Halloween

My son doesn’t really understand holidays, but he enjoys their trappings, Christmas carols and Easter egg hunts. Halloween is his favorite, with its pumpkins, candy, and monsters especially. When my son was younger we read him books about poky little puppies, and very shy kittens, and donkeys with magic pebbles. But his favorites were those about monsters. We went through

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Autism and the Media

“When I tell people that my kid has autism, they immediately think of Rain Man.” This was a common lament at the time my son was first diagnosed. The idea that autism was a spectrum had not yet entered the mainstream and, for most, Raymond Babbitt was the only media portrayal of a person with autism to which they had been

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The Corrosivity of Inspiration

Jenny McCarthy is known for a few things, but when it comes to autism her primary claim to fame is that of an anti-vaccine crusader. If you read the section entitled “Autism activism” on her Wikipedia page, for instance, you’ll notice that her (scientifically unsupported) claims of a link between vaccines and autism make up the bulk of the material. McCarthy’s view

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Weekends

Weekends My son struggles with unstructured time — he fares okay for a while, but too long without a guided activity and he can become unhinged. So on weekends, he and I keep busy. Usually I suggest the outings, but occasionally he will stride into the room and announce “swingset”, “swimming pool” , or, if he just going stir crazy, “red

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Thumb, Sucker

My son is exceedingly reluctant to try new foods, and introducing anything new into his diet requires a well-orchestrated campaign to have any chance of success. The first step is to simply place the whatever on his plate, alongside familiar foods, in the hopes that he will not realize that it is something new. This, to the best of my

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Sunny Skies and Sudden Storms

“Who wants to go to the pumpkin patch?” “Me do!” Every year in late October my son’s school takes a field trip to a local “pumpkin patch and family fun park”. For the last two years, I have gone as well. Many parents join the expedition as chaperones or drivers, but I am there specifically to ensure that my son

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Animal Upon Animal

What is your son’s favorite game. I am a fan of board games, so folks often wonder what I play with my son. He doesn’t get the social aspects of play (competition, cooperation, trading, and so forth), nor the narrative arc of games like Max, but he enjoys the pattern-matching of picture dominoes and The Kids of Carcassonne, even if we don’t keep score.

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Pisces

My son loves the water. Always has. We enrolled him in a Waterbabies class when he was less than a year old, and swimming quickly became his favorite activity. Where other children thrashed around in a semi-panic as their parents towed them around the pool, my kid was squealing with delight. Indeed, the only time that the histrionics were deployed

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