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”

The Grinch

On the annual day that we put up our Christmas tree, a real-life Grinch almost stole our cheer. It’s tradition to put up our tree the day after Remembrance Day. We remind T to honour veterans first before he goes nuts with Christmas. Three things, after all, get T super excited: Christmas, Halloween and hisContinue reading “The Grinch”

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”

Walking Towards Hope

Inspiration exists in all forms and they are so important when traveling down unpaved road. Thanks to our FASD service provider, the hubby and I recently joined a cohort of parents and caregivers for a weekly support group. It’s an 8-week pilot initiative hosted by Surrey Place, an amazing organization that has supported T sinceContinue reading “Walking Towards Hope”

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”

“La Vie Il Faut La Vivre”

Life must be lived. The words scribbled in French on the railing looking out at the lake. It was the final Saturday of summer break, four days before T’s second grade journey began. We were at beautiful Presqu’ile Provincial Park, located a little over an hour from the City. We left the day before, rightContinue reading ““La Vie Il Faut La Vivre””

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”

Here Comes The Sun

“Nothing makes the darkness go like the light…” Earlier this week, the hubby and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. The day began with dark clouds and high winds. Instead of seeing it as an unlucky #13 omen, I loved that the winds brought high waves in the usually calm bay – and with theContinue reading “Here Comes The Sun”

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!”

Advocating For Your Child

I took a nervous breath as the hubby hit ‘Enter’ on the Zoom call for the School Services Team meeting. This meeting held this past week was when we learned the school’s plans for supports for T when he enters Grade 2 this September. Advocating for your child is a necessary part of being aContinue reading “Advocating For Your Child”

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”

Disconnecting to Move Forward With a Clearer Head

During our recent week away, I had one focus: unplugging and recharging. Special needs parenting often leaves caregivers feeling perpetually foggy headed. Thanks to amazing colleagues, I checked out of work. I told family to e-mail me about urgent issues, but I tuned out everything else. I slept very well – passed out before 11Continue reading “Disconnecting to Move Forward With a Clearer Head”

Waves

“I get back up and I do it again. I get back up and I do it again…” One of my wishes with our vacation is to overfill T’s bucket with happy memories – so he has them during grayer days. I loved watching T play at the beach, with its soft white powder andContinue reading “Waves”

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”

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”

“You’re Frozen When Your Heart’s Not Open”

When faced with fear and worry of the unknown, the natural response is to numb and protect your heart from potential pain. I remember the early days of reading up about FASD and randomly bursting into tears while watching a toddler T sit or play. It felt overwhelming, stressful and lonely. But the heart hasContinue reading ““You’re Frozen When Your Heart’s Not Open””

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”