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”

Tiny Homes, Big Dreams

Less is more is an adage I believe when thinking about home life and our five-year-old T’s future adult life. I found this story of father and son co-living through a tiny home and this story of a father and his 15-year-old creating a shipping container home to be so charming. For anyone not familiarContinue reading “Tiny Homes, Big Dreams”

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”

When Kids Lift Each Other Up

At his core, our five-year-old T is a caring kid. I saw an example of this in action at the playground next to the outdoor pool we visit several times a week in the early evenings. While I line up to get into the next hourly pool slot, T plays in the playground. There isContinue reading “When Kids Lift Each Other Up”

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.””

Playgrounds Are Back!

One of the hardest moments for me during lockdown was when T broke down in tears after seeing the playground wrapped in caution tape. I still remember the pain and anguish in his voice as he asked me why everything was closed? Thankfully, playgrounds reopened two weeks ago. I’m mindful there is a possibility weContinue reading “Playgrounds Are Back!”

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”

Swimming in a Secluded Spot at Painting-Like Killarney

We spent Friday at Killarney Provincial Park, where every corner looks like a painting with its smooth red rock facade and Georgian Bay backdrop. Our friends and I have been wanting to camp here for years but sites always sell out. It took a pandemic to get the hubby, T and I here – sansContinue reading “Swimming in a Secluded Spot at Painting-Like Killarney”

Finding the Roaring Spirit of Adventure in Thunder Bay

We arrived in Thunder Bay close to 10 on Sunday evening. T screamed, “Why does it look like this? Where’s the thunder?!” The scenic adventures that unfolded over the following three days of our Summer 2020 family roadtrip more than made up for his initial lack of enthusiasm. First stop on Monday: Beautiful Kakabeka Falls,Continue reading “Finding the Roaring Spirit of Adventure in Thunder Bay”

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”

Living with Pragmatic Positive Thinking

I’ve always been a positive person but parenting a child with special needs has reframed how I approach optimism into one of living life with pragmatic positive thinking. I recently saw this tweet from educational consultant Doctor Marcia Tate on Twitter. She stated that “being positive doesn’t mean you ignore or lie to yourself aboutContinue reading “Living with Pragmatic Positive Thinking”

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”

Return to Day Camp!

During yesterday’s day camp pickup, the staff told me that T was talking to them and the kids about Madonna and how he wants our family to move to London to live with her. Being a big Madge fan, moments like this are like a ray of light and remind me like a prayer thatContinue reading “Return to Day Camp!”

Teaching My Son To Be Bored

When we started lockdown homeschooling, the blank page of a day gave me great anxiety. I’ve since learned it’s okay to leave pockets of time during the day as unstructured time for five-year-old T to be bored. Research has shown that boredom supports a child’s healthy development, as it helps them build creativity, resilience, andContinue reading “Teaching My Son To Be Bored”

Learning and Fun in the Summer

On a scorching Friday morning, T and I went for a hike in our city’s beautiful Botanical Garden. We explored nature, had a picnic of apple juice and Goldfish crackers in the shade of a willow tree, and he saw and learned about cactus plants. Oh, and he spotted a beaver up close too. ThisContinue reading “Learning and Fun in the Summer”

“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”

Learning About Social Skills and Friendship From His Cats

It took four years and a pandemic but the Cold War between our hyperactive and loud five-year-old son and his skittish fur siblings has thawed. T and our two cats, Kyrie and Lanaya, had a rocky start. We adopted the cats, both at 1 year old, in 2015 and T came into our lives andContinue reading “Learning About Social Skills and Friendship From His Cats”