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”

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”

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”

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”

Teaching Kids About Money and Valuing Things

When T indirectly broke my tablet’s power adapter, he said non-chalantly, “Just get a new one.” “And where do you think the money is going to come from?” I asked him. Without flinching, he said, “I’ll open the pig’s bum,” referring to his piggy bank. Yes, a power adapter wasn’t super expensive. But it didContinue reading “Teaching Kids About Money and Valuing Things”

Visiting My Kindergartener’s Class

It’s the horror every child dreads: when the parent visits their class. It began when T’s class, still virtual, was doing a week-long lesson about rainforests. Unbeknownst to me, the hubby reached out to T’s teacher to share a read-aloud video that I had done a few years ago. It was part of a funContinue reading “Visiting My Kindergartener’s Class”

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”

Teaching Kids To Not Fear Failure

Failing can be a good thing. I recently had a coaching conversation with a colleague. The night before, they had delivered a presentation that did not go as rehearsed. They were mortified. But I was impressed with how they owned their “failure” and identified how they would’ve done it differently. Fear of failure is natural.Continue reading “Teaching Kids To Not Fear Failure”

“Alexa, Pull My Finger!”

Our boy has reached the developmental stage where farts and poop are the best thing ever. As a parent, you always worry about whether your little one is hitting milestones. Well, let me tell you, our T is exceeding expectations with the farts and poop phase, even using technology in innovative ways. Of the millionsContinue reading ““Alexa, Pull My Finger!””

“When I Feel Angry”

Team T have been trying different strategies to help our sweet boy process his emotions. Emotional regulation is often a challenge for children with T’s prognosis – at-risk FASD. We experience a full spectrum of emotions, from happy, sweet, caring to explosive moments. The hardest moments are those when he is set off in theContinue reading ““When I Feel Angry””

Bedtime Stories We Loved: Volume 2

T’s teacher recently started a Reading Log program; one new book is sent home every day for us to read with him at night. These are simple books with patterned structure (e.g. Here is a box… Here is a bat… Here is a broom) to help T build his sight word vocabulary and learn aboutContinue reading “Bedtime Stories We Loved: Volume 2”

When Kids Feel Sad

The best and worst parts of being a parent is feeling your child’s emotional highs and lows. Little children carry big emotions that they often do not yet have the life experience to process. When T has a super high, excited or proud moment, we all celebrate together. On the flip side, we’re in theContinue reading “When Kids Feel Sad”

Having Fun With Puppetry and Video

T and I spent this rainy Sunday being silly and creative with filmmaking. T and I made up what we were doing along the way – and it was more fun this way! We put chairs together and draped our brown blanket – usually used for building forts – over them and it became aContinue reading “Having Fun With Puppetry and Video”

Reading Award

A thoughtful gesture of recognition brought a wonderful moment of confidence for our T. In addition to his handwriting skills, Team T at school and at home are working hard with him on reading. Reading with T, especially at bedtime, has been a favourite activity since he was a toddler. So many wonderful stories readContinue reading “Reading Award”

F*ck Carrots!

So our kindergartener is done with carrots and said as much during lunch at school! T had a great first week back at school and we hope the momentum continues. But on his first day back, we got a note in his daily log that he dropped the F-bomb after he opened his lunch andContinue reading “F*ck Carrots!”

Handwriting Without Tears

If there was an award for false advertising, I’d give it to this web app that claims to teach kids how to write with pure ease. Handwriting Without Tears was one of the tools that was part of T’s junior kindergarten virtual schooling last Spring. Cute lessons and activities allowed kids to practice handwriting byContinue reading “Handwriting Without Tears”

How We Barely Survived Our Second Run of Virtual Schooling

T goes back to school next week, bringing to an end our second run of virtual schooling hell. The last six weeks were so incredibly hard, further amplified by other challenges like Ma’s unexpected health issue. Meltdowns, daily battles, frustration with getting T to sit and focus, embarrassing moments of T throwing a fit whileContinue reading “How We Barely Survived Our Second Run of Virtual Schooling”

“You Need to Be Proud of Yourself Too!”

Every Friday morning, I sit with T for virtual art class before lunch and it’s been quite calming! Four weeks of virtual learning hell is behind us and it has been so so hard. Much of the school day is punctuated with meltdowns and battles. But we find a way to get to the end,Continue reading ““You Need to Be Proud of Yourself Too!””