Friday, February 27, 2009

Hey Guys – I recieved the Royal Treatment

Ken Royal of Scholastic (yes, that Scholastic – Clifford, Harry Potter and the like!) commented on the Gut Check posting from yesterday.  Now, he’s a technology reporter for Scholastic (teachers, administrators and the like…yes, even they know the days of chalk and boards are probably coming to end.

I met with him yesterday in NYC and we talked about new media until the waffle fries came….then I focused on those (alot better than the tuna salad I had to eat). He’s got some interesting thoughts on new media.  I’m sure his blog doesn’t fit for all of you and your interests, but it might be one you check out periodically.  Take a look here.

Posted by Jerry in 22:51:11 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Gut Check

When I travel to work in the morning, I go by a sight that often makes my stomach drop a bit, if I’m not preoccupied thinking about work. (I’d have more to be pre-occupied if I were still commuting for hours in Atlanta…one of the immediate benefits of moving to Lexington.).

I see a number of adult people being led down a hill to a bus stop where they are going to their jobs…but it clear that they are special needs, and are getting there with their aides/assistants.  
I should be happy these folks can go to a job, one that they are probably proud of, and rightly should be, as they are functioning in society…others I suspect are going to a special ed center, from the location that the live at. These folks are holding the hands of someone, etc…

So why does my stomach drop – knowing that someday Demetrius may choose to live at such a location (he may feel better doing so to be around his peers or have some sort of level of self reliance), and that he’ll have to have someone walk down the hill with him to make sure he gets from point A to point B.  Is this best I can hope for him?  What do the parents of these people think?  Are they happy, or is this the best for him/her?  Is this what happens to Demetrius if/when we die?  What happens if Maya moves away to fulfill a dream or doing something special with her life – and we can’t take care of (or really at this future point ‘help out’) Demetrius?  Is this where he ‘goes’.

The bus stop is on the other side of the road from me in the mornings, and I can’t really get too close to these folks.  Do they smile, do they do it by rote?  Are they happy.  Do I want to really see if in fact they are, or are not? Do I want to see if they look unkempt, or if they are properly bathed or cleaned (does someone help them with their finishing touches, because if they are walking to the bus stop, I assume they can mostly take care of themselves)?

I should make a u-turn some morning and drive by – but of course, I know if they don’t look like I think they should in my mind’s eye, that that drop in my stomach will certainly be deeper and a bit more worrisome. I’ll have that shaky, a touch more than uncomfortable feeling for the rest of the day.  The real future feeling we all hate to feel at some psychological level.

But who knows, I might be pleasantly surprised and if so, my day might actually be great. It just is really a matter of whether I’m brave enough, right?

Why do I do these things to myself?

Posted by Jerry in 02:07:22 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Games Arrived, Hitch In The Giddyup with Demetrius Though

I had a flight to catch to NYC today and I called home, everyone was home with a half a day of school.  They got their new video games. Demetrius says to me:

Demetrius: Daddy, thank you for Star Wars.  But Maya got a game for MY Nintendo DS…..

Daddy: You got a game for her Didj? Isn’t that fair

Demetrius: Yes, but it is a Star Wars game for the Didj.  Not a Hannah Montana game.

How could I possibly let a Hannah Montana game corrupt the DS?

Funny how that works Demetrius…..the whole even-ing out between the kids thing….

Posted by Jerry in 03:14:43 | Permalink | Comments Off

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tricky Daddy & Mommy

As I blogged about last week, Demetrius got a new Nintendo DS, and Maya got a LeapFrog Didj.

Of course, as it works, they like the other’s gameplayer more than the one they got.

The plan is that the Didj would provide the educational games to offset the natural tendency to play non-education games on the Nintendo DS. 

It is working.  Maya got a Nickelodeon adding game for the Didj, D got Batman Lego for the DS.  But this week I sent Demetrius a Star Wars Clone Wars (Math game) for the Didj, and Maya a Hannah Montana singing game for the DS….

So they both seem excited about this model….so I’m hoping to continue seeing this ‘trade’ between the two devices…

Gaming and education – the key, we hope, is getting those game players at the same time so that no one is jealous of the other…just the games each are playing.

Posted by Jerry in 02:46:40 | Permalink | Comments Off

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Creaking and Cracking

So this weekend I wanted to go out for a six miler, but frankly, on Saturday morning, it was too damn cold and windy.

So I went to the gym and did a speed workout on the treadmill.  Well, for me it was a speed workout. For the 20 something next to me, she walking briskly at the same pace.

However, I ignored her, endured, and focused on the end goal.  I was happy with the result (4 miles in 36:29)…and I stumbled off the treadmill.

As I walked toward the spray that gets rid of all the sweat germs at every gym (what, exactly is that spray, and how do we know it works?), I kind of, well, tipped. I didn’t fall, I didn’t stumble, my balance just kind of disappeared for a second…another vertigo attack? Nah, just old age.  Just then my leg kind of popped…twice.  Not the, “OMG! Talke me to the emergency room” kind of pop, more like the, “Hey, you are tipping and I have to get rid of an air pocket in your joint old man!” popl.  I figure this is what happens to an engine of an old car.

Today it did it again. No pain, just popping.  Huh.

So I chip a tooth eating toast, and my leg is popping.  What the hell will sixty be like in 20 years?

Spontaneous combustion?

Posted by Jerry in 01:56:13 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Gluten & Dairy Free Day

Good morning.  A few of you have asked what a gluten & dairy free day looks like for me, since I’m attempting to do his with Super D. Okay, here is what a weekend day looks like for a Dad trying to do the same with his son:

Breakfast: one cup of frozen mixed vegetables, one cup of spinach (approx), four egg whites, half of a yellow onion, three strips of bacon cut up in the scramble and coffee with Sweet N Low.

No lunch, but a Venti Starbucks Soy Vanilla Latte.

Right now (6:25pm) , a twenty ounce Coca-Cola, five small, round slices of salami.

7:15pm, one chicken breast with french beans, broccoli, a baked potato garnished with peach salsa, two glasses of David Bruce Petit Syrah

8:15pm – Soy Cream (Vanilla) with frozen pineapples, mangos, strawberries and mixed nuts…

So there you go. Whaddya think?

Posted by Jerry in 14:27:28 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Educating Friends

Whoever posted the comment about educating freinds.  You can download the PDF off of this eb site. It is on about Page 10-15, something like this.  The PDF is called:

Kentucky’s Family Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorders, released February, 2009

Cheers, Jerry

Posted by Jerry in 01:01:11 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Saturday, February 21, 2009

This Is News You Might Be Able To Use

One of the really great things about the move to Lexington has been getting on the Autism Society of the Bluegrass’ mailing.  I don’t have time to go through each and every email, but I found this particular Web site they pointed us to useful.

I was thinking the family guide PDF could be really useful. Especially if you are thinking your wee-one might be…..or if he/she was just diagnosed…you’ll want information – lots of it…and you’ll drink from a firehose on autism…but it is like jumping into senior level classes your freshman year, your ability to retain is limited (by the way, lets not forget the emotional impact)!  This looks like a great primer.  Heck, I even see a section on education friends.  Good stuff!

Posted by Jerry in 02:59:05 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Apologies

Sorry I’ve been a bit remiss in writing in depth this week, a bit busy at the ol’ office.  I’ll try to make up for it this weekend.

If you follow the autism news (Google Alerts, etc…) the old vaccine, ‘Gives kids autism/doesn’t give kids autism’ is back front-and-center (I blog about this being circled around again last week).  I saw a few articles in the likes of the Kansas City Star.

I know better, that controversy is news, but it still frustrates me that the coverage about autism is almost always about ‘keeping from getting it’ vs. what are we doing to combat it.  Yes, you’ll see medical stories and small pieces about it…but it seems the mainstream media spends more time on the ‘what causes it’ subject.  Like I said, I know better – that this is news, but still…I’d love to see more on promising therapies or medicines.  Too soon, but still… a little wishful thinking on my part.

Posted by Jerry in 02:27:05 | Permalink | Comments Off

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Funny Demetrius Story

So on Monday the family was loading up to make the drive back to ATL from LEX, and when we went through our good-byes, I teared up. Good byes are hard, and I miss these guys terribly.  While Maya gave me a big ol’ hug…Demetrius walks by and taps me on the arm:

Demetrius: Don’t be sad Daddy, we are taking Buddy with us.

This made me chuckle, what was going through his mind. Was he misinterpreting what was going on?  Well….as I thought about it, a few minutes before I joked that they better not forget Buddy’s leash (which was on a side table).  So I think he thought I was upset that not only were they not going to forget the leash, they weren’t going to forget the dog.  So I didn’t need to cry about it.

Oh, and I DIDN’T CRY….I just got a tear or two in my eyes….I’m sure from a eye lash or something….

Posted by Jerry in 18:15:44 | Permalink | Comments Off