When Kids Lift Each Other Up

At his core, our five-year-old T is a caring kid. I saw an example of this in action at the playground next to the outdoor pool we visit several times a week in the early evenings. While I line up to get into the next hourly pool slot, T plays in the playground. There isContinue reading “When Kids Lift Each Other Up”

Swimming in a Secluded Spot at Painting-Like Killarney

We spent Friday at Killarney Provincial Park, where every corner looks like a painting with its smooth red rock facade and Georgian Bay backdrop. Our friends and I have been wanting to camp here for years but sites always sell out. It took a pandemic to get the hubby, T and I here – sansContinue reading “Swimming in a Secluded Spot at Painting-Like Killarney”

Loving and Supporting the Often Misunderstood Special Needs Child

While standing first in line to be let in the outdoor pool, T tells me he’s peeing. I look down and sure enough, a puddle of pee on the pavement with 20 people looking at my 5-year-old. I feel mortified and I could not hold in my embarrassment. “That is disgusting, why would you doContinue reading “Loving and Supporting the Often Misunderstood Special Needs Child”

Return to Day Camp!

During yesterday’s day camp pickup, the staff told me that T was talking to them and the kids about Madonna and how he wants our family to move to London to live with her. Being a big Madge fan, moments like this are like a ray of light and remind me like a prayer thatContinue reading “Return to Day Camp!”

Teaching My Son To Be Bored

When we started lockdown homeschooling, the blank page of a day gave me great anxiety. I’ve since learned it’s okay to leave pockets of time during the day as unstructured time for five-year-old T to be bored. Research has shown that boredom supports a child’s healthy development, as it helps them build creativity, resilience, andContinue reading “Teaching My Son To Be Bored”

Camping in Our Backyard

The hubby and I were not going to let a pandemic take away our family camping tradition, so we pitched our tent in the backyard this weekend. It was also camping week at homeschool this week. T’s teacher gave a series of camping-themed learning activities, from books and poems, to math exercises, and more. TContinue reading “Camping in Our Backyard”

A Rejuvenating First Nature Hike Since Lockdown

A family of swans, Canadian geese, ducks, and a deer feeding from afar. My family basked in a feast of nature this afternoon, our first outing since lockdown began three months ago. It was a beautiful Saturday. Sunny and a comfortably cool 16 degrees for t-shirt and shorts. A steady breeze. We headed for LyndeContinue reading “A Rejuvenating First Nature Hike Since Lockdown”

We Can and Must Do Better

Like many others, the horrifying murder of George Floyd weighed on my mind this week. Since we adopted T, I often view and process news and events through the eyes of being his Papa. I often think to myself about how I can protect T from the horrors of the world while he is young,Continue reading “We Can and Must Do Better”

Learning About Social Skills and Friendship From His Cats

It took four years and a pandemic but the Cold War between our hyperactive and loud five-year-old son and his skittish fur siblings has thawed. T and our two cats, Kyrie and Lanaya, had a rocky start. We adopted the cats, both at 1 year old, in 2015 and T came into our lives andContinue reading “Learning About Social Skills and Friendship From His Cats”

It’s All About Perspective

For today’s home learning activity, we gave T a magnifying glass and went for a nice walk to look at ants and the beauty of nature up close. T has been learning about ants for school this week. His teacher gave us a series of online books and videos about ants, fictional and factual. OneContinue reading “It’s All About Perspective”

Bonding Over Video Games With My Son

I’ve unlocked another fatherhood badge: Playing video games with my five-year-old T. For all the worries that I have about the learning gains that T may be missing out on while in lockdown, I have full confidence that he is excelling in digital literacy skills. Last weekend, T pulled up a chair and plopped itContinue reading “Bonding Over Video Games With My Son”

Ideas to Keep Our Little One Learning During Social Distancing

“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.” – Harvey MacKay I am thankful that T is oblivious to how serious the COVID-19 pandemic is. We’ve let him know there isContinue reading “Ideas to Keep Our Little One Learning During Social Distancing”

“I Love You, Alexa!” – Technology & the Child with Special Needs

“It’s not a faith in technology. It’s faith in people.” – Steve Jobs I was washing dishes one morning when I overheard T talking with our smart home assistant device, Alexa. T: “Alexa… I love you.” Alexa: “That’s nice of you to say.” T: *Repeats over and over again* “Alexa…” Alexa: “Sorry, I’m having troubleContinue reading ““I Love You, Alexa!” – Technology & the Child with Special Needs”

Why Early Intervention Matters for Children with Special Needs and How to Advocate for It

“I believe, I believe, I believe in you.” – Kylie Minogue When we first received T’s prognosis of at-risk FASD, one of the things I obsessed over was how many blocks he could stack, because it was a question asked during his assessment. We practiced every day as if his life depended on creating aContinue reading “Why Early Intervention Matters for Children with Special Needs and How to Advocate for It”