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”

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”

“At least he said, ‘Please’!”

Be clear about what you ask for. The photo above was taken when T was 1 and attending an Early Years program, part of our routine to help develop his speech. He’s come a long way since! These days, I appreciate that T verbalizes his feelings, rather than internalizes things. He’ll often let you knowContinue reading ““At least he said, ‘Please’!””

Making Popcorn

One freeing lesson I’ve learned is that every child’s potential pops at their own time. You may have seen this meme – the photo of popcorn with a message that reads: “Popcorn is prepared in the same pot, in the same heat, in the same oil, and here the kernels do not pop at theContinue reading “Making Popcorn”

Touchscreen Generation

Nothing ages you like teaching your Generation Alpha son how to use a computer mouse. Our 6-year-old T was born into a world that already had Instagram, wifi, and iPhones. I remember being once amused when he was three years old and trying to use the TV by touching the screen instead of using theContinue reading “Touchscreen Generation”

Walking on Thin Ice

My six-year-old recently asked me what the word “pressure” means? Since we watched Disney’s “Encanto,” he’s been humming his favourite moment, when Luisa sings the song “Surface Pressure.” We had the song on repeat while driving. I told T that when you feel pressure, you feel very worried you might not do a good job.Continue reading “Walking on Thin Ice”

Cousins

Magical moments in parenting happen when you watch your child connect and click with another. As much as I’m still complaining about not having a quiet break to myself during my time off work, it was nice to have given T time with his grandparents, Aunt and cousin in the East Coast. He was particularlyContinue reading “Cousins”

Motivation

Fans of long-running reality show Survivor will be familiar with the term “dig deep.” It’s what host Jeff Probst says to motivate contestants to tap into their inner strength to get through a physically-grueling challenge. The last few weeks have been very challenging with T at home and school. We’re not sure if it’s theContinue reading “Motivation”

“Oh my God, is that a coconut?!”

My six year old and I started a new bonding ritual: Friday night grocery runs. After a long week, all I wanted was my weekly 90 minutes of freedom: going to the supermarket. “Oh, can I come?” T asked chirpily. “Oh, fuck no,” I said to myself in my head. But I simply said, “No.”Continue reading ““Oh my God, is that a coconut?!””

The Nights That Never Die

I often think about the important life advice I want to share with T as he gets older. This past Saturday, I came across a song by the late Swedish DJ Avicii, whose soulful work I’ve long admired, called “The Nights.” Its simplistic lyrics, told through the perspective of a young man recounting his father’sContinue reading “The Nights That Never Die”

Trying Differently Rather Than Harder

On FASD Day, I’d like to share an important lesson I continue to learn as a special needs parent. FASD Day is observed annually on September 9 and has grown into a month-long event: FASD Month in September. FASD stands for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, a lifelong disability that affects the brain and body ofContinue reading “Trying Differently Rather Than Harder”

Why Struggle is Good for Kids

“The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.” I reflected on this Robert Tew quote after a lifeguard at the public pool called us out after he noticed T struggling in the water. The outdoor pool has been our savior the last two summers. We are there every other dayContinue reading “Why Struggle is Good for Kids”

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”