Soaring to New Heights at Canada’s Wonderland

T visited his first amusement park last weekend and went on his first big kid rides! Canada’s Wonderland is like the Canadian version of Six Flags amusement parks – with big rollercoasters, spinning rides and a Snoopy-themed kids area. The hubby and I have gone many times as kids and together as adults. But thisContinue reading “Soaring to New Heights at Canada’s Wonderland”

Explaining Evil to Young Kids

During our recent roadtrip, T came across dozens of shoes left behind on a set of stairs. The stairs belonged to the Town Hall of Gananoque, where we spent a nice weekend exploring the Thousand Islands. Across Canada, citizens gathered and left shoes behind at government sites in recognition of the discovery of several hundredContinue reading “Explaining Evil to Young Kids”

Orenda: Nature’s Invisible Energy

I recently learned the word, Orenda, a spiritual energy believed by the Iroquois to exist in natural objects. Lately, I’ve been listening to the music of Ferry Corsten. His uplifting songs resonate with me during these challenging times. T is familiar with electronic trance music or as he calls them: songs with no words. ForContinue reading “Orenda: Nature’s Invisible Energy”

Helping Kids Set and Achieve Goals

One recent win we had was helping T set daily goals that positively impacted virtual schooling. T’s Child and Youth Worker was motivated – as were we – to get him to participate more in class. Depending on which camp you fall on, you may find token charts useful or eye rolling in shaping behaviourContinue reading “Helping Kids Set and Achieve Goals”

Graduation Day

Two years of growth, unexpected challenges, laughter and tears culminated in a virtual kindergarten graduation. I can’t thank T’s teachers enough for hosting a virtual ceremony this morning during the pandemic to celebrate this important milestone. They provided in advance a graduation kit – diploma, cardboard hat, fun sunglasses – to have ready for thisContinue reading “Graduation Day”

Your Disco Needs You

Our 6 year old’s quirky song of choice made me reflect on how we should live life like a disco ball. Enjoying music together with T is one thing I cherish in our relationship. For a long time, all he listened to was Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” I went on a recent binge ofContinue reading “Your Disco Needs You”

Coming Out… Again and Again

I came out in my teen years. Decades later, I am coming out again as a special needs parent. As the world celebrates Pride Month and the importance of inclusion, love and tolerance, I am thankful for living in a part of the world that is, for the most part, progressive and inclusive. I cameContinue reading “Coming Out… Again and Again”

Castles in the Sand

A day at the beach reminded me that childhood flies by like sand rushing through an hourglass. A colleague once told me, when the hubby and I first adopted T, to enjoy T’s childhood because it will go by quickly. I recently noticed that T has been staying in his bed throughout the night withoutContinue reading “Castles in the Sand”

5 Years

Cherry blossoms are a beautiful reminder to live in the present. The cherry tree in our yard is in bloom and we’re gonna enjoy their beauty for the week or so that we have them this and every Spring. They remind me that lovely moments in life are often fleeting and so we should enjoyContinue reading “5 Years”

The Road Not Taken

We celebrated my 40th birthday this week and I reflected on what’s happened and the what ifs. T and I recently read a picture book adaptation of Robert Frost’s classic poem “The Road Not Taken,” beautifully illustrated by Vivian Mineker. The poem presents the character, out for a walk in the woods, with a forkContinue reading “The Road Not Taken”

Three Wishes

If a genie gave us an opportunity, would we wish away our child’s invisible disability? I thought about this question all weekend after T and I watched Disney’s Aladdin. On Saturday morning, with a bowl of popcorn, we snuggled on the couch and watched the movie T had recently enjoyed in class. I chuckled whenContinue reading “Three Wishes”

Making Positive Parenting Work For Our Family

One time, after I responded to T’s tantrum in not-the-most dignified way, the hubby asked, “So how’s that positive parenting going?” As I chopped vegetables, I told him to leave the kitchen or I was positively going to stab him. There are countless resources that describe positive parenting in great detail. I like Kars4Kids’ Parenting’sContinue reading “Making Positive Parenting Work For Our Family”

What Our Explosive Child Teaches Us About Love

After breakfast, I handed T a heart-shaped box of Smarties and asked him to be my Valentine. To me, Valentine’s is about celebrating love in all its forms, including love between family. How fitting then that this year’s Valentine’s is sharing a double billing with Family Day long weekend in Canada. This weekend has soContinue reading “What Our Explosive Child Teaches Us About Love”

How We Barely Survived Our Second Run of Virtual Schooling

T goes back to school next week, bringing to an end our second run of virtual schooling hell. The last six weeks were so incredibly hard, further amplified by other challenges like Ma’s unexpected health issue. Meltdowns, daily battles, frustration with getting T to sit and focus, embarrassing moments of T throwing a fit whileContinue reading “How We Barely Survived Our Second Run of Virtual Schooling”

Focusing Again on Potential and Growth Mindset

“There needs to be a lot more emphasis on what a child can do instead of what they cannot do.” I saw this quote shared recently on Twitter by Surrey Place, the wonderful agency that has been supporting T since he was 1.5. I reflected on this quote by Autism spokesperson and advocate Temple GrandinContinue reading “Focusing Again on Potential and Growth Mindset”

Our Son’s Adoption Baby Book

The hubby and I took out T’s baby book a few Saturdays ago. We were feeling nostalgic. For the first time, we shared its contents with T. Contained in this scrapbook are photos and letters from T’s first 14 months of life, before he moved in with the hubby and I and became part ofContinue reading “Our Son’s Adoption Baby Book”

Celebrate the Daily Incremental Successes!

I’m grateful to work from home during the pandemic, because I can stand on the steps every morning and wave to T as the hubby drives him to school. As I watch the car disappear down the street, I say a silent prayer. I ask for T to have a positive day that includes incrementalContinue reading “Celebrate the Daily Incremental Successes!”

Challenging Conversations with Family: A Child with Special Needs

During a recent chat with an aunt, she asked me if I ever regret adopting our five year old son. The question caught me off guard. She had not seen T in over a year and I was updating her on some recent challenges, including being confronted by an angry parent. I told her withoutContinue reading “Challenging Conversations with Family: A Child with Special Needs”

Connecting with Special Needs Parents at the Playground

I believe the universe conspires to bring people together – and the recent gathering place is a playground. One of my favourite parts of my day is when I pick T up from his after school program. We spend an hour hanging out at the playground. Since July, he’s built friendships with a regular groupContinue reading “Connecting with Special Needs Parents at the Playground”