Working with Teachers to Maximize A Special Needs Child’s Success

The first day of senior kindergarten is in the can and we are looking ahead to the new school year with cautious optimism. T got a fresh haircut from the hubby last night, went to bed early, got 10.5 hours sleep and woke up rather pleasant. We are thankful to be starting in a veryContinue reading “Working with Teachers to Maximize A Special Needs Child’s Success”

Wearing Red Shoes to Honour FASD Awareness Day on September 9

T is wearing red shoes to day camp today in honour of FASD Awareness Day. Commemorated annually on September 9, to symbolize the ninth month of pregnancy, this day serves to raise awareness about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, specifically about the plights of drinking during pregnancy and about the struggles of individuals with FASD. WearingContinue reading “Wearing Red Shoes to Honour FASD Awareness Day on September 9”

Summer on ADHD Medication: The Good and The Ugly

Our five-year-old T started medication for ADHD in July. It has yielded positive and challenging results so far. Starting T on medication was a very hard decision. But we made this decision because we knew the potential rewards were worth trying and worst case scenario, we could stop it. We started him in early July.Continue reading “Summer on ADHD Medication: The Good and The Ugly”

What My Cousin and Downs Syndrome Taught Me About Parenting

We celebrated my cousin Tracy’s 40th birthday this weekend. It was the first time we saw her family since lockdown began. When my family first came to Canada, one of the first friends I made were my cousins Tracy and J. My mom and her siblings are very close and we saw my uncle’s familyContinue reading “What My Cousin and Downs Syndrome Taught Me About Parenting”

Finding a Younger Brother for T

Ok, before everyone gets excited – we’re doing no such thing! But if it’s one thing the hubby and I have observed and spoke a lot about during the past six months of lockdown, watching T play by himself at home and in the playground, or seeing T sit by himself in the back seatContinue reading “Finding a Younger Brother for T”

“Turn to Stone, Lose My Faith, I’ll Be Gone Before It Happens.”

August 16 is a Holiday at home. It’s my dear M’s birthday and we play her songs all day long. It’s fun introducing T to things I love – books, TV shows and movies, games, food, places, and yes, music. If he only knew “Jacket B” isn’t what his favourite Madonna song – “Unapologetic Bitch”Continue reading ““Turn to Stone, Lose My Faith, I’ll Be Gone Before It Happens.””

Meeting Mr. Alex

A year after starting at his daycare, I finally met the wonderful staff member who has won T over. I’ve always believed that teachers and educators play an important role in a child’s life and have a big influence on their self concept and their enjoyment of learning and school. For kids with special needsContinue reading “Meeting Mr. Alex”

Taking and Embracing the Detours on Life’s Journey

Parenting a child with special needs has taught me the journey is often times more important than the destination. And more interesting, rewarding, fulfilling and one where you will be stretched, bended, tumbled, spun around, flung, chewed up and ultimately become all the better because of it. I reflected on this during the long drivesContinue reading “Taking and Embracing the Detours on Life’s Journey”

Every Child Needs and Deserves a Hero

The late Terry Fox took his final steps in his unfinished Marathon of Hope in Thunder Bay, Ontario. We visited the Terry Fox monument on our first day in Thunder Bay on Monday. It honours his memory near the spot where he took his last step. Terry Fox is a famous Canadian athlete whose rightContinue reading “Every Child Needs and Deserves a Hero”

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”

“I’ll Never Give Up On You…”

One day, in the early weeks of lockdown, I was so worn down and T was out of control. In a fit of anger, I yelled to the hubby, “I‘d never have adopted if I knew it was going to be like this!” I regretted it as soon as those hurtful words left my mouth.Continue reading ““I’ll Never Give Up On You…””

Making the Hard Decision to Medicate Our Child for ADHD

I’ve avoided this for four years. But this week, the hubby and I face an important decision in our 5-year-old’s journey: medication. We adopted our beloved T four years ago – feels like an extra year in there with this pandemic! – and shortly after, he received a prognosis of at-risk fetal alcohol spectrum disorderContinue reading “Making the Hard Decision to Medicate Our Child for ADHD”

To Our Son’s Birth Mom on Mother’s Day – Thank You

Every Mothers Day, T’s teachers create crafts with the kids to take home to their moms. As T has two dads, the hubby and I alternate giving the craft to our moms every year. We know about T’s birth mother and it is a story we are prepared to share with T when he asksContinue reading “To Our Son’s Birth Mom on Mother’s Day – Thank You”

“Papa, you’re my hero.” – Heartfilling Moments In Isolation

I feel worn down from this self isolation marathon and on some days, it is hard to remember the many positives. What I find so difficult is this unsustainable balance to work and take care and school our T. Two very different full time jobs compressed into time allowed for one. The level of anxiety,Continue reading ““Papa, you’re my hero.” – Heartfilling Moments In Isolation”

Self Care in a Pandemic for the Special Needs Parents

The one thing I often half joke about is that T can have a full blown meltdown without consequences, while us adults have to be more dignified about our emotions. Well, midway through this week, I had a grown up meltdown. My bottled up stress of the pressure to keep up T’s schooling, my work,Continue reading “Self Care in a Pandemic for the Special Needs Parents”

My 5 Year Old‘s Surprising Connection to the Real Life Dennis the Menace

“Mischief just seems to follow wherever Dennis appears, but it is the product of good intentions, misdirected helpfulness, good-hearted generosity…” – Hank Ketcham Sixty nine years ago today, Dennis the Menace made his comic book debut and soon became a worldwide success. At its peak, the comic strip ran in over 1,000 newspapers, 50 countriesContinue reading “My 5 Year Old‘s Surprising Connection to the Real Life Dennis the Menace”

Watching Our Little One Learn About Friendship

“We didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.” – Winnie the Pooh On a recent Friday evening, my hubby and I were watching T play at our local McDonald’s PlaySpace; it’s our weekly weekend ritual. T ran around in his usual excited way, making loud dinosaur roars. After aContinue reading “Watching Our Little One Learn About Friendship”

Focusing on Potential and a Growth Mindset

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” – Andy Rooney At the last parent-teacher interview at the Montessori, the last year before T got booted out, I went into the conversation expecting how it would transpire and I was right. The teacher toldContinue reading “Focusing on Potential and a Growth Mindset”

Love You Forever

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud… It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – 1 Corinthians, 13:4-7 Among the many wonderful books we’ve been gifted by family and friends for T’s personal library are those written by Canadian author Robert Munsch. HeContinue reading “Love You Forever”

It’s Ok To Not Be Ok: Grief, Acceptance & Self Care for the Special Needs Parent

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, look to tomorrow, rest this afternoon.” – Charles Schulz After the first two weeks that T arrived into our home at 15 months old, I told my hubby, “This is a piece of cake.” By the third week, I told my hubby I wanted to give him back. Parenting,Continue reading “It’s Ok To Not Be Ok: Grief, Acceptance & Self Care for the Special Needs Parent”