Thursday, April 29, 2004

From the "It's always something" file

My daughter had her 14-year-old pediatrics check-up last week, and in most ways it went very well. The patient was far more talkative than she's been in the past, and is by most measures a healthy kid -- not overweight, straight of spine, appropriate physical development, active and glowing through a mild case of acne. Physical health has always been a strong suit with my kids; their prenatal and early-life experiences left them neurologically challenged, but since then they've hardly had a sick day between them. So the one glitch in the exam seemed to come straight out of left field: My otherwise healthy teen has high blood pressure.

The more they took it, the higher it got, probably because we were all fluttering around her, doctor and nurses and mom, demanding that she relax. The doctor suggested we come back in a week and try again; today was the day, and darned if it wasn't still high, 153/85. If it's high again next week, we'll get a referral to a cardiologist. And the thought of bringing another specialist into the care of my children when we'd gotten most everything else more or less figured out just fills me with exhaustion.

Once more, I'm going to have to get out all the orphanage physical records, research possible post-institutionalization-related explanations (lead poisoning? a genetic connection that we'll never be able to discover since we have no medical records on the birth family?) Once more, we'll have to go through tests and all the waiting and discomfort that goes with them. Once more, I'll be second-guessing professionals, who will no doubt be second-guessing me. Maybe -- please, oh please -- her BP will be back down next week, and we can avoid this whole complicated mess. Then I'll only have to worry about what this all is doing to my blood pressure.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

New on Mothers with Attitude

Mother's Day is coming. Is it a day of constant pampering for you, with lavish gifts and children waiting on you hand and foot? Nah, me neither. Julie Donner Andersen discusses the mixed blessing that is "Mother's D-Day" in the latest installment of her "Therapeutic Laughing" column.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

20/20's not seeing too clearly

More on Friday's "20/20" adoption special that may be a serious look at open adoption or may be a reality-show exploitation of same, but undoubtedly has some really inexcusably tasteless ads going for it:

1. The text of said inexcusably tasteless ads is now posted here on the Adoption Watch site (scroll down to third post). So if you missed it, or can't quite believe what you saw, you can read it ... and weep.

2. Today's Montreal Gazette and New York Newsday, among others, have stories about the show, the latter featuring a handy opinion poll.

3. They're discussing the show from a media-obsessed, rather than adoption-obsessed, point of view on the Television Without Pity site ... and no one there's too fond of those promos either.

4. The subject's likely to come up on our attempted chat at 10 p.m. east-coast time tonight, if the technology actually works and anybody shows up. Why don't you just stop by and vent a little?

Monday, April 26, 2004

Chat time set

We're going to try a chat on the Mothers with Attitude Sounding Board this Tuesday night, April 27, at 10 p.m. eastern time. I'll stay in the chat room from 10-11 for anyone who wants to stop by. (At 11 p.m., ezboard is taking down its whole operation to change servers, so the chat room may just abruptly disappear, leaving us like a bunch of online Cinderellas -- but if so, we'll try again next week.) You do have to register in order to use the chat room, so I recommend that, if you're interested in chatting, you register now and go in the chat room and make sure it works for your system; if not, we'll have some time to try to figure out why and fix it. Hope to see you there!

Sloppy IEPs

I got my son's IEP Saturday, and while it's generally acceptable, it's riddled with little typos and cut-off sentences and obvious clerical screw-ups. I used to blame this sort of thing on typists in the special-ed dept., but I know that now our district is using a very cool computerized system that pretty much puts the whole danged thing together for you, so it's just a general lack of caring and attention on the part of the child study team personnel that allows these little bloopers to slip through. How hard is it to proofread this stuff, anyway?

I'm also annoyed because some things that were left out of his IEP last year at my request are back in -- like "counseling goals," without any clear explanation of who is in charge of these goals and how they will be acheived, and no discussion of them at our IEP meeting -- and things that were in last year at my request are not -- like the behavior plan I wrote for him. There are references to behavior modification without any behavior mod or management plan in the document -- despite the fact that the district paid a behaviorist to observe him and write a plan. It's just sloppy, sloppy stuff.

Fortunately, my guy will most likely have the same teacher and therapists next year as he did this year, and I trust them all completely. But you know, this is a legal document, and why can't it just be done right? I suspect it takes just as much effort to do a sloppy job as a good one. Now I have to call and talk to the child study team leader and ask for all these changes to be made, and the whole thing's going to have to be processed and printed and passed out again. Yeesh. On the other hand, they've cleverly sent this thing out at the beginning of a week off from school, so I have to wait until next Monday to complain. Maybe they hope I'll lose steam by then. Or maybe I'll just get madder.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Forget "The Bachelor," now it's "The Baby"!

A few years ago, when the reality TV craze was just getting started -- circa "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?" -- I joked in my weblog that somebody ought to do a show where a foster child gets to choose from among prospective adoptive parents, a sort of "Who Wants to Adopt Someone Who May Grow Up to Be a Multi-Millionaire?" The latest show being advertised by ABC doesn't take quite that tack, but it still gives every appearance of being a reality show in which the winning couple get a baby as a prize. "Be My Baby" purports to be a documentary look at the open adoption process, during which a pregnant 16-year-old meets couples who want to adopt her child. And maybe it's a perfectly straghtforward, ultimately pro-adoption piece of work -- the fact that Barbara Walters, an adoptive mom herself, is in charge should lead us to hope so. But the marketing campaign for the show is hooking it to the reality-show craze in what seems to me to be a blatantly offensive way. And I'm not alone, judging by the postings on ABC's message boards. I try never to judge a show or movie without actually seeing it first -- but I have no problem judging the marketing of this one, and I say it stinks.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Speech therapy to go

If your child gets speech therapy -- or just has weaknesses in grammar -- there are some great games on the Quia site, many in java and non-java versions. Play a game of Concentration with consonant sounds, or a "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" look-alike with parts of speech. The page linked to above features the Top 20 games, but you can search by topic among more than 150. Of course, if you're like me and prefer to buy large quantities of speech games and workbooks that you play with your child once and then allow to sit in ever-increasing piles of dusty clutter, you'll want to check out The Library of Speech-Language Pathology book club. Every month or so you get a catalog and an order form to fill out quickly lest you get the main selection whether you want to or not -- but it's always fun to browse all the speech-language supplies, and belonging to this club intended for speech therapists seems to put one on some very interesting mailing lists of companies who now believe you are an educator. I got an announcement once for a conference on how to deal with difficult parents. Should have shown up for that to give them a living demonstration.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Five-minute book club

Wish you had more time to read, but keep getting bogged down in things like parenting and working and sleeping? Try joining one of the book clubs at Each week, this free service features a new book in each of 11 categories -- nonfiction, fiction, business, prepublication, romance, teen, audio, mystery, horror, science fiction and "good news." Members receive an e-mail each day, Monday-Friday, with a portion of a chapter of the featured book in whatever category they choose, about a five-minute-read's worth. The following week, you'll get a bit of a different book. You can buy the books that intrigue you (or check them out from your library -- many libraries are offering the club through their web sites), and be satisfied by a taste of the ones you don't. At any rate, you'll feel more well-read for just five minutes a day. Surely you can stay awake that long.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Reading room

I picked up a couple of new books from the special-needs shelves at a nearby Barnes & Noble the other day -- went in to pick up a small, inexpensive book for my son, came out with two bigger, pricier books for me -- to add to my reading pile. Freeing Your Child from Anxiety: Powerful, Practical Solutions to Overcome Your Child's Fears, Worries, and Phobias by Tamar E. Chansky, Ph.D., looked promising for helping me figure out ways to help my daughter be less stressed, and The Sensory-Sensitive Child: Practical Solutions for Out-of-Bounds Behavior by Karen A. Smith, Ph.D., and Karen R. Gouze, Ph.D., appealed to me at a time when my son's behavior is pressing those bounds pretty closely. Another book I'm eager to get my hands on is Love, Jean: Inspiration for Families Living with Dysfunction of Sensory Integration. It features letters written by A. Jean Ayres, pioneer in the field of sensory integration, to her nephew, Philip Erwin; Erwin's own stories about his struggle with sensory integration; and ideas for parents from therapist Zoe Mailloux. If you can't wait to have a look at that one, you can find a few excerpts from the book on Mothers with Attitude. Great reading, and you don't even have to drive to the bookstore.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

10 Ways to Shoot Off Your Mouth Today

Got an opinion? We've got a place to put it.
1. Does inclusion work? Discuss.
2. Do you ever get a break from your kids? Tell us how.
3. Do you feel blue -- or green with envy -- when you see kids further up than yours on the developmental ladder? We can relate.
4. Had it up to here with child-study teams or meddling mothers-in-law? Vent away.
5. Does your pediatrician listen to you? Take this survey.
6. Bedtime stories: for learning, for bonding, forget about it who has the time? You be the judge.
7. How do you motivate your kids to read? Spill the beans.
8. Trying to manage behavior without meds? Join this list.
9. Has a negative media mention of adoption raised your eyebrows? Lower the boom.
10. Wanna chat? Just say when.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Growing pains

My son's a little bit what I call "loose" lately -- that is, not entirely in control of his behavior, more apt to slip into a sort of drunken, "what me worry" state that's remarkably resistant to discipline. We usually see this when he's stressed, but lately it's been taking less stress to get into that mess. And there could be a number of reasons, from more difficult work at school to conflicts with peers to excessive time spent with his 5-year-old cousin, but I think the real culprit is actually something hard to feel bad about: He's growing.

Every time I look at him these days, he looks a little taller. At his latest pediatrician appointment, this little boy who spent so much time hanging off the bottom of the growth charts was actually at the 50th percentile for weight for an 11-year-old, and creeping up along the 10th percentile for height. My little peanut boy! I've been waiting for that weight to start stretching out into height, and I think it's beginning to; not so long ago he could touch the tip of my nose with the top of his head, and now he's bumping the bridge.

This is joyous, because we're usually pretty short on normal development around here; disruptive, because a kid with sensory integration problems and motor planning issues does not deal smoothly with a realigning and distancing of his body parts; and scary, because soon he'll be taller than me, and how the heck am I going to handle him then when he gets loose and silly and drunk-seeming and unconcerned with propriety? The days when I could just tuck him under my arm and run are long, long gone.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

New on "Mothers with Attitude"

1. Ken Swarner's latest entry in his Family Man column is about summertime family car trips, and let me tell you, I am not ready to start thinking about summer vacations and family trips and all the disruption that entails. For the last few summers, I think the disruptions have been affectiong my own behavior more than that of my kiddos. But it's not summer yet. I'm holding on to that last month or so of school real tight.

2. It turns out that the message board I set up for the site (and why don't you all just go over there right now and post something, hmmm?) has a capacity for "live chat." Now, I've never been real comfortable with the chat format, because my brain doesn't work that fast on demand and I always seem to be a reply or two behind the conversation, but I would like to start some sort of weekly support group/gripe session for readers of my site and blog, and since this chat set-up is one of the few that will work on my older Mac, I say let's go for it. I've set up a topic on the
"Miscellaneous observations and disgruntlements" forum asking for people to post what day and time would be best for them for a regular chat. I'll also stop by the chat room tonight at 10 p.m. if anyone wants to join me (that is, unless I fall asleep where I sit, which is always a possibility). You'll have to register before chatting, and if you open the chat room and can't see a place to type, you may need to make your browser window bigger. But let's all give it a try, shall we?

Thursday, April 15, 2004

A little worm never hurt anybody

I think I may have failed some sort of Good Hygeine Mom test this morning. Let me describe the sequence of events to you, and then tell me what you would have done:

Imagine you're late getting your child to school, as usual. You send him out to get in the car while you race around making beds and tossing breakfast dishes into the dishwasher. When you finally get outside and lock the door, you see that the boy is not inside the car (big surprise!) but standing by a pile of dirt that he often plays in, because you are a bad mother who will let her child play in a pile of dirt if he'll just allow you to sit and read a book or, I don't know, breathe for a minute. With a big smile, he tells you, "Mom, guess what I found in the driveway? A worm!"

You look in the driveway. No worm. You look at the boy standing proudly by the pile of dirt. And you ask, wearily and warily, "Did you touch a worm?"

And he reassures you. "It's okay. The worm was dead."

Time is ticking away, or maybe it's a small explosive. "Did you touch a dead worm?"

"No," says the boy merrily, "I brought it over here so it could live in my dirt pile and have a nice home!"

Clearly, whether the worm was dead or alive, a worm has been touched. By hands that often reside in the small boy's mouth. No further information is forthcoming. And the time at which the worm-fondling boy should be at school is close at hand. Do you:

a) drag the boy inside, school or no school, and douse him in antibacterial soap, and make him change his clothes because he might have touched some article of clothing with worm-slimed hands;

b) whip some cleaning implement out of your purse, maybe a bottle of that antibacterial hand cleanser, maybe an old wet wipe, and scrub his hands off while dragging him to the car; or

c) tell him to keep his hands out of his mouth and wash them when he gets to school, and hit the road.

If you answered a) ... you're just one of those hygeine happy moms, aren't you? I'll bet your house is just spotless. Don't come over to mine, okay? And, like, don't let my son touch you.

If you answered b) ... you're more organized than I could ever imagine being. Hand cleanser at your fingertips? Usable wet wipes? If I'd have had a wet wipe in my purse, it would have been old and dried out, and I'd've had to spit on it. I suspect that my spit is not antibacterial.

If you answered c) ... well, you're me, then, aren't you? And we know that the average boy, being made up of snips and snails and puppy-dog tails, can darn well survive a few worm germs on a spring morning. Don't we? Don't we? He didn't get sent home with a bellyache, anyway. What does not kill him makes him stronger. And at least the worm is happy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Planning for disaster

I was volunteering at my son's school library today and got to watch the librarian videotaping the kindergartners. I'd like to report that she was videotaping them singing or dancing or putting on a little play, but no; she was videotaping them for security purposes. Each one had to come in, individually, stand before the camera, and repeat after the librarian their name, address, age, height, eye color and hair color. Then they had to turn to the side and tuck their hair behind their ears for a good profile shot. Some of them posed for the camera as though they were at a fashion shoot, some of them had trouble pronouncing their own complicated names, some of them had the video equivalent of stage fright, and one little boy had a bad case of the giggles throughout the entire process. They were a charming bunch, but the fun of watching them was dimmed by the knowledge that these tapes were being made in case they suddenly disappeared. The librarian told me that in addition to fingerprinting and videotaping, our district is also collecting DNA samples from the kiddies. Fortunately, the little ones didn't seem to have a clue that what they were doing was planning for disaster. Nice to be a kid and not have to read the news.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Wanna work at home?

We've all probably had our e-mail inboxes cluttered with get-rich-quick work-at-home schemes, most of them promising big money for doing things that logically could not be counted on to bring much more than aggravation. So I didn't expect much when I noticed an article on the Baby Zone site offering 10 Great Ideas for Moms Who Want to Work at Home. But the ideas here are pretty down-to-earth and legitimate, and there are some I'd never have thought of. I'm lucky to have a full-time job that allows me to work at home whenever I need to, and to leave the office at the same time my kids leave school. But if I were searching for more home-bound employment, there's a couple of ideas here I'd definitely look into.

For example, in addition to the usual suspects like writing and sales, the article mentions online teaching -- and although I know there are lots of online classes and universities, it never occurred to me that they might be casting out into the greater population looking for teachers. If the idea of teaching without ever actually having to deal with your students in person appeals to you, a site called Universal Class is looking for instructors, and so is Barnes & Noble University.

Another possibility in the Baby Zone article is case manager for early intervention. Are the folks running EI in your area really doing it at home in their PJs with toddlers running around? Sometimes it sure seems that way -- but now that I think about it, having a mom who's been there (or who's there right now) managing these cases might not be such a bad idea. According to the article, "case managers are required to have a college degree or to have a child with special needs." Goodness knows all that experience battling bureaucracy ought to be worth something.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Book report

I know it won't last, but right at the moment my kids are both showing particular interest in reading. Well, interest might be a little too strong for my daughter, who feels a need to restate after every reading session, even if she admits to liking the story, that she "hates reading." Nevertheless, I must announce with admiration and amazement that she has just finished her most challenging book yet, The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo. She'd read and enjoyed -- as much as she'll admit to -- another Dicamillo book, Because of Winn-Dixie, but that was a fairly down-to-earth story with lots of normal-life touchpoints to draw my girl through it. "Desperaux," on the other hand, is all those things she usually shuns -- a long, hard-covered fantasy story about a teeny mouse and an evil rat and a princess named Pea. For perhaps the only child in the western world who does not go wild for Harry Potter, a big fat fantasy story wasn't an obvious choice. But on the plus side, it had short chapters and pictures, and since she'd liked "Winn-Dixie" I thought we'd give it a try. And what do you know? She made it through, staying relatively interested and understanding at least the broadest outlines of the story -- which is, at least to this reading-loving mom, enchanting. If you have a reluctant reader who could use a little challenge, check out this mouse's tale.

My son is not what I'd call a reluctant reader -- he often sits and reads books to his invisible dogs, and shows great interest in the stories his teacher reads the class at school -- but he's frequently reluctant to sit still long enough to be read to by me. Every now and then I'll hit on a book that actually inspires him to sit cuddled next to me and follow my every word, and I'm thrilled to have found another one in "Shiloh Season," the middle book of the Shiloh Trilogy by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. His special-ed class read the first book, "Shiloh," just like all the other fifth-graders this year, and he talked about it so much, making good observations and analogies to other things he'd read and bringing home reports on the story from school, that I bought the sequel in the hopes that I could keep some of that enthusiasm at home. And he is indeed enthralled by the continuing adventures of Marty and his dog Shiloh and the dog's mean former owner, Judd Travers. He's already asking me to pick up the third book in the series, "Saving Shiloh," so I may be getting that sweet mother-son reading time for weeks to come. And when that's done, I'm going to try reading him "Desperaux."

Saturday, April 10, 2004

New message board! C'mon! C'mon! Please?

I've tried to do a guestbook on Mothers with Attitude from time to time, with mixed and often glitchy results. Most people don't feel a need to give feedback, and the ones who do usually write to me directly. But because I've been getting a lot of notes lately, many of which I wish I could share with others, I'm trying this one more time: I've set up the Mothers with Attitude Sounding Board on the ezBoard service, and hope that you will all join me there to share what's making you happy, sad, mad, crazy or utterly exhausted. You'll still have the opportunity to comment directly on this blog, and to e-mail me at . But come try the message board. It'll be fun, as long as I'm not the only person there ...

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Sugar high

Easter candy has started pouring in to our house already. Today was the annual "We're having it right before Easter but it's not an Easter party, it's a Spring party, because an Easter party would be politically incorrect" party at my son's school, so of course he brought home an Easter ... er, Spring basket full of chocolate eggs and goodies. Earlier in the week a co-worker gave me two very sweet little Peeps dipped in handmade chocolate (a waste of chocolate if you ask me, 'cause those Peeps are vile -- but that's obviously just me). And Sunday is sure to bring several tons of eggs 'n' things when our extended family gets together to celebrate Spring ... er, Easter. I bought my kids books for the holiday -- high fiber, no fat -- but that's not likely to stem the sweet tide by much.

This candy cornucopia couldn't come at a worse time, with me just finishing my second week on Weight Watchers. My kids get the candy but they don't actually eat the candy, at least not quickly enough to keep it from bumping into the Halloween candy later in the year. It's always been my job to keep the multiplication of chocolate morsels and jelly beans under control, and this year I'm going to have to do it piece by tiny piece, counting points along the way. Bunnies like carrots -- how come that's not the Easter treat of choice?

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Fry a potato, go to jail

A story in yesterday's L.A. Times reported that french fries in California may soon require a warning label -- not because they make you fat (but while they're at it, why not?) but because they contain high levels of acrylamide, a chemical believed to cause cancer. Lawyers who agitate for this sort of thing are suggesting that the warning be placed right on the cardboard container, as though a serving of spuds was the same as a pack of cigarettes or a bottle of beer. It's a public health hazard, after all, and the public has a right to know.

The trouble is, the acrylamide's not there because the fry-makers put it there; it's there because the potatoes are cooked. Most any cooked food has some of the chemical. So technically, the FDA should be sending someone to your house and, as you take the food out of the oven and place it on the table, slapping a warning label on top. Kids would probably enjoy this, because they would argue that those Brussels sprouts really are poisoning them. But it's doubtful they'd want to eat them raw, either.

The argument's been raised that too many warning labels tend to make people ignore all warning labels, and I think there's some truth in that. It seems like everything these days has a warning label, some useful, some ridiculous, and I'd probably pay as little attention to one on a package of fries as I do to the lawsuit-targeted instructions that tell me my coffee is really, really hot. Maybe french fries do cause cancer; maybe they do, all on their own, lure us into obesity; maybe the salt content can raise our blood pressure, the fat content our cholesterol; maybe it's not safe to eat them while driving, or feed them to the dog. Maybe fast food joints should just have a lawyer at each cash register to read us our rights before ordering. But honestly, if this stuff was really and truly good for us, would we crave it so strongly?

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

One tough mother

I've complained before about the way the conversation of any gathering of women always seems to turn to childbirth, with the ladies comparing their bad-labor and bad-delivery stories like men comparing war wounds. I usually seethe silently through those discussions, since as an adoptive mom I can't possibly contribute -- but I read a news story last night that makes me wish I could bring this gal to one of those discussions, and listen as she put those whining mommies in their place: "You had a surgeon do your Caesarean? In a hospital? With anesthesia? Ha! I did my own with tequila and a kitchen knife!" According to the news report, a 40-year-old Mexican woman who lived too far from a hospital to get there in an emergency figured out that she wasn't going to be able to deliver her latest child normally and instead performed the ultimate in do-it-yourself medicine:
"'She took three small glasses of hard liquor and, using a kitchen knife, sliced her abdomen in three attempts...and delivered a male infant that breathed immediately and cried,' said Dr R.F. Valle, of the Dr Manuel Velasco Suarez Hospital in San Pablo, Mexico."
Let's all just take a moment of silence to think about that, shall we? And think about the potential repercussions of this amazing act of female strength if a) trendy women who are into home birth decide they want to do home Caesareans too; b) insurance companies get the idea that pricey surgical services are plainly uneccessary for this sort of delivery; or c) the people at "Fear Factor" get wind of this.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Law school

Now here's a sign of the times, I suppose: My daughter came home from middle school today with a little four-page newspaper called "The Legal Eagle" in her bookbag. Billing itself as "a newspaper about the law for young people," it featured stories about obesity lawsuits against McDonald's, music downloading, and spy cameras in the classroom. There was a glossary of legal terms and a crossword puzzle to check your knowledge thereof. And I guess it's all very nice from an educational point of view, but ... have we become so litigious as a society that we need to give the kids law primers along with their Weekly Readers? Silly question -- of course we've become that litigious. Maybe they better include an article next time on why you shouldn't sue your school for filling your bookbag with all sorts of extra cluttery junk. Or sue your parents for not reading it to you.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Books in waiting

Here are the books that are piled up on my bookshelf right now, waiting for me to read them:

1. Not Even Wrong by Paul Collins. I snapped up this father's memoir of his son's autism shortly after reading a review in Entertainment Weekly. Described on the book jacket as "a haunting journey into the borderlands of neurology — a meditation on what 'normal' is, and how human genius comes to us in strange and wondrous forms," it appeals to both my interest in books about children with special needs and my liking for Oliver Sacks-like neurological storytelling.

2. Nature Via Nurture: Genes, Experience, and What Makes Us Human by Matt Ridley. According to the book jacket, "Nature via Nurture chronicles a revolution in our understanding of genes. Ridley recounts the hundred years' war between the partisans of nature and nurture to explain how this paradoxical creature, the human being, can be simultaneously free-willed and motivated by instinct and culture. Nature via Nurture is an enthralling,up-to-the-minute account of how genes build brains to absorb experience." As an adoptive parent, I'm naturally rooting for nurture, but I'm wondering if this will be another of those science books I pick up with great interest and put down in great confusion. You gotta try to stretch yourself every now and then, right?

3. Little People: Learning to See the World Through My Daughter's Eyes by Dan Kennedy. I've been looking out for this one since the author provided an excerpt for Mothers with Attitude. It's another "dad" memoir, this time about a child with dwarfism. Why do I suspect that the reason dads are having time to write all these reflective memoirs is because moms are dealing with the pediatricians and the neurologists and the insurance companies and the child study teams?

And one I'll look for next time I'm in the bookstore:

Quirky Kids: Understanding and Helping Your Child Who Doesn't Fit In — When to Worry andWhen Not to Worry by Perri Klass and Eileen Costello. According to the description on, "Drs. Klass and Costello firmly believe that the ideal way to help our quirky kids is to understand and embrace the qualities that make them exceptionally interesting and lovable. Written with upbeat clarity and informed insight, their book is a comprehensive guide to loving, living with, and enjoying these wonderful if challenging children," and who couldn't use something like that? Can't wait for the sequel, "Quirky Parents."