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Jim Ball Ed.D  "TITLE: Families in Crisis: How a Dad Can Help
www.talkautism.org
Monday, September 16th at 7 p.m. (Eastern), Note portions of the text have been edited for spelling and grammatical errors, while other text with errors was left in tact in the context of the chat.
 

Jim_Ball_ Ed.D {enters}
Rebecca {public msg} Hello Jim ;o)
Rebecca {public msg} I see you made it ok
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} yes
Rebecca {action}  says Welcome to ParenthoodPlace !!!.
Rebecca {action}  smiles.
Rebecca {public msg} Starting soon in the talkAutism Room! Please join us for "Families in Crisis: How a Dad Can Help" - Jim Ball, Ed.D.
Mommyo {enters}
Mommyo {public msg} hi folks,
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} I run 6 schools for children affected by autism
Rebecca {action}  smiles.
Rebecca {public msg} Hello and Welcome to our talkAutism Specialty Chat . If you have a question for our Host. Just type a "?" in the room. The names will be taken in order received. Please hold your questions until ready to post, when you are cued. Thanks!
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Thanks
Ron {enters}
Moderator {public msg} hi Ron
Ron {public msg} hi mod, how goes it?
Moderator {public msg} it goes
Ron {public msg} Dr. Ball, thanks for coming tonight
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Ron, thank you...
Rebecca {public msg} hello Ron
Ron {public msg} hi Rebecca
Ron {public msg} how is it navigating around this chat room , Dr. Ball?
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} great so far, this is my first time
Ron {public msg} you're a natural
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} I am an awful speller
{public msg} I share your pain
Moderator {public msg} that ok Dr we read right through them
Ron {public msg} especially when I'm chatting on this board
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Jim is fine for all, please
Rebecca {public msg} We are all very good at making & reading typos ;o)
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} see I can not even spell my own name, Jim
Ron {public msg} one of the values for this exchange is the EDITED transcript that gets saved afterwards...
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} edited, good!!
Rebecca {action} . o O ( Does anyone want to get in a ?" before this all gets started for the Mod to start lining up? )
Moderator {public msg} lol
Rebecca {action: Ron}  smiles at Ron.
Rebecca {action}  nods solemnly.
Rebecca {action} . o O ( Thank goodness for MS Word spell check )
Ron {public msg} gotcha
Ron {public msg} Dr. Ball -- how are dads doing at your six schools??  What do you see in your schools?
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} The reality of it is that I do not see or talk to a lot of Dads...
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Mom is the one that is usually involved with the education of the child...
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Dad is usually removed
Ron {public msg} is that healthy, or is it present any issues?
Moderator {action} . o O ( now that I can relate to )
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} However, the interesting part though is that when I hear a Dad is coming to an IEP meeting, guess what I do??
Moderator {public msg} ??
Ron {public msg} what's that?
Rebecca {public msg} panic?
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} I make sure that I am at that meeting...
Moderator {public msg} attend?
Rebecca {public msg} oh
Ron {public msg} now you're talking..
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} The presence of Dad means that there is a problem...
Moderator {public msg} oh?
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Usually, to discuss an issue or for support of the mother
Rebecca {public msg} Jim, would you like to begin now with a introduction ?
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} yea
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} The discussion that we are going to have tonight is based on a talk
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} that I have had the honor to be part of for the past three years
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} at the ASA National Conference with two father
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} that have children affected by autism.
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} It lends itself well for this format, because the talk is totally audience driven
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} I would like to go in any direction the groups wants
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} I talk fast, but I type slow so that's good...
Rebecca {action}  smiles.
Ron {public msg} you type faster than me...
Mommyo {public msg} ?
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Currently, we run six schools for children affected with autism
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} in NJ...
Rebecca {action}  applauds fervently.
Ron {public msg} busy program!
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} we serve 200 kids a years
Rebecca {action} . o O ( There is such a need for more , in my opinion, these children need and deserve special education. )
Ron {public msg} ?
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} NJ is unique in it's service delivery

Moderator {public msg}  mommy o has the first question
Mommyo {public msg} How can you help a father feel confident with their child that has no communication and can not play.
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} I also want to thank Ron and Sharon for inviting me
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} yes...
Ron {public msg} our pleasure
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} We work with all our families on games and situations that are appropriate to the child
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} This allows then parent to be successful as well as the child
Mommyo {public msg} what if the child has no play skills
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} the more reinforcing the activity, the more the child wants to engage in it more
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} It depends on how you define play skills
Mommyo {public msg} It is hard work to play, and that does not make it fun
Mommyo {public msg} how can you keep a fathers interest that is tired after a days work
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} A child jumping on a trap for exercise could be a great first step to being with the child
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} We ask families to set aside a short period of time at first and build up as the child and the parent are successful with the activity
Mommyo {public msg} Thanks
outlawmom {enters}
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Dad also has to be reinforced for the time

Moderator {public msg}  Ron you are next
Mommyo {public msg} How do you reinforce the dad
Ron {public msg} This 'family in Crisis' topic is real interesting.  Where do you see the crisis?
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Beer....
Ron {public msg} haha
Rebecca {action}  chuckles in amusement.
Mommyo {public msg} Good I was worried I might have to do allot more than give him a beer
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} As he plays more and more with the child, and get feedback, he will get the reinforcement
Mommyo {public msg} Ha Ha
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Also, setting aside times on the weekend is a good start
Moderator {public msg} no
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} The crisis is in the divorce rate of families with children with disabilities
Ron {public msg} Any stats on that?
Moderator {public msg} that is a big problem
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. { public msg } Lee Grossman the ASA President quotes 75%
Ron {public msg} wow!
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} That is an extremely high number
Moderator {action} . o O ( well that is low compared to the disease my son had )
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Families learn to survive, but do not live
Mommyo {public msg} I see allot of my friend with special needs kid getting divorced or with nonexistent marriages
Kevinsdad {enters}
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} They do not set aside time for themselves
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} as a couple
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Men like to fix things....
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Here is the problem, now let's fix it...
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Mom's want answers, not quick fixes
Mommyo {public msg} The problem is that they can't fix autism
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} That is the answer
Mommyo {public msg} What is
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} So, Dad has to shift gears, but sometimes it's not fast enough for Mom
Ron {public msg} I can see that
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} The answer, which may sound corny, is communication
Ron {public msg} Any specific way this communication should be done?
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Discussing and sharing
Moderator {action} . o O ( Ron open and honest )
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Which men (me being one) is hard to do
Ron {public msg} it's tough being a caveman
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} we yell and get frustrated
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} why
Rebecca {action: Ron}  chuckles at Ron.
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Because we can not fix it
Moderator {action} . o O ( fix the toilet instead Ron )
Rebecca {action}  goes LOL (Laughs Out Loud).
Ron {public msg} can't do that either
Moderator {public msg} lol Ron
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} One thing that has been reported from other groups has been a "mans night out"
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Doing the man thing with other Fathers of children affected by autism
Ron {public msg} drinking?
Rebecca {action} . o O ( and? a moms night out too? )
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Monday Night Football
Ron {public msg} yeah!
Rebecca {action} . o O ( it could be just going bowling Ron? )
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Mom's have a network, just by their being
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} They are good at establishing those networks
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} They share and discuss and express
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Men tend to bottle
Rebecca {action} . o O ( true, but moms also sometimes need a break...even if they don't admit it.. )
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Yes!!
Mommyo {public msg} I see allot of father get involved with autism org. which takes them further away from their children and home
Moderator {public msg}  What helped my husband with my sons illness was going to a conference and seeing they are not alone
Ron {public msg} we got a Sunday morning disability swim that some dads, and sons, get to hang out.
Mommyo {public msg} but they feel they are at least involved with autism
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} That's were a once a week or every other week outing for just Mom and Dad comes in
Rebecca {action} not taking anything from the fathers, but some women will bottle up, feeling they must be the strong silent keeper of the household and mother
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} We  schedule our kids, now we need to schedule the relationship
Rebecca {public msg} exactly!
Mommyo {public msg} I agree
Rebecca {action: Jim_Ball_Ed.D.}  agrees with Jim_Ball_Ed.D. whole-heartedly.
Ron {public msg} I agree
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} We must work as a team to be successful
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} You have to make time as a couple, as a family,
Mommyo {public msg} what if the communication is already pretty bad, how can you break the silence?
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Dad has to feel involved
Moderator {public msg} well mommy in our case it was the crashing of his toast into my coffee ending up on the floor
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Sometimes we make people learned helpless with out even knowing it
Ron {public msg} hehe
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} We shut them out, and they go away willingly...
Mommyo {public msg} very interesting
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Mommyo does dad attend the IEP meetings??
Mommyo {public msg} No not usually
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Get him to commit to the next one
Mommyo {public msg} I will try
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Get his input
Mommyo {public msg} I am pretty strong willed.  I have gotten use to running the show
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Step back and give him a shot
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} You will be surprised by what you get
Mommyo {public msg} It is hard but I have been trying
Moderator {action} . o O ( Mommyo that's the mommy in us )
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Let him take some responsibility
Rebecca {action}  nods solemnly.
Ron {public msg} can I add a dad's perspective?
Moderator {public msg} well  I guess Ron
Mommyo {public msg} please do
Ron {public msg} not being involved on a daily basis like my wife...
Ron {public msg} I usually set my goals for tough upcoming IEP meetings...
Ron {public msg} based on what my wife wants...
Ron {public msg} or feels our son needs
Ron {public msg} is that normal, or just plain bizarre?
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} It's normal
bensdaddy {enters}
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} However, do you ever disagree with your wife??
Ron {public msg} yes, but not when it comes to school, usually
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} What do you do when you do??
Ron {public msg} just not enough info to disagree with her, I guess
Omegarace {enters}
Pagey {enters}
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Do you cave??
Ron {public msg} when we disagree, I tend to make my point in my sometimes biting , but soft spoken way
Ron {public msg} I'm somewhat a caver though...
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Do you feel frustrated afterwards??
Ron {public msg} oh yes....
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} How do you get over that?
Ron {public msg} it goes back to that fixing thing you've mentioned, but not knowing what to fix
Ron {public msg} trying to find the dad son thing that I could control, and share with him
Ron {public msg} for us, it's Sunday morning swims usually
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} So for you, it's fixing what your wife needs fixing, serves your need and hers
Ron {public msg} I guess...
Ron {public msg} she like that we spend the time, and get out of the house
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} The Sunday morning swim thing is a great thing...
Ron {public msg} it really is...
Ron {public msg} and more and more dads seem to gravitate toward it.
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} The best thing your family can do is educate yourself, educate your family members, educate your friends, and your co-workers.....
Mommyo {public msg} What is a good way to get Dads together like Ron's swim?
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} The local ASA groups do a lot with Dad's only things
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Also, just starting your own
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Knowing someone else and getting together
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Asking others to join
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Many ASA chapter groups have been very successful with that approach
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Find the interest and expand on it
Mommyo {public msg} Should I as a mom set something up
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} That's not a bad idea
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} poker anyone
Ron {public msg} check out ASA chapters on talkAutism's expertFind, or directly at autism-society.org
Ron {public msg} Poker is a neat idea
Moderator {action} . o O ( yeah those kids love inside straights )
Ron {action} . o O ( now you're talking )
Moderator {public msg} sorry *S*
Pagey {public msg} lol
Rebecca {action}  goes LOL (Laughs Out Loud).
Pagey {public msg} But it's so true
Moderator {public msg} Mommyo I think you will find the first time getting him to do it will be the hardest...just hang in there
Omegarace {public msg} I would agree there...
Mommyo {public msg} I love setting up parties,  It would be fun to have a poker night for my husband and I can leave with the kids
Moderator {public msg} its a start
Ron {public msg} you sound like a wonderful wife
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Then schedule it and keep to the schedule
Moderator {action} . o O ( we all are wonderful wives Ron...didn't you know it? )
Mommyo {public msg} You are making me blush
Rebecca {action}  smiles.
Ron {public msg} ?
Moderator {public msg}  Ron you have another question?
Ron {public msg} This schedule thing Jim -- is there something specific you'd recommend?
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Every other Tuesday at 8:00pm
Mitch {enters}
Omegarace {public msg} ?
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} It is so easy to say yea we will do it again, after the first one, how often do we then follow up
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} It gets lost
Ron {public msg} hardly ever
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} The time has to be set and maintained for a while then you can get spontaneous
Ron {public msg} thanks

Moderator {public msg}  Omegarace has a question
Omegarace {public msg} My son has been looked at for Asperger's Syndrome (sp?).  What is the difference between autism and AS?
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Asperger's Syndrome is within the autism spectrum
Omegarace {public msg} What are the characteristics that differentiate the two?
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} It is a sub category as is autistic disorder; Rhetts Disorder, etc...
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Kids with aspergers syndrome will have better verbal language skills then a child with autism...
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} But lack in social skills
Omegarace {public msg} So, how would I work the social skills into an IEP?
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} There should be a separate sections devoted to social skills, a child that truly has aspergers, really requires a heavy load of social skills
Omegarace {public msg} What about gross/fine motor skills?  Does Asperger's have any characteristics in that realm?
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Depends on the kid, but most have difficulties across all areas, some more severe than others
Omegarace {public msg} Sorry to be so full of questions...I just haven't had many chances to talk to experts on Asperger's.
Omegarace {public msg} Thanks for the info.

Moderator {public msg}  Pagey has a question
Pagey {public msg} How similar is PDD-NOS & autism? My 6 year old was first diagnosed with this, then mild autism...but I don't think the autism diagnosis is right anymore. He seems to have a lot of different characteristics of different things....
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} I would not look at it as a label
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} I would look at it as what will get you the best services
Pagey {public msg} He is very vocal, has good eye contact, most of the time anyways, & is somewhat social
Pagey {public msg} I was told that the only difference between the 2 was the services he would get
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Autistic, aspergers, PDD-NOS, it's all autism and each kids is so very different
Mommyo {public msg} My son is diagnosed with PDD NOS but is very severe
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} You have to advocate for what services you think your child needs and work within the system
Pagey {public msg} I have had him re-evaluated, & they think the diagnosis stands at mild autism...and since he has started 1st grade, the IEP's have become a lot easier
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Are you happy with the services??
Pagey {public msg} He has a lot of odd quirks....but I am just not comfortable with the diagnosis any longer
Pagey {public msg} Somewhat happy I guess....it's a lot better then when he was in head start...had to fight for everything then
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} You are just beginning the fight, but you sound determined
Pagey {public msg} I am very determined
Pagey {public msg} I refuse to let him fall between the cracks
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Adjust the IEP so that reflects what you feel are the deficit areas
Pagey {public msg} I have done that...but it's time for another IEP
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Yes it is....
Mommy {public msg} Pagey are you a boy or a girl
Pagey {public msg} thank you.....at least I have a little renewed energy to fight
Pagey {public msg} lol
Ron {public msg} don't even say that!
Moderator {public msg}  Thank you Jim for joining us tonight.  We have totally enjoyed this hr.
Rebecca {public msg} Thank you Jim
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} My pleasure
Omegarace {public msg} Thanks a lot.
Pagey {public msg} I'm a mother to a 6 year old son that was diagnosed with mild autism
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} Thank you
Ron {public msg} Thanks Jim.  Great info, great way of presenting..
Rebecca {public msg} Please drop us a line if you'd like to return, we would love to have you back
Mommy {public msg} Thank you Dr. Ball
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {public msg} It's an honor to have been here and to work with Ron's son Robbie
Pagey {public msg} Thank you Dr. Ball
Rebecca {public msg} Thanks Ron & Moderator ;o)
Moderator {public msg} your welcome
Rebecca {public msg} thanks to all for coming!
Ron {public msg} Talk to you soon, thanks Moderator, Rebecca
Moderator {public msg} Watch the schedule for future special chats
Jim_Ball_Ed.D. {leaves}
talkAutism.org

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