What Our Explosive Child Teaches Us About Love

After breakfast, I handed T a heart-shaped box of Smarties and asked him to be my Valentine. To me, Valentine’s is about celebrating love in all its forms, including love between family. How fitting then that this year’s Valentine’s is sharing a double billing with Family Day long weekend in Canada. This weekend has soContinue reading “What Our Explosive Child Teaches Us About Love”

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”

Celebrate the Daily Incremental Successes!

I’m grateful to work from home during the pandemic, because I can stand on the steps every morning and wave to T as the hubby drives him to school. As I watch the car disappear down the street, I say a silent prayer. I ask for T to have a positive day that includes incrementalContinue reading “Celebrate the Daily Incremental Successes!”

Challenging Conversations with Family: A Child with Special Needs

During a recent chat with an aunt, she asked me if I ever regret adopting our five year old son. The question caught me off guard. She had not seen T in over a year and I was updating her on some recent challenges, including being confronted by an angry parent. I told her withoutContinue reading “Challenging Conversations with Family: A Child with Special Needs”

Confrontation with an Angry Parent

During a daycare pickup this week, the staff told me T threw a toy at a boy and caused a bump on his head. They said the parents were upset, because it’s not the first time T and this boy have had issues. I told the staff the hubby and I will speak with TContinue reading “Confrontation with an Angry Parent”

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”