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”

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”

Giving Kids Chores and Building Their Confidence

While I was preparing to take out the recycling bin to the garage, T chirpily asked to help. It was overflowing in the pantry and I helped him pull the bin out; a mountain of plastic and boxes spilled onto the kitchen floor. T insisted on carrying the box down the hallway, out the doorContinue reading “Giving Kids Chores and Building Their Confidence”

Working with Teachers to Maximize A Special Needs Child’s Success

The first day of senior kindergarten is in the can and we are looking ahead to the new school year with cautious optimism. T got a fresh haircut from the hubby last night, went to bed early, got 10.5 hours sleep and woke up rather pleasant. We are thankful to be starting in a veryContinue reading “Working with Teachers to Maximize A Special Needs Child’s Success”

Summer on ADHD Medication: The Good and The Ugly

Our five-year-old T started medication for ADHD in July. It has yielded positive and challenging results so far. Starting T on medication was a very hard decision. But we made this decision because we knew the potential rewards were worth trying and worst case scenario, we could stop it. We started him in early July.Continue reading “Summer on ADHD Medication: The Good and The Ugly”

Discussing Feelings and Building Empathy

“You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself.” – John Steinbeck For all the anxiety and exhaustion our little T often causes us, one consistent strength we can always count on is his caring nature. Last summer, during an after dinner outing to the playground, an older boy, who must’ve been nineContinue reading “Discussing Feelings and Building Empathy”

Ideas to Keep Our Little One Learning During Social Distancing

“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.” – Harvey MacKay I am thankful that T is oblivious to how serious the COVID-19 pandemic is. We’ve let him know there isContinue reading “Ideas to Keep Our Little One Learning During Social Distancing”

Focusing on Potential and a Growth Mindset

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” – Andy Rooney At the last parent-teacher interview at the Montessori, the last year before T got booted out, I went into the conversation expecting how it would transpire and I was right. The teacher toldContinue reading “Focusing on Potential and a Growth Mindset”

Bedtime Stories Our Son & Us Loved to Read Together

“The more that you read, the more things you’ll know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss On a recent Friday evening, we got home late from McDonald’s PlaySpace. After a long day at work, I was just done. We put T straight to bed and skipped our routineContinue reading “Bedtime Stories Our Son & Us Loved to Read Together”

Why Early Intervention Matters for Children with Special Needs and How to Advocate for It

“I believe, I believe, I believe in you.” – Kylie Minogue When we first received T’s prognosis of at-risk FASD, one of the things I obsessed over was how many blocks he could stack, because it was a question asked during his assessment. We practiced every day as if his life depended on creating aContinue reading “Why Early Intervention Matters for Children with Special Needs and How to Advocate for It”

Talk To Me: Helping Our Little One Learn to Communicate

“Uuuuuuuuuur Ahhhhrrrrr Uhrrrr Ahhhhhrrrrr Aaaaarhg…” – Chewbacca After taking T to the potty recently, he pulls up his underwear and blurts out matter of factly, “Oh my God, look at his butt. It is so big!” I shouldn’t have laughed, but I did. I’m not sure where he picked this up. Maybe it was fromContinue reading “Talk To Me: Helping Our Little One Learn to Communicate”