Hiding Autism

    What if you were afraid to let anyone know that your child has Autism?  What if the family doctor says:   “He can speak, he can read really well, he is very smart and intelligent but just flops and has some social skill and sensory issues but otherwise no one would really know…

I Am An Actress

I am an actress.  I never set out to being one.   I somehow fell into it.  It was a way to protect myself,  my family, and most especially my son.   My Autistic son who for half of his life was nonverbal.  How is Johnny doing? I think that when you are a parent of…

Math Eruption

In  Grade 2,  Johnny was struggling and didn’t like doing his Math work at school.  He did it but it took a lot of motivating.  He could do Grade 2 geometry and enjoyed measurements, and he enjoyed working on predicting patterns and sequences but the concepts of addition and subtraction were not working out for him.  He…

Meaningful Learning

  The beginning of another school year means preparing for IEP’s again so that Johnny can have a successful year of learning.    We have to think about what that will look like for Johnny and how do we advocate for his needs.   As he goes through the “Grade levels”  in school my husband…

Pearls of Wisdom

    “We all need people in our lives who raise our standards, remind us of our essential purpose, and challenge us to become the best version of ourselves.”    I think that some of the best advice and news about different programs that I didn’t have any idea about have come from random moments,…

Turtle Trouble

“My turtle is not working.  Fix it Daddy.” Its 1:30am in the middle of the night and Johnny is in our room.  Like most parents the first thing that comes to our minds as parents is he’s having a nightmare or he’s feeling sick. Our minds race as we try to come out of a…

Stop That Lower Lip

      I like to be overly expressive with my facial cues so that Johnny can learn to quickly and correctly identify what I am feeling so that he can do that with friends and family and get better at social situations.  One of things I do is if I’m sad or I am…

He’s got skills or is it the girl?

Yesterday while I was waiting to pick up Johnny  from school I hung out at the back of the classroom.  One of the Education Assistants wanted to share with me how amazing Johnny was today.  There was a Grade 1 student who visited the ASD classroom to see if it was the right fit for her…

IBI Therapy ~ To Be or Not to Be Redux

“I am happy and proud of his progress but disappointed in a system that makes promises about early childhood intervention but has children on wait lists for the therapy and programs that can help him.  ” … Source: IBI Therapy ~ To Be or Not to Be I wrote this 4 years ago after my…

Mother

  When I look over and see Johnny with a big smile on his face and laughing about something I think of “her.”   When Princess stops and looks at flowers at the neighbourhood corner store I think of “her” showing me how to plant flowers in the flower beds with “her.”   When Johnny…

How Do You Know If I Can Read?  REDUX

  or….The Argument For More Motor Speech Therapy.   Last year when Johnny was in Grade 2,  I wrote about how important it was for him to get more specialized speech therapy so that he can learn to read orally. How could he sound out letters orally if his motor speech delay literally made it…

It’s All In The Mess

I have this trick you see.  I know how hard my son has worked at school by the state his clothes or in this case the state of his boots.   When he was younger in kindergarten his hair would have paint or glue in it and his clothes would be stained with every art…

Showing What You Know

Every year I have to attend an official placement review committee (IPRC) meeting regarding Johnny’s status in special education.  Lots of good things were discussed but one thing really bothered me.  I was told that Johnny’s reading level is at around mid-Grade 1 level even though he’s in Grade 3.  I wanted to remind teachers…

Its All About How He Shows It

  What I have learned from my Autistic son from the time that he was a toddler to now (almost 9 and in Grade 3) is its all a matter of “showing what you know.”  It sounds simple doesn’t it?  Its like when you were in school and solving a math question and the teacher…

When I Just Wanted To Play Has Many More Meanings

That in a nutshell is how we help Johnny to move forward and for us as parents to be able to handle any challenges as we all move forward as a family.  We accept that he learns differently and sees the world from a different perspective and if we want to help him forward we…

A Little Busy Processing

Its just hard for him to try and process everything happening around him because the world feels so very hard sometimes. It was especially hard to process when he was younger.

5 Years Later Autism Spectrum Disorder

Today is World Autism Awareness Day and April is Autism Awareness  Acceptance Month.  It’s been 5 years since Johnny received his diagnosis that he had Autism Spectrum Disorder.  What a learning curve we have all been on.  What is Autism?  I like to think of it as a different way of thinking, being and processing because…

He Knows….

It took him many months to get used to the idea and be okay with it. He thought that if worked harder it would go away

The Boy On The Bus and His Mom Pt 4/4

  So it would have to happen that we would meet. It was an extremely cold night for the parent teacher conferences so I was happy to wait inside for my husband to arrive.  One of the EA’s that I know that works in the Multiple Exceptionality room spots me waiting in the hall.  “Do you…

When Was He Ready? Does He Ever Get To Be Just A Child?

  When was he ready?  That is one of the questions I get asked often from people who have known Johnny for a long time or from others who have heard of the progress he has made.  I like to think that all children develop at their own pace and that any developmental guidelines are…

The Boy, The Bus and Me ~ Pt 3/4

A few weeks ago….. After writing a note to the Principal letting her know what amazing stuff was happening on the bus, I keep having the staff that work in the multiple exceptionality room (special resource or special needs classroom) come up and speak with me.  Yesterday when we were taking Johnny’s class to the…

More Boy On the Bus ~ Pt 2/4

Previously on “The Boy On the Bus,”….. Another morning getting on the school bus and another bright spot to start the day.  Johnny got on the bus first like he always does and greets his buddy Michael and heads to his seat.  But this morning,  John decided to reach out and grab my daughter Princess’s hand…

The Boy On the Bus ~ Pt 1/4

At the beginning of January after Christmas holidays,  an amazing thing happened on the morning school bus that I want to share. Its a story about never giving up on hope,  that all kids move forward and progress in their own way.  The following tale is very different from what happened 2 years ago on…

Thinking About the Sibling of an Autistic Child

The other day I was reading a blog post about a Mom’s very legitimate concerns about what Autism brings to the sibling of an Autistic  child.  I truly understood where she was coming from because it’s one thing as parents that we have the  responsibility for our children but what about siblings to each other?…

It Wasn’t What I Thought I Was Going To Be

  The day after my birthday and I have been left with a lot to think about.  I had lots of wonderful birthday wishes from friends and family from far and wide and local.  My husband decorated, got me much appreciated thoughtful gifts, lovely special cupcakes from the bakery, as a family we all went…

Ash Wednesday Redux

  “Johnny wants to read this on February 18th for Ash Wednesday in front of the school.   Can you practice with him till he has it down to a fine art please?” This is the text I received from Johnny’s teacher last year.  I was so surprised but immensely proud that he has decided to…

What Do You Feel Like? 

After the big Christmas school concert, we were collecting the kids and saying our good byes.  Johnny’s teachers and EA’s were there and getting him organized to go.  Johnny wanted to know what we were doing now and I said we needed to get some dinner for Daddy because he came straight from work to…

Social Communication Gap

When I started this journey with Johnny and Autism,  I was so wrapped up in the whole getting him to talk and to play with toys “properly”  that I think I put the social communication piece on the back burner.  I think I felt that if we could get talking started then the interactions would start….

Its Like Christmas Lights….

  One of the ways I try to understand the the neurological side of Autism is I think of Johnny’s brain having more wiring in his brain that has been activated then what is typical and it hasn’t naturally trimmed itself to just use essential parts.  The end result is that it was hard for…