Saturday, June 26, 2010

Peer Pals

A couple weeks ago, I was interviewed by a reporter for our local paper about a program I had launched last September at Noe's school. The program is called Peer Pals and it matches kids in the autism classrooms with general ed peers. The kids eat lunch together once a week, attend assemblies together and do other weekly classroom activities, some more academic than others. Starting the program was partly selfish on my part - Noe is only included in a general ed classroom for part of the day and I desperately want him to have more typical peer models. Many of socialization goals on his IEP require learning to interact with peers, so I wanted to him to have every opportunity to reach these goals.

The program has been a great success and the teachers have really embraced it, despite the extra burden of work placed on them. At the end of the school year, I organized an ice cream sundae party for the kids, which they all loved. Gluten/casein free ice cream, anyone? Noe's peer pal, Sarah, is a great kid and we have been lucky to get to know her. We already have some summer pool dates scheduled for her and Noe.

The article was published while we were on vacation, but one of Noe's teachers sent me the link here.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Leaving the Nest

The boys and I were enjoying the last bit of daylight on an usually pleasant June day at the neighborhood playground. Me with my book, the boys with their cars and balls. At some point, I looked up from my book to see a black blur falling from the tree above. And then another. Upon further investigation, we found two baby crows hopping around, trying to figure out the best way to escape a playground full of noisy children. I looked above and spotted the nest where they had lived, with both parents looking down at their offspring. They squawked around a little and I thought I heard something akin to "We're free! We're free!", and soon flew off into the sunset together....literally. I have a feeling they had booked a cruise to the Bahamas and didn't want to be late!

Friday, June 4, 2010

It's Gonna Be an Active Summer

Maybe he was inspired by his mother's triathlon training, but Asher is off to an active start this summer. We're very happy he got over the lack of training wheels as quickly as he did. Plus, I'm happy that he's doing all this willingly (he now asks for his "bike with no training wheels"). The less time playing computer games, the better!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Love Note

I found this note last week while going through a box in storage. It brought me right back to the Summer of 2000. I always call that summer the best and worst summer ever. Best, because Ed came into my life. Worst, because my dad passed out of my life. According to the date, we weren't officially dating, but rather friends and coworkers in the Oregonian Sports Department. Apparently, we had already begun developing our own secret language that we speak to this day.... a mixture of Spanish, English, Yiddish, Sportese and Portlandese with a little Italian mobster mixed it for good measure.