The New Boy in the Park

A wonderful shortlived friendship T made was a reminder about kindness and being present. I often think about friendships, because I’ve read it’s often a challenge for individuals with an invisible disability, such as FASD. It was one of the hardest parts of the pandemic, knowing T was isolated at home and missing out onContinue reading “The New Boy in the Park”

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”

Coming Out… Again and Again

I came out in my teen years. Decades later, I am coming out again as a special needs parent. As the world celebrates Pride Month and the importance of inclusion, love and tolerance, I am thankful for living in a part of the world that is, for the most part, progressive and inclusive. I cameContinue reading “Coming Out… Again and Again”

Castles in the Sand

A day at the beach reminded me that childhood flies by like sand rushing through an hourglass. A colleague once told me, when the hubby and I first adopted T, to enjoy T’s childhood because it will go by quickly. I recently noticed that T has been staying in his bed throughout the night withoutContinue reading “Castles in the Sand”

“Yes, I Can…”

Monkey bars provided a magical moment when T’s “I can’t” became “I can.” We see for ourselves that while T has a challenging prognosis of at risk FASD, he has so many great qualities. Among them, he is kind, caring, funny, bright and persevering. But we also see, and notice more, things like anxiety, selfContinue reading ““Yes, I Can…””

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”

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”

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”

5 Years

Cherry blossoms are a beautiful reminder to live in the present. The cherry tree in our yard is in bloom and we’re gonna enjoy their beauty for the week or so that we have them this and every Spring. They remind me that lovely moments in life are often fleeting and so we should enjoyContinue reading “5 Years”

A Bouquet of Dandelions

The beauty of one’s actions lies in their intentions. One often views dandelions as pesky weeds. The hubby spends at least one weekend each Spring digging them up from our yard. But viewed through the eyes of a curious six year old, they offer an often overlooked beauty. Our world has contracted once again thanksContinue reading “A Bouquet of Dandelions”

The Road Not Taken

We celebrated my 40th birthday this week and I reflected on what’s happened and the what ifs. T and I recently read a picture book adaptation of Robert Frost’s classic poem “The Road Not Taken,” beautifully illustrated by Vivian Mineker. The poem presents the character, out for a walk in the woods, with a forkContinue reading “The Road Not Taken”

(Not) Leaving on a Jet Plane

Facebook kindly reminded me that two years ago, we were on a family vacation. The pandemic put a hold on our family tradition to travel during March Break. March Break has also been deferred this year until April to help curb COVID cases, so T is in school this week. We’re very grateful to beContinue reading “(Not) Leaving on a Jet Plane”

A Change of Scenery

“You’d think we were going to Disneyland,” I thought after T got super excited when I told him we were visiting a different park last Sunday. Like everyone, we’re all feeling so restless about these “Which window am I going to look out of today?” days. So a change of scenery, even if it wasContinue reading “A Change of Scenery”

Rainy Saturdays

A rainy day is nature’s way of telling family to slow down and savour each other’s company. We’re lucky T usually doesn’t wake up till 8:30 on weekends. But today, he got up before sunrise. He came into our room with cheerful pep. “Oh my God, it’s so early. Go back to bed!” I said,Continue reading “Rainy Saturdays”

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”

“I Get Happy When I See…”

Our T turned 6 this past week! I felt like we just celebrated his 5th birthday. Where did the time go?! While it was a quiet lockdown birthday, the hubby and I still found a way to celebrate. When T woke up on his special day, he stepped out to a hallway and staircase decoratedContinue reading ““I Get Happy When I See…””

“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!””