October 2004
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About Us

Welcome to the Brookston family blog. We'll post updates here on what's going on in our part of the world, and especially with our son, Porter, who has been diagnosed with some form of autism. Our hope is that this blog will help us deal with all the issues we'll be facing and keep our friends and family informed as well.

Jay B.

Sarah J.

Porter Brookston
born September 10, 2001

Alice Brookston
born July 7, 2004

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October 31, 2004

Pack Wins! Pack Wins! Pack Wins!

Categories: News, Photos, Porter, Alice, J — J @ 1:35 pm

OK, they had a little help from the officials who called back a Redskin TD with minutes to go in the game. On the very next play, Green Bay intercepted and a few plays later scored their 4th touchdown of the day. Actually, after the game Terry Bradshaw commented that the specific penalty called was emphasized during the offseason as one to watch out for this season. So it wasn’t as controversial as the announcers made it sound (and no doubt Washington fans and republicans everywhere will continue to argue). The important thing is that the win still stands and the Pack improves to 4-4 with 3 wins in a row going into their bye week.

Does this now mean Kerry will win the election on Tuesday? I sure hope so.

• • •

Happy Halloween from the Brookstons

Categories: Events, Photos, Porter, Alice, J, Sarah — J @ 9:38 am

The whole family at Porter’s Pre-School.

Me, Thomas, Sarah and a ladybug.

• • •

October 29, 2004

Halloween 2004

Categories: Events, Photos, Porter, Alice, Sarah — J @ 7:41 pm

Halloween came early to the Brookston family this year. Porter’s pre-school had their Halloween Parade today. We got Porter two costumes and felt we’d be lucky if he wore one for a few minutes. He surprised us by bowing to peer pressure and keeping his on all day.

Porter in his Thomas the Tank Engine costume.

Our little ladybug, Alice.

Sarah and the kiddles.

The other costume we got for Porter was put to good use by one of Porter’s classmates who forgot her costume. But then we got the shock of the day. After she took it off, Porter actually begged us to put it on him! Believe or not, he kept it on the rest of the day even napping in it and going to the mall in it before finally taking it off around 6:30 in the evening! So here’s Porter in his other costume, a cow suit.

• • •

October 28, 2004

New School Visit

Categories: News, Porter, Autism — J @ 2:34 pm

This morning we visited the school and classroom Porter will likely be in once we complete his IEP on November 17th. We were mostly pretty impressed with everything we saw. Class size seems fairly small with only about 8 students and one main teacher and two assistants. They’ll emphasize language and socialization in every aspect of his school experience. Plus they’ll have regular one-on-one language therapy 3 times a week, gross and fine motor skills classes (basically P.E. for toddlers with a changing obstacle course), and outdoor time with opportunities to interact with NT (neuro-typical - the more correct medical term for normal) which will help reinforce positive social interaction. Now we’re in waiting mode: waiting for the report, waiting for the IEP, and waiting for Porter to begin his new classes. I know I’m just being cranky again but now that we have some idea about what condition Porter has and what will help him most to overcome it, we have to wait another three weeks. It’s torture knowing help is so close and being stuck in this kind of limbo.

• • •

October 27, 2004

I.E.P. Rescheduled

Categories: News, Porter, Autism — J @ 5:06 pm

Porter’s IEP has been rescheduled for November 17th, a week later. The message the county left alluded to the previous date as being tentative, which makes me suspicious. They gave us every indication when we set the date that it was a final date and said nothing whatsoever about it being “tentative” whatever that really means. If I sound pissed, I am a bit since it feels like they’re not being honest with us about such an insignificant thing like scheduling. I hope this isn’t foreshadowing problems to come, especially since things seemed to be proceeding smoothly. Of course, it could simply be I want to get the ball rolling so badly and start Porter’s new schooling that even a week’s delay is making me cranky.

• • •

Say Cheese

Categories: Photos, Porter — J @ 5:02 pm

On our second day at the park this week we ran out of bread, so Porter tried to feed the ducks his cheese. They didn’t seem to like it, however. Oh, well. It’s the thought that counts.

Apparently ducks don’t like cheese.

• • •

October 26, 2004


Categories: Humor, Movies — J @ 9:10 pm

From the mad genius who created badger badger badger comes my new fave, Kenya. Forget Norway, visit Kenya.

• • •

Precinct Captain Training

Categories: News, J — J @ 4:16 pm

Much less impressive than it sounds and with no saluting, I’ve volunteered to make a gazillion phone calls on election day to help Get Out the Vote as a precinct captain. Training was last night and tomorrow I’ll get my precinct assignment. We pick up voter rolls Monday afternoon and then Tuesday it’s work, work, work. If you’re reading this I hope you’re at least voting, if not doing more. It’s too important this year to leave to others. Get involved!

• • •

October 24, 2004

A Day at the Park

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Sarah — J @ 9:42 am

Well maybe not the whole day. We did have to wait until the Packers dispatched the Cowboys 41-20. But then it was off to the local park slide.

Porter in the slide tube.

While Alice and Sarah watched.

• • •

October 23, 2004

A Gray Day

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice — J @ 8:18 am

It’s a rainy, foggy, gray day in Marin this morning. So I’m couch surfing with the kiddles.

Not sure if you can read my T, but is says:

Practice Abstinence
in 2004
No Bush. No Dick.

It was a gift from my good friends Lisa & Mark in Portland, Oregon. Thanks guys.

• • •

October 22, 2004

A Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Sarah — J @ 5:25 pm

After we picked up Porter from his Montessori pre-school today we headed to the local pumpkin patch to … well, pick up some pumpkins.

Porter choosing a pumpkin; Alice and Mommy.

Porter in the bounce house.

• • •

Date Set for I.E.P.

Categories: News, J, Autism — J @ 1:25 pm

We got a call today from the county school folks setting the date for Porter’s IEP (Individual Education Plan) for November 10th. At that meeting, recommendations will be made as to what school and therapies will be offered to help Porter. Based on our initial meetings, we’re inclined to go with the recommendations they’ll make at least for this first time and see how it works out. We’ve read horror stories about adversarial encounters with county and school officials who worry less about the children and more about their budgets. Thankfully, so far we’ve seen nothing to indicate that in Marin County.

• • •

My Favorite Picture of Porter

Categories: Photos, Porter — J @ 10:53 am

This is my favorite photograph of Porter.

Halloween 2002 outside our old apartment in Oakland. I can stare at this picture all day, and I sometimes do, and feel happy.

• • •

October 20, 2004

Porter’s County Evaluation

Categories: News, Porter, Autism — J @ 11:22 am

Porter had his Marin County school evaluation this morning. It lasted about an hour and a half as he played with toys and we answered questions with a child psychologist and speech therapist. The initial conclusion is that he will be eligible for special schooling of some type. They’ll write up their recommendations and give us a report. After that, the next step is the IEP (Individual Education Plan) where we’ll meet with them again along with the director of the program, the director of the school and our school district representative. At that meeting, we’ll discuss the recommendations made in the report and, hopefully, decide on his educational goals for the coming year and how we’re going to meet them. Whew, quite a lot to digest quickly but I’m glad we’re on our way to getting him some help specific to his needs. Everyone we’ve met so far from the county seems great and overall I’ve got a good feeling, at least, about them. You hear horror stories about unprepared or unsatisfactory experiences with special education and it certainly feels better not to be starting out with an adversarial relationship. We’re going to go observe some of the classes that Porter will be offered so we can get a better idea of how they work, which will be useful when we have the IEP, which should be in the next few weeks.

• • •

October 19, 2004

Alice Rolls Over!

Categories: News, Alice — J @ 5:46 pm

A big first today for our little Alice. She rolled over on her own for the first time today. Hooray! Among other things that this little ass-kicker is up to these days:

  • letting out burps that could leave a frat boy in the dust
  • shaking rattles and batting at toys in the air above her
  • sitting on your lap and having a conversation (sure, her end consists entirely of an ever-growing repetoire of gurgles and coos, but she’s got the charisma to carry it off)
  • drooling like a basset hound and blowing spit bubbles
  • contemplating her toes
  • watching her big brother do all those cool things that big kids get to do
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