts and armchair child know-it-alls everywhere, but YOU know your kid best. I went through holy hell with my daughter (something different than Noah's situation) because I knew something was wrong but I couldn't get a doctor, anywhere, to believe me. Hubby and I stuck to it, and eventually it worked out- but I remember well that feeling. Hugs.


You're the kid's MOTHER. You're with him every day! Every day! And ... and dear God, why would the Internet think that they know better and/or try to tell you what to do.

You're his mom. You do know best.

(MacBook! How exciting!)

(Also, happy early birthday! It's our year, you know -- apparently Jupiter arrived in Capricorn yesterday and this is our year of good fortune. I mean, it's ridiculous, right? But I thought you should know, just in case. And our birthday is some kind of ... well, our birthday is supposed to be "full of the potential for deceit" according to my slightly nutty astrology buff of a friend. Just a random, completely insane FYI. Tread lightly next Thursday.)

(I can't believe I just said any of that.)


As the mom of the Toddler that got kicked out of preschool let me holler to the LEFT COAST REAL LOUD from the RIGHT COAST that YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING!!! We found out a month later that the thing that was "off" was high functioning autism....who knew?!?

Now we are facing a different road...that special education classroom door for the next year and a half in the hope that we can go to kindergarten and be "normal-ish"...scary any way you slice it.

So be the mama. Be scared here, be scared with the daddy, but be brave with Noah. Show him that it will be okay in the dorky lunch bunch. And cherish every single moment of this.

I have a sneaking suspicion all too soon these boys will be off not needing their mamas for anything...and that my friend will be one sad sad day.


I recently found this blog, and I love your writing. You and Jason are excellent parents. For what it's worth, I think the previous suggestions of photographs and social stories could make a difference. Maybe ask another parent at class for permission to take photographs of their child throughout the class, and turn them into a picture book with bright colors, stickers, etc....(have Noah help put the book together). Hopefully, the pictures and story would help familiarize and normalize the situation, and therefore minimize anxiety. You could even leave spaces or pages, telling Noah that "this is where we'll put a picture of you sitting in the chair," or something along those lines. And, if you're not above bribing, maybe let him know that once you complete the book with his photos, there is a big prize waiting.

I am not a parent, and will not even pretend to think that any suggestion of mine will make a difference, but just thought I'd throw the idea out there.

Here's hoping it gets easier in January!


You are doing amazing things by loving Noah and trying whatEVER it takes to try to help your child.

I can't tell you things are rosy and shiny on the other side; I'm merely stating that I admire you and Jason helping your son, admitting that you don't know it all, and being the best parents you can be.

I'm not going to make this about me and what I've dealt with as a parent, but my respect comes from having my own experiences... and you deserve all the respect I have for you.


Your gut instincts are always going to be better than whatever grow-out-of-it instincts out there, but you already know that.

I hope it gets easier, and he becomes more responsive. He's awesome either way.

Merry Christmas!


You are a wonderful, beautiful mother. A friend of mine just got a similar diagnosis with her son, so, while I can't say I understand completely, I am a little familiar. I applaud your honesty, sympathize with your frustration, and admire your willingness to do whatever it takes. You and Jason are exactly what Noah needs. *hugs*

Also, I envy your ability to put it all on "paper". You are talented beyond words.

Sending positive thoughts and "internet love", all the way from Arizona.




But he is only 2...


I so get this. KayTar is now caught up enough to be "just fine!" or "just two!" in other people's eyes, but if you know her, really know her, you KNOW something is not quite right. And it IS hard to explain without sounding all batshit crazy. But get it. I do.

You are doing well with this, Amy. Once Noah feels he can trust the environment, it will be less traumatic for everyone. You are really right on with the example you used about the chair. The world is scary when you see it differently. Innocuous things seems hostile. But it gets better.

Hang in there.


Yes he is only two.

But the hardest thing to admit as a parent is when YOU know something is just not right. I know first hand and mine is 8. But it started when he was only TWO!

Thank God, I didn't let people tell me what to do or just say he will grow out of it.

Today I know he is so much better because, as hard as it was for us as parents. We did what needed to be done, with the prayer that it would at least help him.

Amy - Thank god you are the mom & dad you are.


No matter what happens, it's a good thing that Jason was there to see it first hand for himself. There's no way Noah is a brat at age 2 and it's not like you haven't done things to socialize him (Gymboree, play dates, etc.).


My personal opinion is that what you are doing is exactly right. I wish I had had the courage and foresight to investigate my middle sons "off-ness" when he was Noah's age. He is now almost 9, and only now slowly but surely making leaps of progress as far as behavior and communication. Last year he was one misconduct away from being expelled from second grade. SECOND GRADE. With age/maturity he is vastly improving. My guilt is that had I acknowledged the signs instead of saying "wtf, he's fine, piss off people! he's only 2! he's only 3!" etc., I would have had a happier, less volatile child long before now. I wish you the best things a person can think of. :-)

Lyssa Ireland Thomas

The worst lesson I've learned in parenthood is "pay me now or pay me later." Nothing gets better by ignoring it. Be proud of the intestinal fortitude you've achieved by making it this far. Then one day you will see a little sun peeking out between the clouds. And it is glorious!

Keep your chin up - you're doing a great job.


Always trust your gut, no matter what. Always always always.

That same trust should never be extended to someone who trys to sway you when you just. freaking. know.

I've been there. You're doing the right thing.


I admire you for doing what it takes to help Noah in his development. It's also quite insightful of you to know when you, yourself, need a break. Your taking that break from going this week is probably in his best interest. I pray that the classes get easier for him.

The Princess

Not like you need to be told this, but you're doing the right thing. By every means, take full advantage of these services before he max's out of them.

Kudos to you.


I think you are being terribly grown up and responsible by facing this - and honestly, I believe that Noah will get used to people asking him to sit in chairs, among other things. In the beginning of the school year, I had a kid so out there - I was honestly very worried, was sure it was Asperger's or on the spectrum somehow - and now, a few months later, he's into our little routine, and he's doing so much better. His language has exploded, and hey! he even sat on the potty! All things considered, he's doing fabulous - it just took a little time.


I only know you through the interwebs and what you post, but from what you post, you are an outstanding mother. And any mother that is doing EVERYTHING to help their child is never neurotic.

No matter what happens, he will be fine because he is so loved and cared for by his parents.


being the adult really sucks sometimes, dagnamit. keep following your gut, chica, and you'll be doing what's best for your boy. that's all that matters.


Amy, you are Noah's mom. You know what you need to do, and no fuzzy warm thinking is going to change your gut instinct as his mom that things are off, and assessments from professionals that he needs intervention now to prevent things getting way out of hand at a later stage.

Yes. Many children do have issues. And yes. he's two. But as our OT and paediatrician keep telling us, it's when "issues" start affecting functionality that we need to help our children. And you know his functioning is affected, and you know deep down that it's not something a little quirky that makes you all a weeny bit tense but that will just "go away" as he gets older.

Bottom line: you live with your child, and no one else does. Parents who do NOT have children with autism-spectrum disorders, SPD, Down's Syndrome, CP, etc, do NOT know what you are going through. You don't need to defend yourself, and you don't need to apologise.

You save yourself and your energy for what's ahead. And everyone else? Blog/friend/supermarket spectator/whatever? Will just have to deal.

With you 100% of the way. :-)

And I know I've said this before, but try and get a copy of "Daniel Isn't Talking".

Hugs from Israel.

Burgh Baby's Mom

It will get better. I've seen it with my nephew. It.will.get better.

Antique Mommy

I commend your bravery in sticking it out. It is so hard to force your kid to do something that is so awful for them, even if it is for their own good and your own good -- especially! - especially when they are just two. Hopefully you will look back on this in a year and it will have been worth it.


You're doing the right thing.


First time commenter here. But what you said really resonated with me. I work with kids with autism, so I know that there is a lot of overlap. I've been working in the field for three years, with kids of all ages. You can really tell the kids that got the early intervention, they tend to have a lot more skills, and more of them tend to be mainstreamed by the time they reach first grade. I just want to applaud you guys for realizing that Noah does have some problems, and for working on them. That is an awesome step!
Good luck

jive turkey

Consider this your reassuring virtual-cuddle from the Internet. We're all rooting for you guys.

Oh, and 30 is awesome. Seriously.


About that middle part -- you don't have to explain yourself to us. I know you write an open blog and maybe that means 100 strangers have a right to address what you do and blah blah, we could write a 20-page sociology paper on this. But of course this is your life and your son and your decision. I'm glad you tried to educate the doubters, though. :-) If it gives you any comfort, know that most of us are behind you.


I think you're doing great and taking wonderful care of your boy. He's a lucky one. Hang in there.


If it means anything at all, you're doing fine. And Noah will be ok too. From the way that you write about this, I think you already know that "someday - everything will be fine." But the process of getting there and the not knowing how long it will take to get there along with loving your child so much that it hurts to see them bothered by even the smallest things - well that's the bigger problem right now. And as any parent knows, sometimes the smallest unknowns can be the hardest obstacles to work our way through.

So if it helps, repeat it again and again, "Noah will be fine. I'll be fine. It will all work out in the end."

In the mean time - your family will be in my thoughts...


Just want to say that I think that you are a great mother, and I think that you do the best you can to do right by your son, who I think is cute and smart and will be just fine BECAUSE you are doing all of this stuff.

You make me think that I can handle being a parent. You give me the courage to be a mom someday.

Just sayin'.


I've been feeling the same way with Rosie, like something's just not right. Yeah, we know about the speech delay, and you've seen that she's very (VERY) active. But there's other stuff and I'm not sure if it's sensory or social or processing or whatever.

It's so hard not to just cover my ears and chant la-la-las and pretend everything is OK. In fact, some days I do that.


It's so hard being a mommy. Doing the things that hurt because they are the right things to do. You'll learn much, as will Noah. And it's a great thing for him to learn, that he can come home and be cuddled and know that everything is going to be OK. It will make going out into the world a little easier to handle. And that's alot of what being a Mommy is - teaching them to go out into the world. Lucky Noah has someplace he can look forward to returning to. He doesn't "get" that yet, but parenting is so much faith - you doing things with the faith that they'll "get it" down the road. Be strong!


You're doing a great job. ANd I really commend you for stepping up and getting Noah the help he needs now. We're dealing with many of the same issues with our youngest; but we did take the sit back, try some things at home, and wait approach. He's now 4, diagnosed with Anxiety NOS, seeing a psychologist, psychiatrist, in OT and starting speech therapy next year. Our appts. go a little beter than Noah seem to be right now, but I'm terrified about kindergarten in the fall. In January we start the mama in another room appts. to start preparing for school. It's rare that I can leave the house without him having a complete emotional breakdown....these appts. will be interesting. Perhaps I should ask Santa for an ipod!

You're a wonderfully caring mom.


Good for you.

I taught preschool for years, sometimes working with kids who had issues and the absolute worst thing to do is ignore it and wish it away. All of us must prepare our very different children for a world in which they must survive on their own. It's more than a job ---- it's our calling. And sometimes it's easy and sometimes it's not. But it must be done.

So good for you. I know I'm not the only fellow traveler who is really, really impressed with how hard you are working, how much you clearly love your son, and your honesty as you struggle forward. That helps you, Noah, and the rest of us.

Fight on.


You do what is right for your family. I think you are doing a great job with getting Noah all the help he needs and then some. I also think it is a great idea to let your husband take the lead on some things as well.


You are strong, amazing and wonderful parents. Noah has been blessed as much as he is a blessing for the two of you. Don't let others judge the decisions you make for him. Only you know what is right for your child. Trust the experts and trust your gut.

Much love and holiday kisses!


You are absolutely doing the right thing. And definitely, in parenting, the right thing very often is fucking hard.

If you sense that something is not "right" then you absolutely must do something about it. No one knows like you do when it comes to your own child.


Amy - I find it sick in some ways that I am so interested in reading about what is clearly a difficult journey for you, Jason and Noah. BUT I think that you and Jason are really doing the best you can for Noah and I admire everything you've done. Hope I can be that strong (on most days!) and proactive as you both some day. Hope you can relax and enjoy the holidays together!


Sometimes being the Mommy really sucks.

Hang in there. Little by little it WILL get easier.

Lyssa Ireland Thomas

As I'm reading these comments, a thought occurred to me. What if you and Noah were given this task to make a difference to others going through the same obstacles and they needed to know they are not alone?

You both inspire us all.




test (sorry)


I wholeheartedly agree with what others have already said about visuals. Picture Schedules Rock! And if the therapist at the group session doesn't use one, you can at home to mark the transitions to big activities (like breakfast, bath, getting dressed, etc.). Be sure to include the group therapy and have an awesome, loved, best activity ever come after it so he knows that once he makes it through there will be ice cream! candy! the zoo! whatever floats his boat.
Anyway, as an elementary special ed. teacher in a past life and a mom of a special needs one year old in this one, I highly recommend the PICTURE SCHEDULE!


Happy 30th Birthday -

Or, as I referred to it



Good for you!

For doing what you believe is best for you child even when it's not easy. Take a deep breath, have a margarita, and you'll make it.

Someday, Noah will thank you. Or maybe he won't but you'll know he's a stronger person because you taught him to be strong when times a tough.


Tabatha Alcina

Ohh I understand the not sitting in the chair and giving people the chance part. I'm with him, there.

I admire your humor through the whole ordeal. You can't make it through anything without that.


I am really enjoying your blog. You are very funny and talented. On another note, I was a mother who said "something is just not right". I kept saying it, and saying it and researching and researching it and I was right. My son was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome/high functioning autism right after his 3rd birthday. He is now 8, in 3rd grade and doing really well. Some days are easy and some are incredibly hard, but I am such a better person for having gone down this road. I would respectfully suggest that you look into autism -- a lot of what I hear about Noah sounds very, very familiar to me. It's hard but the Internet and other parents are there to help you every step of the way.


I can't tell you how amazing and encouraging I find your posts. Your courage and love in handling this impresses me so much. I agree with everyone else - you are a great mom! Go with what you feel is right. Noah is clearly a bright, sweet child and no matter what, he knows he is loved beyond measure. And that matters most.


I have no words of wisdom.

May I just give you a HUG?


Delurking...Just to say, that you know your Baby better than anyone else. You and only you know what are his limits and what is BEST for him, although you might not feel like it much sometimes...a great big hug to you from a reader in FL.

Miss Snippy

You hang in there, Amalah. We're all praying for you and your wonderful family to get through this--and you WILL. Your son is a beautiful little boy, and don't let anyone tell you or make you feel otherwise. I'm sure it's so hard to make him go through this, when all you want to do is make him stop hurting--but it IS for the best and you and Jason and Noah will be stronger people because of it. Again, hang in there, because we're here with you every step of the way.


My hat's off to you, Amy. There is no guidebook to what you are doing, but you are getting information, observing your son, and following your Mommy-gut (that didn't come out right) to do what is best for your family. You go girl - and thanks for always being so honest about your feelings. It is more encouraging than you know to the rest of us!


man, i hope noah wasn't really thinking, "i am not going to give you that chance, motherfucker..." i mean, that'd be kinda harsh for a 2-year-old.


You are right on the money. You know your child better than anyone else. We support you and Jason and Noah. Keep up all of the good but oh-so-tough-at-times work. Peace to you all.

Katie Kat

It's so hard to know when you just have to let them get through it and when you need to protect them a little longer.

Noah is such a unique little guy and so precious. The last paragraph you wrote about him saying "Oh Mama" and stroking your face before covering you in kisses made me teary!

It is hard, to be sure. I wish I had some magic thing to tell you that would make it all okay. I'm doing the next best thing... sending cyber hugs!!!


You and your husband know Noah better than anyone. That being said, you also can get "false" ideas from some of these therapy sessions. I am not saying the lunch bunch is bad but wanted to share with you our "lunch bunch" story.

My sis in law has been to them for 7 years with her now 9 yr old autistic son, and no improvement. In fact, it takes him longer and longer to settle down after "therapy" and it is hard as hell to get him in the car to even go now so MORE PROBLEMS. He functions better at home because he feels safe, he knows them, they know what he likes and dislikes. He does go to public school in a Special Ed class. He adjusted well there once a routine was set up for him.
I know it sounds like tip toeing on eggshells but kids with these disorders really can't be fixed to a high extent, or even conditioned to it. You just pick your battles, avoid what you can and move on. We feel they have ADDED shit to his long "aversion" reportoire, not helped. But that is our experience. OF course, in all fairness, Noah is 2. You don't really know if this is leading up to something yet or not. At 2 we kind of fathomed where Brandon was heading because it was much much worse than what you have described. For example, He wouldn't let anyone touch his face he would moan and rock and do this warcry that is heartbreaking. He spoke until 18 months then complete silence. Absolute silence. Everything stopped. No emotion, no hugs, no words. So maybe if he hadn't had it "so bad" the lunch bunch would work better for him.
In other words, go with your gut, but give it more time, Noah could be helped by all this but definitely don't feel bullied into doing something you are not comfortable with or upsets him that much.


i think you KNOW if something is off with your child. i don't think you're paranoid, or freaking out, or being neurotic, or anything like that. i think you're being realistic and working towards fixing an issue instead of just putting it off, or pretending it doesn't exist. you guys are doing the right thing. i know it can't be easy. but i'm proud of you. and i support you and wish you all the best.

Wine Please

that's got to be so hard! but you're doing what is right.

I agree with what a few other readers have said...maybe take pictures and kind of give Noah a heads-up to help prepare him. Also, are special lovies allowed? If so, maybe having a special blanket/toy might give him a little bit of security and courage while he navigates this new chapter in his life.
Gavin used to be extremely easy-going, but right around 2, he started getting startled and upset by loud noises, even ones he's always heard every day of his life (vacuum, hairdryer, firetruck siren--we live 1 mile from a station). So we started warning him on the things we could... "Gavin, I'm going to dry my hair...1, 2, 3" and he seemed to handle it better. Or if a loud noise startled him, we'd say stuff like, "wow! that's loud! what do you think it is? is that a police car?" to see if we could get him to focus on the noise more objectively instead of always associating it with the fear it caused him.
Don't know if any of that would help...hell, for all I know it might be contrary to anything they are covering in therapy. But it worked for us and some other kids (nieces/nephews) close to us.


Hi Amy. I started reading you a couple of months ago. I am delurking to say that early intervention rocks.

Today I watched my 5 year old son (speech delay, sensory issues, OT since age 2) swim in a pool with other children during a swimming lesson. Then he decorated a gingerbread house in kindergarten while sitting in a chair along with everyone else. Tonight he practiced his song that he will sing in the choir on Sunday. And the kicker is that he will dress up as a shepherd Monday night and go up to the front of the church wearing a scratchy robe (I will hold my breath for that one). He is full of questions and loves learning.

I think back to the dark days of TWO and I can't believe he is the same boy. I remember crying while trying to get his attention during meals and he would be humming and looking around. I remember being so proud that he looked at books all the time until I found out that it was because it was all he could manage. He didn't play with toys because he didn't know how. Hang in there; thanks for sharing.


Delurking to say that you are wonderful for recognizing that it is best to deal with Noah's issues now. I teach 1st grade, and it is very rough for the children who have issues that parents were hoping they would just outgrow. The children have SO much potential, but it can't be tapped because they have issues that interfere with their functioning in the classroom and their interactions with peers. Early intervention rocks! :)

The comments to this entry are closed.