LIFE IS A SPECTRUM

school_apple

I was reminded recently of some words I wrote almost two years ago. Without looking up the exact sentence, I believe it was something along the lines of “I have no doubt that by the time he starts kindergarten, Billy will have caught up with his peers.”

Well, we're facing down the last semester of pre-K now and starting to think about Kindergarten. Is Billy “caught up?”

I don't even know what that means any more. Academically, he's pretty much learning at age level or slightly ahead. Anything that can be memorized, he nails immediately – whether it's his work on not. Sight words, songs, and even all the names of the United States are no problem He has even memorized all the other kids' social stories (as well as his own), so that if someone gets in trouble in class for not following directions, for instance, Billy immediately starts reciting the “Following Directions Book.”

In some areas, he's developmentally still lagging. Socially he has more in common with his (neurotypical) two-year-old sister than his normally developing 4- and 5-year-old classmates.

But then, in a lot of ways, he's just different. Not behind or ahead. Definitely not less. Just different.

His singing is one example. He loves to belt out “If I Only Had Brain,” from the Wizard of Oz (a current favorite), throughout nap time. Left to his own devices, he would add a soundtrack to every moment of his day.

And he has absolutely no desire to please anyone. He doesn't want his teachers or his parents to be unhappy with him – and will, in fact, shout, “Happy!” and point at us, as though he can command emotion – but the idea of “If I finish this worksheet, my teacher will be really pleased,” doesn't mean a hill of beans to him. He's more motivated by “The dry erase board is more fun than this worksheet,” and is, therefore, going to leave his seat and go color on the dry erase board the moment his aide's guard is down.

So Kindergarten is coming up. And his wonderful pre-K teacher, Ms. Jade, has begun discussing some of the possibilities for next year.

One popular option, she told me, is a “varying exceptionalities” classroom, where Billy could get one-on-one attention for his academic work. Then he would, when it was practical, go into his mainstream Kindergarten classroom.

When it first dawned on me that we were discussing putting him in the special education class for most of the day, I felt like I'd been punched. Currently, Billy's in an “inclusion” pre-K class, where half the 3- to 5-year-old kids are normally developing and half have a special need of one kind or another. He has one teacher and two full-time aides, with other specialists who come and go on different days.

But the varying exceptionalities – or VE – classroom may end up including just Billy and one other kid his age. Of course, he would have a mainstream class for part of the day, but would he be considered one of them? Would the other kids treat him as an outsider because he didn't spend most of his day with them? I thought about the recent birthday party where almost the whole class attended; would he still get invited to those?

The practical side of me realizes that Billy still needs much more attention than he can get in a mainstream kindergarten class. He will progress academically much faster if someone can keep him at his desk and away from the dry erase board. And I hear them when they say it's very hard to teach when one child is singing “Ding-Dong the Witch Is Dead” throughout math.

I'm so used to being in “fight” mode for my child, but this time, I don't even know what to fight for. Or if I should, for once, just chill and see what happens.

I question every inclination I have. If I pushed, like many parents have successfully done, to have him mainstreamed full-time, would I be setting him up to fail? And if he spends most of his day in the VE class, will he fail to make friends? Will there be any part of his day when it's OK to follow his “yellow brick road?”

It makes me kind of sad to think that we'll be teaching Billy, “As soon as you can stop singing all day long, you can join the 'regular' kids.'” I love that he feels the urge to sing all day – but I'd also like him to be able to know how to add.

So many of you have faced this dilemma. Some of you, I know, have opted for special schools. Some have opted for homeschooling (You.Are.Saints.). And some of you have had great success with the public school system.

I would love to hear your thoughts about how you made these decisions for your child(ren). Have you ever had to change directions? Have you ever regretted any of your decisions? If you could give me (and other parents) one piece of advice on this subject, what would it be?

As always, thanks for being there and chiming in.

Reader Comments

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Inclusion or not

I am a special education teacher, but first I am the mother of a son with a disability. My son was born three months prematurely. He is grown now and in college. His main problem was attention issues and slow processing issues. He also had a hearing loss in one ear.
He was in inclusion classes through middle school then when he got to high school they offered resource classes - small classes for each subject for students with special needs. Inclusion was a nightmare for us. The students with the ability to ask for help or the most behavior issues got the help. My son was very shy and wouldn't ask for help. He did great in the smaller classes and felt so much more comfortable. He didn't seem to care about the social stigma because there clearly is one - he wanted to be taught in a place where he was comfortable. I teach in a resource - small class - now at the middle school level. I have the flexibility to give special attention where it is needed. I have also taught in inclusion classes at pre-k, elementary 1st and 2nd grades and high school all grades. For my own child, I preferred the smaller resource class - but it does depend on the teacher too. There are so many factors that come into play. Your child personality plays a big part. Are they really social? My son was not. Will they be really ashamed to be separated from their peers because the other children will notice and some of them are very mean others are really sweet and will be lifelong friends. I advise that you get all of the facts about your school. Go see the classes, meet the teachers, and see where you think your child will feel the most comfortable.

Just found your blog through the link on Thinking Person's Guide to Autism and had to chime in on this post, in part because when my Elliot was pre-K he used to sing ALL the time, often belting out, "I go to the hills when my heart is lonely" from the highest point on the playground and reading about your son so reminded me of that :)

Also wanted to encourage you regarding the kindergarten question, not to tell you what you should do but just to say what worked for Elliot. For 2.5 years he had early intervention in a small school run but the county's Board of Developmental Disabilities...and then it was time for kindergarten...and Elliot had to move on and out of that school because his intellectual abilities were too high to stay which is a GOOD thing, but also presented a major challenge.

Elliot was terrified for awhile of the big school (kindergarten orientation was an overload/anxiety disaster), and I was terribly worried, and we had some rough days early on...BUT he is now doing really, really well, so well that volunteers have remarked about how much he has grown since the beginning of the year. Elliot doesn't have a full-time aide, but his speech teacher watches out for him and steps in whenever there are difficulties in regular classroom (and she and I keep in very close contact via notebook and email about how he's doing), he has a special place in the classroom just for him where he can go to to calm himself down or just "take a break" when he needs it, and he has access to OT and speech and other special services throughout the week.

The lunch room can be overwhelming, but he has headphones he wears to block out the noise, and he's the odd kid who kicks around in the mulch looking for treasures at recess, but sometimes kids join him and help him look, and sometimes he has good give-and-take interactions with them. He's not teased or bullied, just still trying to figure out how he fits. Elliot's speech teacher has done an AMAZING job not only with him but in reading books to the rest of the class about kids with sensory challenges that can result in strange or disruptive behaviors at moments, and she intentionally engages him in playing with other kids, either during speech or (now that the weather is starting to warm) at recess.

So for our family, I am now glad we let Elliot be in a place to try these new things and to have constant support (from his classroom teacher, speech teacher, specials teachers, bus driver and aide--he rides a special ed. bus). It IS a hard call making that decision--there are so many worries for you and for Billy. But IF you can trust the people who will be working with Billy (and this was key for me--I TOTALLY trust his team--his speech teacher is amazing at knowing what he needs and problem-solving to get through roadblocks that sometimes get thrown up), then they can be flexible and adapt to his needs, make whatever changes are necessary along the way.

Good luck to you as you work through your options to find the best one for Billy!

I don't have any direct experience with autistic kids, Amanda, but Hope has learning disabilities that require her to have a "Special Education Plan." While I appreciate the extra help she receives, I think she experiences a certain amount of stigma from her middle school classmates.

I agree with Maura...you're the best one to make a decision about your own child!

Hugs,
Wendy

I'm sorry you're facing such tough questions, Amanda. But if there's one thing I know about you, it's that you'll think think this through, and you'll absolutely make the right decision for Billy, whatever that may be. Just let your love and instinct guide you. This will work out, because you know him better than anyone.

I forgot to add that while she is in school, my daughter does have a para. She is supposed to be using the para less by 25% each quarter. First quarter, 100% para help. Second quarter, 75% para help. And so on. The school isn’t being as cooperative with that goal as I would like them to be, but they are trying.

If duct tape was an option, my six-year-old gypsy would spend her day crab walking around the classroom with a chair affixed to her butt. I know that a teacher would love to tape her to a seat, but I seriously doubt that it would do much more than present the girl with a challenge that she would be more than happy to overcome. She is six, and in kindergarten. She should be in first grade, but we held her back a year to help her acquire basic skills. Academically, my daughter is now ready to move on to the first grade. Emotionally, she is ready to enter kindergarten. She has no children her age that she considers friends. In my daughter’s mind, her best friend is my wife’s 30-year-old, married, co-worker and girl friend. We know that in order to function in a main-streamed classroom, my daughter would need a para by her side every minute of the day. It is the only way she would have a chance at remaining focused on her work, as well as the only defense against having her disrupt learning for every other student in her class. We agree with our behaviorist doctor that the biggest thing our daughter needs is to learn how to work independently, without the constant, direct supervision of an adult. The best program that we developed, in conjunction with our daughter’s speech therapist, occupational therapist, school counselor, and an extremely caring preschool teacher, is to have us homeschool the core subjects. We send her to the local school for 90 minutes each day. She receives her speech and occupational therapy, and attends “extras”: art, music, computer, and PE classes. This was the best way to meet her interesting mix of needs. She does not interrupt her homeschooling brothers in the manner that she does a classroom full of children her own age. After a semester with children her own age, she has yet to learn any of their names. This socialization situation does not bother me. My daughter is a happy, energetic, care-free girl. When she desires friends her age, she’ll make them.

For my wife and i, we knew "something was up" with S when he was in preschool, but we struggled with getting a diagnosis until he had already entered the school system. Since then we have had an IEP and worked on updating it each year. While he is "mainstreamed" he has to have an aide with him at all times. Even though his IEP states he is to have a one on one aide, his aides have often been assigned several students at once.

So, for us, we sort of stumbled into a mainstreaming situation and been going with it since.

I think you're in the best position to know what's right for your son. In my case, they were initially going to offer my daughter to be in a regular classroom with minimal support (45 minutes of a resource specialist a month) or the special ed classroom, but mainstreamed for academics. Neither of these choices made sense to me. During the IEP, things changed and we were able to get what we wanted--a typical classroom with a behaviorist. This has worked great for us. My daughter got to keep her behaviorist for first grade. She's doing pretty well, so I'm not sure she'll get the behaviorist for next year.

Before my daughter started kindergarten, the Assistant Principal did express concern about my daughter being in a typical classroom if there wasn't going to be an aide. The demands in these classroom can be a lot and not every child on the spectrum can handle it. We took the plunge and the AP later agreed that this was absolutely the right choice for my daughter.

You can always try one thing and change it during the year if you don't think it suits your son.

Good luck!

Total 14 comments

golden_castle

First thing this morning I received a call from Heather at Walt Disney World. In addition to being a WDW cast member (how the park refers to all employees), she is also a mother. She immediately apologized and said that the New Year's Eve bullying episode in the Commissary was not handled appropriately by the manager. "What should have happened," she told me, "is the bullies should have been asked to stop. If they didn't, she would then call Disney Security and they would be removed from the park." Because not only should bullies not have been tolerated within the restaurant, she assured me, but they shouldn't have been allowed to stay inside the park where any child should always feel safe, whether they have a special need or not.

The "safe havens," she explained, are provided in case a guest finds an experience like the parade too overwhelming, and he or she needs a quiet place to escape the noise for a little while. Clearly, they can't stop the parade, but they want there to be a noise-free environment where a guest can get away from it.

She also said that part of her team's job is to report back on our experiences, and let everyone know when there is a failure of communication. It appears that this restaurant manager failed to get the message about what her duties and responsibilities are in the face of bullies, but I've been assured that policy is going to be reiterated to all Disney cast members.

Then she said, "It sounds like your family didn't have a very relaxing experience here, and I'd like to invite you back to make that right." I assured her that wasn't necessary, that a simple understanding of Disney's bullying policy was all we ever needed. However, she insisted on sending tickets for our entire group -- 10 adults and 4 kids -- to come back to Walt Disney World and feel completely safe.

After thanking her for this response, I assured Heather that I would let all of you know that you can feel safe taking your kids to Walt Disney World as well. If your child -- whether they have a special need or not -- is the target of a bully, you can expect a cast member to intervene and ask them to stop. And if they do not comply, that manager should call Disney Security.

I'm not sure when we'll be heading back to the "happiest place on Earth," but I'll feel much more comfortable returning to WDW with my autistic child because Disney has a strong policy against bullying.

Reader Comments

Snippets 'N Stuff

Oh...that is so good to hear! As I began reading your post, I was hoping you'd say they invited you back!

Well done! I hope you enjoy your return trip to the park!

That's awesome! I'm glad they're stepping up! So does this mean you'll be joining up with Lynn and BD?? A new and hilarious version of The Three Musketeers? =)

I'd want more :)

I'm glad she validated your concerns, and I'm not surprised Disney has such a policy. The fact that it wasn't enforced was the real problem and I hope they really do reiterate the policy to their employees. I get so angry at this kind of thing that I'd want a signed letter of apology from the employee, or video of him being berated by Micky Mouse. Or something.

But, barring that, I think you did the best anyone could, and it's great that you didn't let it go.

You Did It! Hooray!

Congratulations, Amanda...glad you kept up the pressure! I'm sure the fact that your readers were doing our best to make sure the story went "viral" helped too! I'm glad WDW coughed up some more tickets for you, but I'm not sure I would want to go back if it were me...

You taking a stand has made things better for anyone who might have problems at WDW in the future!

Wendy

1 (small) brownie point for Disney

Girl, that is good to hear!! God help me if my kids grow up to be that insensitive!
Unfortunately, Disney attracts all kinds. Last time I was there, I felt like I was in a Jerry Springer episode. I hope Billy enjoyed himself the rest of the trip! :)

I'm new here! :-) Sounds like you handled the situation well and staying on top of corporations is the way to go. I'm really glad to hear they are compensating the entire group with another visit. It's the least they can do!

I'll be back!

Hooray!!

SO HAPPY, that WDW did the right thing!! What a relief to know that WDW isn't afraid to admit to their mistakes and try and make it right! I absolutely think you should take them up on the offter to return, if for no one else then for Billy... he deserves it! I'm so happy for you guys!

Total 16 comments

hammer and nail_web

First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who took the time to express their opinion and support here -- as well as those of you who took the time to contact Disney.

I'm playing phone tag with someone in their offices now, but I feel much more confident that our concerns about bullying within the park are being taken seriously. I promise you that I will report back here after I've managed to connect with my new contact there. Your support means the world to my whole family!

You may have noticed a few new changes we've been making around LifeIsASpectrum. For a while, I've wanted a way to share blog posts from some of my favorite writers, websites with great learning tools, and significant resources for parents of kids on the spectrum.

I've started a new sidebar where I can highlight a few of those recommendations from time to time. If you have a suggestion, please feel free to shoot me an email or post a link in the comments section of this blog. I love finding new blogs, education sites and special needs resources.

I've updated "Billy's Story," to include the progress we've made over the last year since I started this blog. There probably isn't much that's new for those of you who kindly stop by here regularly, but I know that that link is the first start for a lot of folks finding me for the first time, and I wanted them to see how far we've come. It was uplifting, actually, to summarize all the breakthroughs. Looking at it in black and white helped me realize how much we have to celebrate!

Also, I have a new Life is A Spectrum page on Facebook. Now you no longer have to "friend" me and get inundated with my family photos in order to get updates about the blog and share stories about from the spectrum ... though if you're already my Facebook friend, you aren't allowed to un-friend me. I'm too fragile for that.

So please bear with us as we continue to make changes over the next few weeks. If you find any bugs, don't hesitate to let me know (Thank you, Wendy, for spotting the one with the sidebar!), and I'll pass them on to my in-house IT guy (Dave).

And now, for a scene through the eyes of the spectrum, because I couldn't just leave you after having done nothing but a bunch of housekeeping:

EXT. OUR STREET - MORNING (barely).

It's grey and very very foggy and damp outside. I'm holding Billy by his hand, walking him to school, which is just around the corner. I flat-ironed my hair the night before, and now I can feel the frizz creeping back in. I literally turn up my collar to the cold and damp, a la Simon & Garfunkel's "Sound of Silence." Yeah, I'm in that kind of mood.

Suddenly, Billy stops.

I turn to look at him. He's staring around him in wonder. He's waving his hands around him, like he's trying to grab the wisps of fog.

BILLY: Mama ... what a BEAUTIFUL day!

*

And then I look around me, and you know what? He's right. On the "beautiful day" spectrum, this one is right up there. Foggy and weird-lighted and grey and ... beautiful.

I hope your day is beautiful too.

Reader Comments

I've been out of the loop for a few days! I love the new sidebar and I'm so glad to hear the mouse is taking time to understand the root of the Disney issue.

Thanks for featuring me in your sidebar, but I hope you know that you have to keep it there forever because my ego is also fragile.

I hope that it is cloudy and rainy when I get down there! I'm bad in the heat....

I'm so glad you're making headway with Disney, Amanda. It's people like you who ensure Disney is a positive experience for everyone. Ever child deserves a happy and safe environment.

I love the updates on your blog! Nicely done, friend!

Hugs to your Billy and his talent for seeing the beauty around him. Happy weekend!

Beautiful Day

You know what? Billy is right. It is a beautiful day.

Tooting my own Horn

http://findmyaddress.blogspot.com/2010/11/church-with-special-needs-child.html
http://findmyaddress.blogspot.com/2009/05/all-those-who-suffer-in-body-mind-or.html

Hi Amanda,

I just wanted to drop you a note that i have linked to your blog from mine. While i do mentioned Autism from time to time, it is more of a journey journal than anything. But since i am linking to your blog i wanted to let you know.

I think you are doing a great thing blogging about your dealings and what you have learned/are learning. Thank you for taking the time to blog.

~ john
aka 'samurai'

P.S. @ Cheryl re:hating Disney

It was probably me, a retweet of my tweets, or a tweet from my blog, that you saw on Twitter. I didn't intend it to sound that angry and I'm sorry if I came across that way. I don't HATE Disney. (I don't LOVE them either. I think they have slidden considerably downhill and Walt would be shocked!) It just happened to be Disney that was involved in this unfortunate incident and I felt that they needed to be made aware that people expect better from them. I also felt, and still do, that they owed Billy and his family more of an apology than they have yet been given. But I would have "kicked up a fuss" no matter where this had happened ... not just Disney. Beth

Beautiful Day!

Thank you! I needed that reminder to see the beauty in the fog instead of always wishing it would clear away!

Total 12 comments

angry_letter_writers

I realize that yelling at Disney is a bit like this.

FROM WDW to ME:

Dear Ms. Broadfoot,

Thank you for speaking with me regarding your recent visit to the Walt Disney World Resort.

I am very sorry for the disappointment you experienced during your family's New Year's Eve celebration at Disney's Hollywood Studios Park.

I wanted to personally assure you that your feedback has been considered taken seriously. The safety and well-being of our guests are of the utmost importance to us in all aspects of our operation. Our Cast Members are instructed to assist Guests requiring assistance and their families to our First Aid stations located in each of our four theme parks. These locations are established areas where your family can seek comfort during experiences like the one you encountered from the actions of other Guests. I am sorry if you felt assistance was not promptly provided to you, and truly apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you and your family. Please be assured that your comments have been shared with the appropriate Disney management.

Our Guests? feedback allows for our continual growth and the preservation of the magic Walt Disney dreamed about, and I thank you again for your feedback. I am available Wednesday through Sunday between 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. EST should you have any questions.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts with us.

Best Regards,

Benjamin Bradley
Guest Communication Services
Walt Disney World Resort
407-560-2898

****

write-complaint-letter-elephants

If only it were this easy.

FROM ME to WDW:

Dear Mr. Bradley,
Thank you for taking the time to talk to me a week ago about my concerns and for your email below. However, I'm afraid I haven't made myself clear about the problem we encountered at the Commissary in Hollywood Studios.

When I first contacted you, I wasn't complaining about noise in the restaurant in which we dined. My son, who is 4 years old and autistic, was bullied. He was targeted by a group of aggressive, rude and possibly drunk teenagers who found it amusing to blow their noisemakers directly at him non-stop so that they could watch him hit himself in the head -- his reaction when he gets upset.

The teenagers were asked politely by my father to stop. They refused. In fact, they redoubled their efforts and blew the noisemakers almost constantly. When my brother-in-law told them, "You are tormenting an autistic child," their response was, AND I QUOTE, "That's not my problem."

At that point, my family asked for help from the manager. She also asked them nicely to stop. When they wouldn't, she said there was nothing she could do.

Surely Disney takes a stand against bullying. Surely it is not too much to ask to eject bullies from restaurants when they are targeting children, particularly those with special needs who are the least able to defend themselves. I am certain that restaurants like The Brown Derby or Cinderella's Castle wouldn't accept that kind of behavior. Is there a dollar value at which a family can expect a restaurant to provide a safe environment?

There were ten adults in our group and four children. We had paid quite a bit of money for our dinner, despite the fact that the Commissary is one of the lower-cost options, and should be entitled to eat it in peace. The idea that we should have to take our dinner to the first aid station, one of the "safe havens," in order to ensure our children weren't bullied, is nothing short of ridiculous.

I'm glad that Disney has designated certain areas as "safe havens" within the park. But every area of Disney should be a safe haven for any child.

I am going to suggest to my readers, who have been following my communications with WDW on my blog, that before they take their special needs child into any of your parks, they input the number for Disney Security into their cell phones. Then, should their child be bullied, they can call security for assistance, as it seems the cast members are not empowered to protect children.

If you have a better suggestion, I would welcome your input.

I will be posting this letter, as well as your email to me, on my blog at http://www.LifeIsASpectrum.com.

Best regards,

Amanda Broadfoot

Reader Comments

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My hat is off to you for your polite, yet firm response. Well done.

I am SO sorry!

That is so, so galling!!! I read Beth Zimmerman's post and had to follow through here to see it for myself ... because, of course, who could believe that such barbaric behavior is still possible??? And that the manager couldn't be bothered doing his job, or getting security??? I've always hated Disney World, and this just cements my case. I am so, so sorry your family had to go through this ....

I am new to the "Spectrum" via my son's diagnosis but am quickly learning what it means to advocate for my child. You'd think a Disney themepark would be one place you wouldn't have to advocate for a child. Disney's response truly is unacceptable. It makes me sad to know that people can be so obnoxious and hurtful towards a young child, and a huge "family friendly" company like Disney thinks telling you to go to a First Aid station is an acceptable response. I've tweeted about this too (@thankfulmomma) via Beth (Work in Progress)

I am deeply disappointed by the reaction you have had thus far from Disney. How is it fair, or providing a wonderful family experience, when the victim and his family are the ones that have to seek a "safe haven". Isn't the park as a whole supposed to be such?

My family also has an autistic son, and we have made two trips to Disney World... after reading this, i am inclined to not repeat a trip there.

I have just found your blog via the "share" tool from a friend on Facebook... i have done the same.

wow. I'm not sure how i found your blog but my heart just hurts when i think about what your family and little guy had to go thru and how WEAK the response from Disney has been. I hope that with all our support they can step up their policies in order to protect their guests in the future. Those teens should have definitely been kicked out (at the least! i would like to meet them in a dark alley and teach them a lesson or 3!) and I can only hope that KARMA comes around for them someday.

Total 25 comments

vdayFISH

Billy has a fish named Eric. It's a homicidal maniac that killed its three tank-mates, but that's a Halloween story. Or maybe a Christmas story, since he got the tank and fish for Christmas.

But anyway, this is a heart-warming Valentine's Day tale.

Today, Billy had group therapy. A wonderful program at the FSU Speech and Hearing Clinic, group therapy allows him to get together with two other guys about his same age, and each of them have a grad student speech therapist assigned to them, and together they work on group interactions. They play games together, share snacks, complete projects.

Because Monday is the big V-day, they made Valentine's cards together. Great idea!

And this scene, worthy of a Hallmark movie, unfolds ...

INT. THERAPY WAITING ROOM – AFTERNOON.

Moms wait, purses in lap, staring at the clock as the final minutes of group therapy tick away. (Actually, we just barely made it back from Starbucks around the corner in time to pick up our kids before they locked the building.)

Beautiful Boy #1 – we'll call him CUPID – comes barreling into the room. He spots his mom and hands her his home-made card.

CUPID: I love you, Mom!

All the moms are choked up as she gives him a big hug and they admire his handiwork together. Heck, I want to hug Cupid.

CLOSE ON ME

Expectant grin on my face.

ANGLE ON WAITING ROOM DOOR

As Billy comes barreling in.

CUT TO:

CLOSE ON MY FACE

Expectant grin is wider. It's my turn. MY TURN!

ANGLE ON BILLY

As he drops his home-made card on the floor and heads for the water fountain.

CUT TO:
ME

Grin falters... but then I take a deep breath. It's OK. I've still got the card. I plaster the grin back on my face and reach for the card.

ANGLE ON THE CARD

As I pick it up and see this:

 

vdayToEric

I swear to you I saw that evil fish laughing at me tonight.

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The Valentine's Day card I got from my husband was heartfelt. And the picture that my son Sam drew for me at daycare was sweet. But to be honest, this post is what kept me smiling all day long - and knowing that I wasn't alone. God bless Eric.

Whose side are those therapists on?

Really? They couldn't have intervened on that? I'll give them the benefit of the doubt...maybe they thought that Billy's "mommy" was named Eric.

So funny!

I've just been catching up, and am laughing hysterically at Eric the fish and the Tina Fey story! So funny! The Disney story, however, is upsetting...even though I don't have a child on the spectrum, that bullying scene should have been stopped. I'm hoping the copious notes the rep on the phone took will actually be used to help Disney's policies!

Agree with Maura

nobody can take the place of a boy's momma!

Cute card! Nothin' says love like pipe cleaners.

I do hear the undercurrent of an "ouch," though. Chin up, friend. I'm sure Eric's one hell of a fish, but we all know you're Billy's girl.

(Tina Fey only comes in second.)

Oh My Goodness!

Oh Amanda! I feel your pain and I KNOW that had to hurt but ... I am literally laughing out loud! I'm glad you found some humor there! :)

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