Welcome to Still Life With Shark, a blog chronicling the ongoing joys, challenges, and Quixotic struggles with bureaucracy that are inherent in raising a child with Autism.
My son Sharky was born in July of 2002 in Olympia, WA. He and his mothers moved to Seattle in 2005, and I spent the next 10 months driving back and forth to Seattle to have him with me every weekend. Finally, in late spring of 2006 I'd had enough of that, and moved to Seattle as well.
Around that time our concerns over what seemed to be delays in his speech and other areas were peaking, and we decided to have him evaluated by the Seattle School district's special education department. We missed their cutoff time for that school year, and had to wait until summer was over to finally be seen.
In October of 2006 Sharky was evaluated by Seattle Public Schools (SPS) and was found to qualify for special education services due to significant delays in communication, social skills, social awareness, and motor skills. There was also suspected Autism due to stereotypical behaviors, such as hand flapping.
A few weeks later he was evaluated by a team of therapists and clinicians at Children's Hospital in Seattle, and was diagnosed with Autism.
And that's when the real fun begins! The ensuing 18 months have been a frenzy and commotion of struggles with government, insurance companies, and most of all the SPS. The good old SPS.
It's also been a time of meeting amazing advocates, teachers, therapists, and other children with disabilities and their families. It's included brushes with news media, professional photographers, and most of all, it's been a time to witness Sharky flourish into a person none of us would have imagined 18 months ago.
Over the next few weeks I will be posting summaries of our past adventures, letters to and from various bureaucrats, and pleasant recollections in order to bring us all up to date. From that point on, I will be using this blog as a blow by blow account of what is yet to come. Trust me, there will never be any shortage of material. Sharky will keep on producing the miraculous and the bureaucrats will keep on producing the horrific, and both will be here for the world to witness.