duct tape and string


We are in a team meeting at Brooke’s school discussing, among other things, her summer services. The principal has decided to sit in on the meeting.

“So it’s a six-week program?” she asks, looking to Brooke’s inclusion specialist for confirmation.

She nods.

The principal addresses her next question to me and Luau.

“So is there a reason that you only send her for six weeks?”

I answer, “Yes. Because you don’t offer ten.”

The room goes momentarily silent.

Brooke’s speech and language therapist asks the next question.

“So what do you do with her for the rest of the summer?”

I turn to face her as I say, “We hold her together with duct tape and string.”

I look around the table. “If there are any other questions, I’m happy to tell you anything you’d like to know.”

Apparently there are no further questions.

Commence operation duct tape and string.

Day three.

Wish us luck.


Ed note: I’ve decided to give up my spot at Hopeful Parents, making today my last day there, at least for a while. I love the space, but it’s simply more than I can manage right now. I’ve asked the moderator to allow me to sublet my space to a friend and fellow autism mama. If it works out, I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, my last post is HERE .

Ed other note: On my birthday post, an awesome reader who goes by Cold Turkey (yeah, I know, best handle ever) left the following comment:

How about for your birthday we all head over to Parents.com and vote for you as the Best Special Needs Blog, because we all know you are the best. Here is the link http://blog-awards.parents.com/blog-awards/mom_blogs/407

Told ya she was awesome. Wait, I’m assuming Cold Turkey is female. Hmm. Maybe not? Cold Turkey, care to share?

In any case, I kinda love the idea of people outside of our little world joining us here on Diary. Especially new parents who might need to find this community. And really especially the ones who don’t know yet they need to find this community. Know what I mean?

So if you’re up for it, I’d be grateful if you’d log a vote for me at the link above. And while you’re there, vote for Stimey over at Stimeyland too, ok? Cause she’s an utterly fabulous autism mom – and way funnier than I am.

Ed other, other note: The editor’s notes are now officially longer than today’s post. Oops. Have a great day.

13 thoughts on “duct tape and string

  1. Jess, as a mom of a 7 year old Aspie (yes I am a she) I find your blog to be an inspiration. It is so nice to know that other people feel the same way I do on a day to day basis. Thanks to you and Rob over at lostandtired.com I have started my own blog. Mainly to help get out the frustrations, joys and everything else that goes along with life on Autism Street. After seeing that Rob was nominated for best daddy blog I could not think of anyone that deserved Best Special Needs blog more than you. On a side note, Cold Turkey is my sons nickname as it sounds close to his real name.

  2. Six weeks. . . . . yup, that is all the city offers. And if your child only qualifies for partial services, then it is delivered mid day twice a week . . . lovely for a child who is in a full time program . . . . and hates change. Yup, we never get to do the City summer services. . . . . and they wonder why!

  3. Yep, we get it that way, too. Just enough of a break to dysregulate the bejeebers out of Nik before he goes back for the six-week session and gets back on an even footing. Then a nearly five-week break before school starts. And he is in a program that is, technically, a twelve-month program. Unbelievable, isn’t it?!

    Also, can’t wait to see what kind of traffic the title of this post begets. I’m betting ti’s not all regular readers. LOL

  4. Cymbie only had 5 weeks of ESY. We still have 3 weeks to go. She’s actually been doing pretty well, only a couple bad days, and a couple behaviors have popped up that I’ve never seen her exhibit before…which is actually scarier than dealing with a bad day. She is very demanding…wanting constant attention and play time. She wants me to pick her up (which I can’t…8 months pregnant) and throws a tantrum when I can’t…but over all so far we’ve been doing ok. I feel a tremendous amount of pressure to keep her stable. Tight rope walk for sure….
    I love your answer to the school. Sounds about right. Some how I am waiting for the other shoe to drop over here. It’s only been a week. I hope the next 3 weeks go quickly and as smoothly as is possible for all us Autism Moms. It’s a lot of work, and it sure as hell isn’t easy.

  5. Good Luck over there!! The “free days” of summer can be so hard. I totally think your comment of duct tape and string was priceless!! I would have loved to see their faces!!

    It isn’t always easy (not even some of the darn time) but if we can just keep our sense of humor – life is so much sweeter!!

  6. Duct tape and string days abound here too. I’m struggling with giving them the structured time they need and allowing them to be kids and have fun.

  7. While I think your answer to the school was pure genius and I laughed out loud, you really have to be careful what you tell public schools these days, even when joking. Next thing you know CPS is at your door checking to see if your daughter is really strung up and duct tapped :-/ Trust me I have had my fair share of the public school systems backwards thought process!

  8. Four weeks. Yup. Four weeks. Can you say regression, scripting, laughing at whatever is going on in our sweet girl’s head? heavy sigh

  9. Gabrielle ~ I love your answer! I hate when they ask stupid questions, as if you can’t care for your own child, or don’t want to!

    Alysia ~ we’ll be buying our supply of duct tape and string next week.

    April ~ whaaaat!?!?!further proof there r stupid questions.obviously you do the same things you do everyday since she was born..wow theres a reason we were blessed w special kids and they happen to make some rather fashionable duct tape these days;)my sons school only offers him 30min a month(school yr only)of so called “autistic services” which consist of them asking him if there r probs at school or home and showing him emoticons.duh prob at school,no one gets it n kids n adults alike r meanies,home is a santuary thank u very much.sry they even asked u such a thing

    Beth ~ Day 3 here too!!!!

    Donna ~ We got cut down to 5 weeks of ESY this year because he was too high functioning for the comprehensive esy program and had to go to the summer academic program with support which is only 5 weeks and gets out a full hour and a half earlier then the other program. Lots of duct tape and string here (and hard lemonade for me at night!)

    Barbara ~ Excellent post. You are my hero šŸ™‚

    Anne ~ I love the duct tape, but I don’t understand the first question. Did the principal not know what the ESY schedule was?

    Dawn ~ ā€Ž*hugs* We’re about to enter duct tape and string mode here. fortunately our program for our youngest runs 8 weeks instead of 6 and the kids are going back early due to labor day’s position this year. But I’ve done 10 weeks of duct tape and string when my eldest was younger. *hugs*

    Christy ~ Tried to vote for your blog, but at parents.com registration, you enter your personal imfo, hit submit, then it takes you to a google search on “secure parents”. Broken link on parents.coms part? hmmm

    Stephanie ~ So…yeah…we only had 4 weeks of ESY this year. šŸ˜¦ The rest of the summer has been difficult. Add in a new baby – and it’s just been a nightmare. I am counting down the days until school starts.

    Anne ~ You poor thing, Stephanie! We had 4.5 weeks, but our baby is a year old now. I feel for you–hang in there!

    Tracey ~I remember those days. Trying to hold everything together, just five more minutes longer than yesterday.
    Well, now that my boys are out if school and there are no services that I know of( welcome to the World of Military Moving), I am now making frequent visits to Lowe’s and Home Depot!
    My life of Just Five Minutes Longer has turned into Just Get Me Through Today We Start Over Tomorrow!
    Good Luck Jess! School starts soon(?) !

    Preston and Angela ~I love your answer! The tiny school I go to as a contract SLP doesn’t even do ESY….. of course it’s not legal for them to do that….. but they are on the verge of having to close the school district due to funding shortfalls. Technically families should have access to FAPE (free and appropriate public education) for their kids regardless of where they live but in reality what a child gets varies greatly depending on the local school district and often even schools within the district.
    Angela @ OMazing Kids Yoga

  10. Aw, you’re so nice. And this explains my uptick in votes. šŸ™‚ Honestly, you and the community you have here and on your Facebook page are so wonderful. It would be fantastic for you to get that extra exposure.

    Also, I’m with you on the duct tape and string, but damn if we’re not running out of duct tape.

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