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”

Making Marriage Work in Special Needs Parenting

This Monday, we celebrated an amazing human’s birthday: the hubby turned 41. He took this week off work and I joined him for downtime on Monday. It was the first time we had to just the two of us in forever. When we started the adoption journey, a former manager told me to avoid adoptingContinue reading “Making Marriage Work in Special Needs Parenting”

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”

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”

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”

“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…””

The World Is Larger When You’re A Kid

Never lose your inner child, I thought, as I took T 30 years down memory lane. Last Saturday morning, I took T on a nostalgia visit to my elementary school playground. I was a bit over a year older than T is now when I last played there 31 years ago. It was the firstContinue reading “The World Is Larger When You’re A Kid”

The Power of Having Someone Believe in You

An understanding, accommodating and compassionate teacher is a true blessing. We have been so lucky that T has had amazing supports in his junior and now senior kindergarten years. There are ongoing struggles, especially in the daily hell of virtual learning. But we are taking it a day at a time. Gym class has alwaysContinue reading “The Power of Having Someone Believe in You”