Love. Listen/Observe/Read. Act. Repeat.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Overheard in the Wolfe House #74

Sam: I'm getting used to the route to nonPareil.
Peggy: I knew you would.
Sam: And I know how to go to Albertsons from there.
Peggy: That's terrific. What route do you take?
Sam: I-35.
Peggy: (Cheshire cat grin knowing that he conquered the fear of I-35)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Overheard in the Wolfe House #73

Sam: I can't invite people on Facebook to my graduation yet.
Peggy: Can't you create the event?
Sam: I don't know the date yet. May 12 or May 13. I don't think I'll know until right when I turn in the application.
Peggy: I'm thinking about blogging that you're filling out your graduation application.
Sam: Ok, you can blog about that.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

See Sam Drive

Monday and Wednesday I had parent duty, big-time, riding with Sam as he gets accustomed to driving a rather complicated route between home and his internship at nonPareil Institute in Plano.

Very, very cool place, by the way, that nonPareil.

The last leg of the journey is very familiar. it's the same route as to church. So Wednesday, I just settled back and enjoyed a little nap.

As a widow, I rarely get driven much. Runner Susan knows this. I gush about it every time she and I go somewhere and she drives me.

We were waiting at the light at the last big intersection heading home when I was awakened by the sound of squealing tires and a crash. I could see, somewhat, past the monster Dodge Ram in front of us that there had been a disagreement about the changing light on the cross traffic. The little SUV wanted to stop, but the speeding pickup behind him didn't. My eyes opened just in time to see the pickup driver open his door and get out, and survey the shards and leaking fluids that used to be the front of his truck.

Sam was nonplussed. His first comment?

"We'd better get out of here before the police get here and we're trapped."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Overheard in the Wolfe House #72

Peggy: Today's a big day. First day of internship.
Sam: Yes. I start my life today.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Overheard in the Wolfe House #71

(also a candidate for Overheard in the Newsroom)

Mr. Trimble: I got a valentine from my cat. It says, Happy Valentine's Day, now go away.
Sam: I don't think you got that from your cat. You got that from your wife.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

This is nice

The Dallas Museum of Art is opening early on Feb. 26 just for families of kids with autism.

While it would be wonderful if the world would let our kids be among them without all the stares and the judgement, sometimes it's great to enjoy things like an art museum with your own kind. Some people in the arts world -- usually a patron, almost never an artist -- are extraordinarily intolerant.

I hope there is lots of overlap that day. After the two hours are up, and the regular patrons start coming in, they can feel that incredible, electric energy that comes with packing a bunch of our kids in a space and letting them be themselves and realize there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Overheard in the Wolfe House #70

After reading "P.S. Sorry I didn't vote for you" at the bottom of Sam's letter to President Obama about hydraulic fracturing.

Peggy: You don't have to put that in. He probably doesn't care.
Sam: It shows my loyalty.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Overheard in the Wolfe House #69

Day 4 of cabin fever ....

Sam: Do you know that song "YMCA"?
Peggy: Yes, I do. I don't remember the artist, but I know people like to dance to it. (both start gesturing)
Sam: Yes, by making the letters. (pause) The C is hard.
Peggy: Yes, it is.
Peggy: So Y is like this (arms up)? And M is like this (bend arms, hands touch head)?
Sam: Or you could do lower-case m, like this (hands touch shoulders)

Thursday, February 3, 2011


More than once, I've heard that there are too many memoirs written by parents, or siblings, or teachers of those with autism.

Wayne Gilpin told me and Dan Burns (author, Saving Ben, A Father's Story of Autism, another in the Mayborn series that published See Sam Run) that he thought he had something when Temple Grandin's mother wrote her memoir, but it didn't sell like his other books.

Gilpin has a terrific collection of practical books, and frankly, when I had only $20 to spend, I chose the toilet-training book or the educational manual over a parent memoir, too.

Now New York Times staff editor, Neil Genzlinger, has weighed in on the topic, wailing that there are too many memoirs in our current age of over-sharing.

He makes a special notice for the autism memoir -- way too many he said.


His tipping point is "Twin," by Allen Shawn, who reflects on his family's choice to institutionalize his twin sister nearly 60 years ago. Genzlinger shreds the book's premise. Not having read the book, it's hard to share in his criticism; however, his characterization -- that the author was tone-deaf in explaining the family's choice -- doesn't inspire me to even check it out at the library.

I learned plenty from Temple's memoirs, and the writings of other parents. Sadly, many of those parental writings dedicated too much ink to curative measures, rather than what we're all looking for.

I like the places in a memoir where real life slams into all the lessons we're taught on how to live life.

It seems Genzlinger does, too, saying that those families that had the fortitude and resourcefulness to incorporate the child into their lives -- and not pay someone else to take care of it -- deserve to add to the heap.

Ok, well, not so much ouch anymore.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cutting, pasting, passing it on ...

From The ARC

The Screening Room – Critics Choice
Facilitated by Charlene Comstock-Galagan
Friday – March 25, 2011
9:00 am – 11:00 am
Location: To Be Determined

Join Charlene for a thought provoking discussion and screening of the latest and greatest
visual media and their deepest messages about inclusion and the meaning of belonging in
the 21st century. March is ID/DD Awareness Month. You don’t want to miss this opportunity!

Special Education – The ARD/IEP Process
Presenter: Charlene Comstock-Galagan
Friday – March 25, 2011
12:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Tarrant County – Specific Location: To Be Determined

Determining the special education services for a child/student is done through a strategic,
step-by step planning process. A process that crumbles if the foundation is cracked, a
critical step in planning is missed or out of order, or planning takes place without thoughtful
discussions based on the individual needs of a child/student.


Charlene will review the ARD/IEP Planning process and share tools and strategies that
have produced positive outcomes for students who have an Individualized Education Program - IEP.

· The ARD/IEP agenda

· The purpose of assessment beyond eligibility

· Integrated and measurable goals and objectives

· Modifications & accommodations (across school settings)

· Supports for or on behalf of the student

· Placement decisions using a Planning Matrix

· Prior Written Notice… and more!

Employment For ALL – 2 Sessions (Customized Employment & Discovery, The Process)

Session 1: Customized Employment, an Overview
Presenter: Michael Callahan, International Consultant on Employment & Transition
Saturday – April 2, 2011
9:00 am – Noon
Location: To Be Determined

DON’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY! Participants will leave inspired and empowered with information
and strategies that make employment a viable option for persons once thought to be unemployable.

Session 2: Discovery, the Process
Presenter: Michael Callahan, International Consultant on Employment & Transition
Saturday – April 2, 2011
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: To Be Determined

The Discovery Process is a strategy used as a substitute to comparison-based testing procedures
in that it utilizes already-existing information rather than information developed through formal
assessment methods. It takes into account the applicant's entire life experiences rather than single
instances of performance.

DON’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY! Mr. Callahan will review steps need to complete the discovery
process. An interactive process that allows the provider to get to know the applicant and to assist
in identifying personalized preferences and conditions for employment as well as individual
contributions to be offered to employers.

Person Centered Thinking & Plan Facilitation
Presenters: Laura Buckner, M.Ed., LPC - University of Texas Austin & Jeff Garrison-Tate, M. Ed. Texas A&M University
May 9 -10, 2011 ▪ 9:00 – 4:00 │ Person Centered Thinking
May 11 – 12, 2011 ▪ 9:00 – 4:00 │ Plan Facilitation (Prerequisite – Completion of Person Centered Thinking)
Both 2 day sessions will be held at TCU – Dee Kelly Alumni & Visitors Center – Ft. Worth
2820 Stadium Drive – Ft. Worth, Texas 76109
Space is limited & registration is required!

For additional information about the sessions above, please refer to the attached fliers.
If unable to open the fliers please visit:

Overheard in the Wolfe House #68

Peggy (dealing with rolling blackouts): Here's my breakfast, sweet potatoes cooked in the wood stove.
Sam: Mom's a genius.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Overheard in the Wolfe House #67

Peggy: I'm sorry for the drama this afternoon.
Sam: It wasn't your fault the oven burned up.
Peggy: I know. But I thought I should say "I'm sorry" anyways.
Sam: That's overdoing it, Mom.