I Believe In You

How you see yourself makes a huge difference in how you experience the world. The hubby and I had our first parent-teacher interview last Friday with T’s Grade 2 teacher. The conversation focused on T’s challenges: focusing and completing his work; avoidance behaviour like taking long bathroom breaks, and social interaction. I felt deflated, becauseContinue reading “I Believe In You”

The Traveller

What’s the meaning of a name and does it express one’s desire in life? For social studies this week, T completed an assignment that asked to research his name. It turns out one of the meanings is “traveller.” To see the world was one thing the hubby and I prioritized during life before T. TravelingContinue reading “The Traveller”

Reading Buddy

We’re experimenting with our little guy’s love of younger kids to build his reading and social skills. At the start of every school year, I watch and reflect on this “Common Strengths of Students with FASD” video by social worker Dan Dubovsky. It’s apparent T loves younger kids and they bring out his patient andContinue reading “Reading Buddy”

Guiding Light

Earlier this month, Pa would’ve turned 100. I thought about him when T had his first swim lesson. T’s always loved the water. The outdoor pools saved our pandemic summers and T loves swimming in lakes during our outdoor adventures. He’s very comfortable in the water and it was time he learned proper swim technique.Continue reading “Guiding Light”

Planning and Collaborating for School Success

Week 1 of Grade 2 is in the history books! We stepped into the school year with cautious optimism. T ended Grade 1 on a positive note but entered the new year without a dedicated CYW. School is often a challenging journey for kids with FASD. This year, we will build on T’s many strengthsContinue reading “Planning and Collaborating for School Success”

“La Vie Il Faut La Vivre”

Life must be lived. The words scribbled in French on the railing looking out at the lake. It was the final Saturday of summer break, four days before T’s second grade journey began. We were at beautiful Presqu’ile Provincial Park, located a little over an hour from the City. We left the day before, rightContinue reading ““La Vie Il Faut La Vivre””

Sanity Savers for Enjoying An Outing with A Neurodiverse Child

Some people joke their restless kids are “climbing the walls.” Kids like our T actually climb them. I’ve seen memes of this boy climbing a pillar in an airport (below) many times on social media. I empathize with this kindred spirit. Even though it’s never disclosed why this kid was climbing, I infer and understandContinue reading “Sanity Savers for Enjoying An Outing with A Neurodiverse Child”

The Dance of Life

Music can be such a revelation. Every August 16, we celebrate Queen Madonna’s birthday; she turned 64 on Tuesday. I discovered her music in high school in ‘98 and continue to admire her tireless work ethic, tenacity, fearlessness, and advocacy. Just as she redefined music, it’s interesting to watch her age on her own terms,Continue reading “The Dance of Life”

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”