Skip to main content


When #1 got off the bus, he was agitated. Usually he does the same thing everyday; walk in the house, walk right to the family room to see what is going on, check out the kitchen for snacks on display, and then take off his shoes and backpack. While he does his rounds I ask him how his day went and he always replies "great", before he runs upstairs to get the iPad. 

Today during his rounds, he said to me, "I'm not performing with Mrs. Allen's class tomorrow. I'm not doing it."  And then he ran off. Well, ok then.

Volunteer appreciation day was scheduled for the next day at school and his special education teacher asked him to perform a song with the other kids. He has a great voice and can bust a serious move, so it seemed like a good idea. That was until I heard him, "MOM, I'M NOT DOING IT!"

I wondered what could be the issue. Was it because he was fully mainstreamed and didn't go into her class anymore? Was it that he didn't like the song? That's why he won't sing in chorus. I told him I wanted to talk to him. I placed my hands on his head and turned his head so he'd look at me. I asked him, "Why don't you want to perform with Mrs. Allen's class? I'll be there."  

He looked at me and told me that if he performed the song, then he would miss a video that his mainstream class would be watching at that time. And apparently, that bothered him immensely

Wow. He just TOLD me what he was upset about. I didn't have to play the guessing game. I didn't have to ask a million questions and I didn't have to send emails to the teachers for insight on the problem. He simply told me. Wow, wow, freaking wow.

We have certainly come a long way. Just him being able to voice that feeling is a million miles from where he used to be. It wasn't long ago that he would get sullen and forlorn about such a trauma because the world would certainly end. And now, at 11 he is finding his words to express his feelings. 

And maybe, he has also learned that when he uses his words, we can help him. 

I told him, "let's come up with a plan. I know you want to watch that movie and Mrs. Allen and I really want you to sing, so how about we arrange so you can watch the movie after so you don't miss it?"

"Ok, Mom. I'll sing in the concert." he said as he ran off. 

Crisis averted for now. 


Popular posts from this blog

Zipping and Buttoning in the new dimension

We just bought #1 jeans for the first time. At the age of 14, he just mastered how to zip and button pants. Yes, I am crying.

In the last few years, he has grown considerably. In just four years, he went from a very cute 10/12 to an adult extra large. His feet are a men's size 12. We have big people stock. 

I had the moment when I realized that he has outgrown most of his clothes, so I had to take him shopping. I let him select colors and types of clothes; hoodies, t-shirts, sweatpants, and then I selected a few pairs of jeans to try. He hasn't worn jeans since he was a toddler because once he had to zip and button them himself, he couldn't. He just didn't have the strength or dexterity in his hands to do it.

In the fitting room, I told him, "We're going to try on some jeans, just to see." He managed to button and zip each pair I handed him, ON HIS OWN. I was thrilled.  Once we found the right size, colors and cuts, we tired on outfits, and he liked his r…

A letter to my fellow special needs moms

Dear fellow mom of a special needs child,

I want you to know that when I met you,  there was something about you that made me want to become friends with you. It wasn't the fact that your kid also had a disability, it was that I sensed that there was so much more to you that I wanted to learn about. Your kid sharing the same diagnosis as mine, wasn't a factor in my choice.

But it seems lately, that that is the only thing you want to talk about.

As you know, every single one of my five children have a developmental disability. It is a hard and draining journey and it makes life really difficult most of the time. When I get to leave the house, the goal is to spend time with people who make me laugh and refresh my spirit so when I go home, I can be a better person. I don't want to talk about my kids, I don't want to talk about therapies, or school problems, I just want to be me. I want to shelve the problems I experience every day and just take a break.

The problem is, al…

Diary of a music mom

Since fifth grade, both #1 and #2 have been playing instruments; #1, the saxophone and #2, the trombone. #1, Autism classic, plays the very same saxophone that I started on in fifth grade. I  teach him daily and we go once a week to our new sax teacher and they work on jazz. #2, the aspy is a lot more autonomous and he doesn't require my attention when he practices and gets by with his weekly skype lessons from grandpa and his private teacher.

Every year, our school district hosts a solo and ensemble festival. The kids have roughly eight weeks to choose a listed piece and then perform it with an accompaniment. Every year, I make the boys participate even though it means I need to spend more time with #1 to make sure he doesn't sound like a moose in the wild and more like a saxophone player.

It always turns out like this:
I choose the new piece and we trudge through it slowly and painfully.
I second guess my choice because I think it's too much, too hard, too intricate for …