I thought the commercials for NBC’s new show “Parenthood” looked funny so I watched the pilot episode.  And felt like I’d been punched in the gut.  One of the couples has an 8-year-old boy who starts out seeming a little odd and ends up with an Asperger’s diagnosis.  There were little things throughout the episode that rang true with me so the culminating moment was no great surprise.  Such as when the father told the grandfather to take it down a notch with the boy, that the boy was sensitive.  Or when the mother told the father that she couldn’t get the boy to put on his baseball uniform and that the boy was in a full Lego marathon.  (that might not be the exact phrase she used)  Or when the boy had trouble cutting with scissors in class, when he responded to a classmates sneaky taunting by attacking the classmate, when he was in full meltdown mode and the teacher had to hold him back.  Or when the administrators questioned whether the school was the “best fit” for their son. 

So no, it was no big surprise when the therapist they took the boy too suggested autism.  But it was still hard to watch.  The parents reaction thus far also hit close to home.  Instead of the laughs about common parenting pitfalls that I was expecting, I ended up watching the episode in tears.  It brought back the fear and angst of those early days when we were coming to grips with the idea that G was going to face extra challenges in his life.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with the story line and the portrayal of this family thus far, and I’d recommend it if you’re looking for something new to watch this season.   It just hit all my emotional buttons.


G’s elementary school has been selected to participate in a pilot program where a handful of schools have been designated as model schools for autism.  The goal is to teach the IEP teams new interventions and techniques and then have the model schools carry that information to other schools in their region.  There has already been observation of students on the spectrum and in the coming months there will be recommendations based on those observations as well as teacher training and parent coaching.  This is a 3-4 year program and we are just so excited!


We also had a regular parent-teacher conference this week.  G performance in school is just fabulous.  He’s been in his own math group for the last couple months because he is ahead of all the kids in his class.  There is talk of sending him to enrichment for math again.  I worry somewhat about this because the point of skipping a grade was to keep him in his home classroom so he’d have more consistent social experiences.  But I also want to focus on his strengths as much as on his weaknesses and don’t want to hold him back.

Speaking of weaknesses, G has MET two of his goals in his IEP!  One dealt with conversations where the goal was for G to be more interested and interactive.  To show attention based on general body orientation and ask the questions that help continue conversations.  He is succeeding on a one-on-one level so the new plan is to add a third person into the mix and work on the same goals in larger settings.  I can’t remember what the second met goal is right now and this is turning into quite a book so I’ll end here.    🙂

Published in: on March 4, 2010 at 11:15 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. Yes, that episode punched me in the gut too…but it was a great portrayal (in my opinion anyhow) and I can’t wait to see what they do with it.

    A lot of great things happening for G…that’s awesome! Can’t wait to read more about the pilot program

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