I Believe In You

How you see yourself makes a huge difference in how you experience the world. The hubby and I had our first parent-teacher interview last Friday with T’s Grade 2 teacher. The conversation focused on T’s challenges: focusing and completing his work; avoidance behaviour like taking long bathroom breaks, and social interaction. I felt deflated, becauseContinue reading “I Believe In You”

Second Chances

What parents won’t often admit: When they ground their kids, they are punishing themselves too. After T’s unfortunate incident with taking the lollipop from the store, we grounded him last weekend; no electronics and he would not have his Halloween decor, bought on the same trip to the store, until next year. It may seemContinue reading “Second Chances”

The Boogeyman

This is a very hard post to write, but I’ve learned that fears die down when you face them. I’ve been enjoying the ramp up to Halloween – recently catching a matinee of “Halloween Ends.” Yesterday night, a real horror scenario played out: T took a lollipop from a store without paying for it. ThisContinue reading “The Boogeyman”

Cross Country Race

Our little guy competed in his first cross country school meetup today. For a kid who is endlessly active, gym is a class T struggled with the last few years. For his mid-year report card last year, his gym teacher gave him an “I,” as he didn’t participate enough for her to give a properContinue reading “Cross Country Race”

Reading Buddy

We’re experimenting with our little guy’s love of younger kids to build his reading and social skills. At the start of every school year, I watch and reflect on this “Common Strengths of Students with FASD” video by social worker Dan Dubovsky. It’s apparent T loves younger kids and they bring out his patient andContinue reading “Reading Buddy”

Guiding Light

Earlier this month, Pa would’ve turned 100. I thought about him when T had his first swim lesson. T’s always loved the water. The outdoor pools saved our pandemic summers and T loves swimming in lakes during our outdoor adventures. He’s very comfortable in the water and it was time he learned proper swim technique.Continue reading “Guiding Light”

Planning and Collaborating for School Success

Week 1 of Grade 2 is in the history books! We stepped into the school year with cautious optimism. T ended Grade 1 on a positive note but entered the new year without a dedicated CYW. School is often a challenging journey for kids with FASD. This year, we will build on T’s many strengthsContinue reading “Planning and Collaborating for School Success”

Watermelon Sugar

Do you run towards or flee from inevitable sunsets? September 9 is FASD Day, commemorated during FASD Awareness Month in September. September 9 symbolizes the ninth month of pregnancy and this day helps raise awareness about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and the experiences of individuals with FASD. People are encouraged to wear red shoes, anContinue reading “Watermelon Sugar”

Training Wheels

The sandwich generation experiences the joys of kids growing up and the sorrow of aging parents. Earlier this summer, T showed interest in bike riding again after having no interest last year. While he loves zipping down the park, he doesn’t yet feel comfortable taking off the training wheels. And that’s ok. I thought aboutContinue reading “Training Wheels”

Timeout

As we normalize conversations about mental health, how do we support neurodiverse kids? I love watching T and kids play tag. I’m amused by how they apply “TO” (timeout) – whenever they don’t want to be tagged or need a rest. As I thought about this more, kids should be encouraged to take a TOContinue reading “Timeout”

Rushing Rivers Lead to Calm Waters

When you feel like you’re being pulled under by chaos, it may be best to go with the flow. We’re still at the hubby’s parents for our annual summer vacation – and T is having a blast with his grandparents and vice versa. While T has made so many gains since last summer, his useContinue reading “Rushing Rivers Lead to Calm Waters”

Finding the Calm in the Storm of FASD Parenting

Any parent of a child with FASD will tell you that “calm” is like a mythical unicorn. A few weeks ago, a Saturday morning in the playground started off well enough. Then a little girl with her grandmother came over to the slide and T didn’t want to share it. I reminded T the slideContinue reading “Finding the Calm in the Storm of FASD Parenting”

His First A!

As flowers bloom in our garden, T reaped a sweet harvest this week. Report cards were sent home during this last week of school. The hubby and I spotted T’s very first A right away – given for reading! We were so thrilled, because of how hard T – and all of us at schoolContinue reading “His First A!”

Gym Coach

I will soon add wannabe basketball coach to my CV. As a student, gym was not my strong subject. I did well in sports like cross country and baseball, but basketball terrified me. Similarly, participating in class, including gym, is an ongoing struggle for T in Grade 1, his first full year of in-person learning.Continue reading “Gym Coach”

Travel in Light Years

How do we give children the space to dream and view the world with wonder? As children, movies and TV shows often tell us that anything is possible if you believe in dreams. As an adult, I have a nuanced view, because we don’t always get what we wish for – and that’s ok. AsContinue reading “Travel in Light Years”

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”

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”

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”