Monday, August 3, 2009

the lookout

I'm on the lookout. Martin needs a new tutor. The woman he has worked with over the past year is taking a new job and can't work with us anymore. We're bummed.

Essentially, his tutor was so good that she worked herself out of a nearly-full-time job. Starting last August, she was trained in Applied Behavior Analysis ( It's one of many therapies used with kids on the spectrum. Side note: if you want to start an argument in a room full of speech therapists and specialists, take a position on one of the therapies and watch the mudslinging begin. My initiation into this madness occurred when I told a colleague in my college's communications disorders department that we would be using ABA with my son. She invited me to have coffee so she could talk me out of it. She also refused to recommend any of her students as potential tutors. Geesh, I thought that vaccines and lactose free diets were the only things that put autism partisans' knickers in a wad. I guess I was wrong.

Back to the tutor. She worked with Martin 5 days a week. She accompanied him to preschool for 3 hours. Then they came home and did one-on-one language work for three more hours. It went so well that Martin will be able to go to school by himself this fall. So tutoring has dropped down to a part-time job. We're sad to lose this tutor. She played such an instrumental role in Martin's progress. And even though she had no experience with autism, she has what you need: gentleness and patience. Really, I feel like she has more of that than my husband or I do. So maybe I'm sad to lose that part of her just as much as the part that has so effectively helped Martin learn to speak.

Anyone want a job with a cute little fellow in Wooster, Ohio?


  1. I do. But it would have to be live-in and I'd be needin to eat some of those green beans.

  2. Jen, If I didn't need to stay in Santa Rosa, CA for lots of reasons (some of them legal), I would love to be Martin's tutor! I would relish the ongoing and everchanging challenge. Besides which, I'd love to meet my 2nd cousin. I like the tough kids as much as the easy ones. I have a little guy right now in my class. It's constant...he doesn't even have a real "diagnosis"...he is listed as "Other health impaired" and because of this can't have a 1:1 aide. Though, because he doesn't have an aide, I get to learn so many things I would otherwise have been deprived. The other day he spent his time tearing up paper into little bits, throwing them in the air, and shouting, "It's Halloween". He also spent that morning eating his paper, spitting it out onto the floor, and he pulled out one single hair from another child's head and spent about 10 minutes being fascinated. By lunchtime I was tired, but giggling. What else could I do? It was ridiculous, but it just was what it was and mostly not harmful. I really enjoy your blog. I have a difficult child and while she is "typical" so much of what you say resonates with what I have gone through with her. -Hugs to you, Stacy, Martin, and the Itty Bitty one!, Jennifer