How Counseling Helped Me Become a Better Parent

Special needs parenting can be a rollercoaster and wonderful people can help along the journey. A crucial turning point came early on for me when I recognized and acknowledged that the stress I was experiencing with the challenges of parenting a child with a prognosis of FASD did not always match my capacity to tackleContinue reading “How Counseling Helped Me Become a Better Parent”

The Child That Never Grows Up

I recently started reading Peter Pan with T at bedtime, his very first chapter book. It is a modified version of JM Barrie’s classic adventure, with large text and a large illustration page on every page – to help a new chapter book reader make their way more easily through it. We read one chapterContinue reading “The Child That Never Grows Up”

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”

Childhood Summers and the Call of the Wild

We hiked along Nigadoo Falls and found an off-the-beaten-path swim spot with a gorgeous backdrop of jagged rocks, tall evergreens, a river current and cliff jumpers. It was a wonderful and refreshing way to spend a Friday afternoon, sharing this cozy private freshwater bowl with a dozen locals. With his lifejacket on, T explored theContinue reading “Childhood Summers and the Call of the Wild”

Reunions with Grandparents!

After a year of separation, T reunited with his grandparents from both sides of the family. Two weekends ago, we spent a Saturday with my uncle’s family, our Aunt and Ma – going on a nature walk and ending the day with a delicious bbq prepared by my aunt and cousin. It was Ma’s firstContinue reading “Reunions with Grandparents!”

Lost in an Odyssey

Mario Bros has provided great bonding moments with T and is teaching him about patience and perseverance. During these virtual schooling and work from home days, it’s common for me to be on a work call and for T to walk into the office unannounced. He’d walk past behind my chair, his little head seenContinue reading “Lost in an Odyssey”

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”

Exploring the 1000 Islands

If a photo is worth a thousand words, a great friendship is worth a thousand memories. The hubby, T and I went on a weekend roadtrip with a good friend, one whom I’ve known for over 25 years, since I was 14. We went to explore the Thousand Islands in Gananoque, a three-hour drive fromContinue reading “Exploring the 1000 Islands”

The New Boy in the Park

A wonderful shortlived friendship T made was a reminder about kindness and being present. I often think about friendships, because I’ve read it’s often a challenge for individuals with an invisible disability, such as FASD. It was one of the hardest parts of the pandemic, knowing T was isolated at home and missing out onContinue reading “The New Boy in the Park”

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”

Candid Conversation: Raising Jess and Finding Hope

It’s inspiring and comforting to connect with other parents on the special needs journey. Vickie Rubin is the author of Vickie’s Views, a heartwarming and inspiring blog about raising her daughter Jess. Vickie has a background in early childhood education and special education. This month, she releases her memoir Raising Jess: A Story of Hope.Continue reading “Candid Conversation: Raising Jess and Finding Hope”

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”

“Yes, I Can…”

Monkey bars provided a magical moment when T’s “I can’t” became “I can.” We see for ourselves that while T has a challenging prognosis of at risk FASD, he has so many great qualities. Among them, he is kind, caring, funny, bright and persevering. But we also see, and notice more, things like anxiety, selfContinue reading ““Yes, I Can…””