Planning and Collaborating for School Success

Week 1 of Grade 2 is in the history books! We stepped into the school year with cautious optimism. T ended Grade 1 on a positive note but entered the new year without a dedicated CYW. School is often a challenging journey for kids with FASD. This year, we will build on T’s many strengthsContinue reading “Planning and Collaborating for School Success”

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””

Training Wheels

The sandwich generation experiences the joys of kids growing up and the sorrow of aging parents. Earlier this summer, T showed interest in bike riding again after having no interest last year. While he loves zipping down the park, he doesn’t yet feel comfortable taking off the training wheels. And that’s ok. I thought aboutContinue reading “Training Wheels”

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”

Early Morning Goodbyes

One blessing during the pandemic was spending more time together as a family. When I was losing my mind with virtual schooling, I stopped to think when else could I take a break during work to go for a walk with T or to eat breakfast together when I’d normally be at work. This summer,Continue reading “Early Morning Goodbyes”

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!”

Part of the Pack

A coyote and pine cones. Unlikely ingredients for friendship for a 7 year old. With warmer Spring days, T and I play outside after daycare pickup before heading home. There is a group of moms and kids that are there every day. It’s amusing watching T try to initiate play. He likes to be chasedContinue reading “Part of the Pack”

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”

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”

Playing Sidekick to My Incredible Hulk

Our T has found a kindred spirit in a superhero with anger issues and the irony is not lost on me. Last week’s loan from the school library was a non-fiction book featuring the green Marvel superhero and we enjoyed reading it over several nights. I love that reading comics or books inspired by comicsContinue reading “Playing Sidekick to My Incredible Hulk”

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”

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”

Escape Room

“What am I escaping from?” asked the exasperated dad after the resort staff asked if he wanted to try their Escape Room game. The staff asked another dad, walking quickly with a kid in tow and he asked, “Do I get to escape from this?” He looked at me with T in one of hisContinue reading “Escape Room”

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”