Sharing A Child’s FASD Diagnosis with Them

How do you share difficult life changing news with a young child? That’s a question I’ve been thinking a lot about since we received T’s FASD diagnosis in January. The hubby and I shared the info with the school right away as it would better inform the way they supported T. We’ve held off onContinue reading “Sharing A Child’s FASD Diagnosis with Them”

Hitting the Reset Button

During a work call, I got a call from T’s daycare teacher. She was not her usual calm self. She said an older student had ran off the bus during drop off and pushed T against a wall. She had to shield him from further harm. A few hours earlier, the hubby and I receivedContinue reading “Hitting the Reset Button”

Retracing Our Footprints

I spent last weekend filing documents that have piled up over five years. Being a parent is a full time job on top of a job. Being a special needs parent is like having an extra job on top of parenting – managing school and service appointments, taking your child to appointments, keeping track ofContinue reading “Retracing Our Footprints”

Kids Keep Us Grounded

T walked in the door with the hubby, who had taken our cat to the vet. We circled him with a congratulatory hug because his teacher had e-mailed us great news. She had a regular check-in with T’s reading. He had been reading at Level 4 – on the Developmental Reading Assessment system – theContinue reading “Kids Keep Us Grounded”

The Power of Inclusion

When all kids are included, accommodated and set up for success, everyone wins. Maintaining a positive relationship with T’s school is a priority for the hubby and I. We try to be open, transparent and collaborative with his teachers and principal. We shared his recent FASD diagnosis and we’re thankful his school has been soContinue reading “The Power of Inclusion”

Finding the Bright Spots

Perfection is the enemy of progress. I thought about this expression by French philosopher Voltaire after T broke his four-week streak of perfect spelling tests. T’s teacher recently introduced Words of the Week; six words given on Mondays that he practices for a test on Fridays. T crushed the first four weeks and we postedContinue reading “Finding the Bright Spots”

Bedtime Stories We Loved: Volume 3

Reading to T as he rests his head on my shoulder is a joyful way to unwind. We’ve been reading at night with T since we adopted him at 14 months. As noted by the American Library Association, young kids that are frequently read to are more likely to recognize letters, have word-sight recognition, andContinue reading “Bedtime Stories We Loved: Volume 3”

Cool As A Cucumber

Making cucumber kimchi and sledding down icy hills helped us keep it chill this weekend. Six weeks into the new year and I’ve been working hard at my resolution: to be the calm in T’s storm. It’s a life lesson I wish I could’ve applied earlier in my parenting journey – especially now that T’sContinue reading “Cool As A Cucumber”

The Diagnosis

After 5.5 years, we’ve answered a longstanding question about our son’s life and then uncovered more questions. When T was 18 months old, he received a prognosis of at-risk Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). It’s been quite the journey since as the hubby, T and I experienced the highs and lows of life with aContinue reading “The Diagnosis”

Little Community Helper

Kids can be self centered and I often think about how to teach my little T about good deeds. Last fall, we ordered a collection of the first six Clifford books, because T was interested in the adventures of the big red dog. One of the first stories was “Clifford’s Good Deeds.” The story madeContinue reading “Little Community Helper”

Patience, Perseverance, Payoff

Whoever coined the phrase “patience is a virtue,” must’ve parented a child with ADHD. We’re keeping learning going this summer on weekends. We keep it chill – a bit of language, math, writing practice, and physical activity. Once T gets his checkmarks, he gets free time and other rewards the rest of the day. AmongContinue reading “Patience, Perseverance, Payoff”

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”

Teaching Kids About Money and Valuing Things

When T indirectly broke my tablet’s power adapter, he said non-chalantly, “Just get a new one.” “And where do you think the money is going to come from?” I asked him. Without flinching, he said, “I’ll open the pig’s bum,” referring to his piggy bank. Yes, a power adapter wasn’t super expensive. But it didContinue reading “Teaching Kids About Money and Valuing Things”

“When I Feel Angry”

Team T have been trying different strategies to help our sweet boy process his emotions. Emotional regulation is often a challenge for children with T’s prognosis – at-risk FASD. We experience a full spectrum of emotions, from happy, sweet, caring to explosive moments. The hardest moments are those when he is set off in theContinue reading ““When I Feel Angry””

Bedtime Stories We Loved: Volume 2

T’s teacher recently started a Reading Log program; one new book is sent home every day for us to read with him at night. These are simple books with patterned structure (e.g. Here is a box… Here is a bat… Here is a broom) to help T build his sight word vocabulary and learn aboutContinue reading “Bedtime Stories We Loved: Volume 2”

When Kids Feel Sad

The best and worst parts of being a parent is feeling your child’s emotional highs and lows. Little children carry big emotions that they often do not yet have the life experience to process. When T has a super high, excited or proud moment, we all celebrate together. On the flip side, we’re in theContinue reading “When Kids Feel Sad”

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”

Handwriting Without Tears

If there was an award for false advertising, I’d give it to this web app that claims to teach kids how to write with pure ease. Handwriting Without Tears was one of the tools that was part of T’s junior kindergarten virtual schooling last Spring. Cute lessons and activities allowed kids to practice handwriting byContinue reading “Handwriting Without Tears”

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”

Why Youth Mentorship Matters

The hubby and I binged the latest season of Cobra Kai over two nights. The Netflix hit series continues the story of The Karate Kid movies 35 years later. I never watched the films but the show resonates with me, because it tells a compelling coming of age story. The aspect of the story thatContinue reading “Why Youth Mentorship Matters”