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David Royko Psy.D



You have found the
The Chronicles of Ben Blog Archive
May 2011 - December 2015

The Chronicles Of Ben Blog is now
Juggling Autism:
The Chronicles of Ben Royko - Severe Autism in Real Time

Click on the link and we'll see you there!


And here's the archive:

is all about Ben Royko, his family and Ben's life with severe autism. It's mainly written by me, Ben's dad, Dave Royko.
Beginning October 2015, most of my posts will be published simultaneously on this blog and the Huffington Post blog.

Click HERE for Ben Stories, including information about the eBook,
The Chronicles of Ben - Adventures in Autism

Prior to moving to this blog format,
earlier Ben Updates can be found:
HERE for Ben's arrival and first month at Monarch (May, 2011);
HERE for Ben's First Year at Monarch Updates;
HERE for Ben's Second Year At Monarch Updates;
HERE for Ben's Third Year at Monarch Updates (prior to 10/15/13).

Click HERE for Ben's gallery of pics from Cleveland.

Updates beginning October 15, 2013 are below, the most recent at the top.
And thanks for checking up on our big Benny boy!

The Ben Royko family

view:  full / summary

Red Zone

Posted on July 2, 2015 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Ben turns twenty-two on July 30th. His funding for Monarch in Cleveland ends the day before. Illinois and an adult group home -- yet to be found -- beckon. Today is July 1.

Four weeks to go.

We have been working on this for a year, feverishly for months. For fourteen years, I have had various written attempts of mine published to draw attention to autism and related issues.

Karen knows ...

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Easter Seals Guest Blog: Fathers Days and Nights

Posted on June 19, 2015 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

My blogging today is courtesy the Easter Seals blog, where it is titled: Fatherhood with autism in the mix. Thank You so much to Easter Seals for asking for it, and continuing to help spread the word about a...

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Thank You Easter Seals

Posted on June 9, 2015 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (5)

This appeared yesterday on the Easter Seals website blog (they must've known it was my birthday), and a huge Thank You to them for shining some more light on this huge issue of our booming population of kids with autism becoming a booming population of grown-ups with autism.

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Cast Off

Posted on May 28, 2015 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (4)

We just got the word from Monarch - After two months (eight weeks and two days) of big, heavy casts -- the first three weeks toe-to-crotch, then a new cast from toe to knee -- Ben is now ALL CLEAR! The cast was removed, he did great, and most importantly, the x-rays show that the surgery was a success, and Ben won't even need a boot going forward. He's done, he's fixed, he's healed, and he's happy about it. Looking forward to seeing him this weekend.


Posted on May 21, 2015 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)

     A little light-hearted (no, really) addition to this week’s posting that I’d forgotten to mention…

     There’s a Richard Scarry video where a character tries to juggle but the books go flying all over the place.

     Who says people with autism don’t learn by imitation?


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Posted on May 18, 2015 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (2)

Time continues ticking down to Ben’s return to Illinois, even if we don’t yet know where he will end up. We are working-working-working anxiously on it, having meeting upon meeting with service providers, people connected to service providers, families getting services from service providers, experts who know all about service providers, people working on becoming service providers… as you might guess, “service provider” is the most significant ter...

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A Kinder, Gentler Bulls Fan (me)

Posted on May 15, 2015 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (5)

Warning – read only if you care about basketball.

OK, I would’ve loved to see the Bulls go all the way (they lost last night's elimination game six of the NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals), but I expected Cleveland to beat them anyway because I didn’t think the Bulls ...

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Packets of Ben

Posted on May 12, 2015 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (1)

Now that his recovery from foot surgery is well along, we are deep into preparing for Ben’s Life 3.0. 1.0 was his first dozen years at home, before moving into 2.0 and the Oconomowoc Developmental Training Center (now Genesee Lake School).

3.0 is the rest of his life, “Adult Services” replacing school district funding, with very different rules, regulations and resources.

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Aware Much?

Posted on April 20, 2015 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)


Karen pushes Ben-of-the-Mega-Cast past an Autism Awareness poster in the Eton shopping mall yesterday, and I'm just hoping he doesn't feel too guilty for not wearing blue. And actually, I take it back -- of course, his cast is blue, and how appropriate is that?!?

Late Cab equals Cranky Me

Posted on April 17, 2015 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

April 11, 2015, now at O'Hare heading back to Cleveland, where Karen and Ben-of-the-mega-cast await. Called 303Taxi at 5:25am to double-confirm (I already confirmed once last night) the order for 5:30am I placed yesterday just because I get compulsive about this kind of thing. I tried to use their app yesterday to place the order, and the app turned out to be useless. When I booked the cab over the phone, I told the order taker this, and she said that the app has all sorts of p...

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Oh Baby

Posted on April 14, 2015 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

What will Ben be leaving this summer when he returns to the still unknown future of adult services back here in Illinois? Why is it hard to think about, and maintain dry eyes? Why don’t I even feel like writing about any of this?


As we were about to head back to Chicago Sunday, with Ben still in his massive cast, Karen was feeling really down, having been there for two weeks.


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Posted on April 2, 2015 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (4)

Since I'm tired, stressed, fatigued, and even sick, I'm going to use Facebook postings to cheat and cobble something together. Thanks very much Facebook friends for all of your support. And there are no words to adequately express our gratitude to Monarch, the best staff for autism there is, and especially, Bridget, Jenny, Cornisha, Rollie,  Ellen, Allison, nurse Jerry, and _________ (I always forget somebody), and the entire program. To say we couldn't have done it withou...

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Breath Held

Posted on March 28, 2015 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (0)

As part of our process of applying to adult placement sites for Ben, his Monarch staff have been taking some very short video clips, showing him in his current natural environment - the cottage he lives in. The clips show Ben happy and relaxed. I love them.

They also break my heart.

Ben will have s...

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Posted on March 17, 2015 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (2873)

Ben makes up songs. One of his (and our) favorites that has popped out of him for years goes:

"Ah la la la Bubbe; Ah la la la Big Bird; Hef! Hef!"

Absolutely no idea what the hef hef means (Bubbe is his grandma), but those two hefs are always belted out with conviction, and sometimes he even adds another hef or two.

This past weekend, Ben p...

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Posted on February 25, 2015 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

From the (indoor) waiting room of the Twinsburg, Ohio, Cleveland Clinic branch,
February 23, 2015.

Ben’s foot is broken. He also needs his Achilles te...

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A Couple (plus 1) of Pics

Posted on January 25, 2015 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (0)

From the "Ben and His Next Big Adventure (Cleveland)" gallery, a couple of moments from this weekend's visit.

Decisions Decisions: What you can't see in the pic is the Doodlebops DVD playing on the TV in front of Ben, but...

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Beethoven Rules, Waiting Drools

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Ben’s gut has always been a challenge for anyone living or working with him. The words “go to the bathroom,” in years past, evoked instant panic since typically it meant we had little or no time before the sh*tstorm (and don’t worry, this won’t be one of >those< posts that are best avoided over dinner). These days it’s much, much better but even so, finding a bathroom asap becomes a primary need.

Various evals over the past 20 ...

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Year's End

Posted on December 27, 2014 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (1)
A few shots and 30 seconds of video from Christmas Week, 2014:

Cleveland Christmas Eve 2014 in the 50s means walks in the woods.

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And Speaking Of Autism...

Posted on November 26, 2014 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Some random thoughts…

One of Ben’s lifelong and frequent stims is cupping his hands over his face with fingers wiggling:

It is one of those things that we weren’t crazy about years and years ago and tried to disco...

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A Simple Dental Check-Up

Posted on November 25, 2014 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)

This is Ben at 6:00 this morning as we were checking him into the hospital for a dental exam. He needs to go under with general anesthesia for dental check-ups. Getting the gas mask on him is a seven-person operation (he's a strong guy), with me holding his head and the others taking care of his arms and...

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