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!”

Reading and Parenting with Pride

When those in power seek to maintain the status quo, they target access to information. I read with dismay and anger about Republican leaders seeking to ban books that discuss diversity, specifically 2SLGBTQ+ people, and to ban school curricula that discuss critical race theory. Reading is one of T and our favourite activities. In additionContinue reading “Reading and Parenting with Pride”

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”

Ice Cream Truck

Like a child hypnotized by the Pied Piper, so was T to the melodic chime of an ice cream truck. On Thursday afternoon after daycare pickup, it was sunny and beautiful, so T and I hung out in the playground before heading home. The melody of an ice cream truck appeared out of nowhere. TContinue reading “Ice Cream Truck”

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”

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”

Helping Kids Navigate Difficult Change

Change is hard for kids. It was heart wrenching to see T process an unexpected change this week. Change is harder for kids such as T. If you hang out with the hubby and I, you’ll notice we give T ample warnings – 10, 5, 1 minutes before we move to the next activity, especiallyContinue reading “Helping Kids Navigate Difficult Change”

The Diagnosis

After 5.5 years, we’ve answered a longstanding question about our son’s life and then uncovered more questions. When T was 18 months old, he received a prognosis of at-risk Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). It’s been quite the journey since as the hubby, T and I experienced the highs and lows of life with aContinue reading “The Diagnosis”

“At least he said, ‘Please’!”

Be clear about what you ask for. The photo above was taken when T was 1 and attending an Early Years program, part of our routine to help develop his speech. He’s come a long way since! These days, I appreciate that T verbalizes his feelings, rather than internalizes things. He’ll often let you knowContinue reading ““At least he said, ‘Please’!””

Making Popcorn

One freeing lesson I’ve learned is that every child’s potential pops at their own time. You may have seen this meme – the photo of popcorn with a message that reads: “Popcorn is prepared in the same pot, in the same heat, in the same oil, and here the kernels do not pop at theContinue reading “Making Popcorn”

Labels Don’t Define Us

I was recently reminded about how we are taught and conditioned to label things from an early age. Watching T complete his recent graphing assignments for virtual learning made me think about how we teach kids early on about sorting things into categories and labels. To be clear, sorting and labels have a purpose andContinue reading “Labels Don’t Define Us”

Little Community Helper

Kids can be self centered and I often think about how to teach my little T about good deeds. Last fall, we ordered a collection of the first six Clifford books, because T was interested in the adventures of the big red dog. One of the first stories was “Clifford’s Good Deeds.” The story madeContinue reading “Little Community Helper”

Kamayan and the Comfort of the Hand

Aristotle said that hands were the tool of tools and symbolize strength, protection and generosity. My hands were formed inside and emerged from Ma’s womb 40 years ago. These days, my hand is what my 81 year old Ma holds onto as I take her to endless appointments, due to her recently diagnosed muscle disease,Continue reading “Kamayan and the Comfort of the Hand”

Losing Like Halle Berry

Having a sense of humour about when things do not go as planned is generally one of my instinctual responses in life. Dealing with loss and feeling like you’re failing is part of being a special needs parent. In the last few weeks, it’s been harder to find levity during the challenging moments. We’ve beenContinue reading “Losing Like Halle Berry”

Bugs and Helping Kids Overcome Fears

Our 6 year old was bugging out and we tried to help him find a new way to look at his fears. We first noticed this behaviour in July, when he’d hyper-focus on flying insects: everything was a “bumblebee”, including flies, dragonflies, mosquitoes and yes, bees, wasps, hornets. He’d become frozen in fear, asking forContinue reading “Bugs and Helping Kids Overcome Fears”

Silenzio, Bruno

What does your self talk sound like? How do you silence your negative internal dialogue? “Silenzio, Bruno,” is a line from the animated film, Luca. It translates from Italian to “Be quiet, Bruno” or “Shut up.” We’re gonna go with the PG translation, thank you very much! The two boy characters, who are a weeContinue reading “Silenzio, Bruno”

Trying Differently Rather Than Harder

On FASD Day, I’d like to share an important lesson I continue to learn as a special needs parent. FASD Day is observed annually on September 9 and has grown into a month-long event: FASD Month in September. FASD stands for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, a lifelong disability that affects the brain and body ofContinue reading “Trying Differently Rather Than Harder”

Why Struggle is Good for Kids

“The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.” I reflected on this Robert Tew quote after a lifeguard at the public pool called us out after he noticed T struggling in the water. The outdoor pool has been our savior the last two summers. We are there every other dayContinue reading “Why Struggle is Good for Kids”

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”