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…

When Everyone Is Not On Board

An early childhood educator told me this one very particularly frustrating day: “There are going to be well meaning professionals in your son’s life that will help him move forward and others who will only hold him back if you let them.   My advice to you is to keep the ones who “get” Johnny…

1-100 Totally Unassisted

When I opened up Johnny’s back pack this is what I found tucked inside. His EA (classroom support worker or para) had written across the bottom “totally unassisted.”  He wrote the numbers in sequential order from one to hundred all by himself in the tiny boxes that his teacher provided all by himself.  We were…

Dear Teachers….

  Dear Grade 3 Teachers, We wanted to let you know that Johnny is having a really hard time right now. He is experiencing a lot of anxiety and is very negative about going to school and just wants to stay home. We were expecting some of this the first week back but it’s continued…

Apples and Oranges to Tantrum or Meltdown 

If I put my children side by side you would immediately list off some differences.  Boy / girl, younger/ older, taller/ shorter, blond/ brown etc. When it comes to behavior they are very different again.  Is it a tantrum or is it something more?  So young but carrying such big emotions and still learning how…

Halloween Dance A Thon – Difference An Hour Makes

   This year since Halloween was on a Saturday that meant we would have two days of festivities which translates to an extra day of potential over stimulation. Friday the kids were suppose to wear their costumes at school and then in the afternoon there was a Dance-A-Thon where the kids were raising money to…

The Cat Came Back 

  A story from summer with a happy ending:)  The cat came back but not the very next day like the song says.  It turns out that he was just a few doors down from us stuck in a house on our street!   The after day we started coming to grips with the notion that he…

Visual Schedules and Why They Are Still Important

Last year in Grade 2 Johnny really “went with the flow” and followed along with the routines in the classroom.  He paid attention and watched his peers for clues on what to do next.  Is it recess time?  Is it lineup time? Is it reading time?  The Grade 2 teacher was very proud that he…

Back To School and The Battle of the Distracters

One month into school and things have been going well except for one thing.  Johnny trying to get used to the very busy schedule of Grade 3, the new teacher and classroom, and trying to become more independent. I was on twitter when I saw this great resource posted about BRAIN DISTRACTORS. One of the…

While we were away

Baptism, reading out loud in front of the school, making friends, First Communion, deciding that he wanted his own birthday party with school friends,  getting his invitations out, turning 8, going to New York City for a week, sitting through his first Broadway musical three hours in the theater at night, finishing Grade 2, speech…

What’s in a name?

  What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet; So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d, Retain that dear perfection which he owes Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name; And for that name, which is no part of thee, Take all myself.  Rom.        I…

Personal Space Issues

Personal space issues Overcoming personal space issues is one of the biggest hurdles Johnny is facing right now. Because of the social challenges he doesn’t know when he’s crossing the line and why some of his friends are acting the way they are.  They go to their teacher and myself when they see me and…

Visual Memory and His Love of Giverny

For Autism Awareness Month, I wanted to share a story regarding Johnny being a visual learner and his incredible memory. The other day I saw some pictures on Twitter of Monet’s famous water lily paintings and Johnny was looking over my shoulder and said, “Mommy that’s Giverny.” I asked him, “Who painted those?” and he answered “Monet…

Making New Visual Schedules To Promote Independence

One of my big goals is to help my son become more independent.  I make lists all the time on Evernote to keep track of things to do this month, this week or for that day.  I feel better if I have check lists especially if there are so many little things I need to…

Meltdown or Tantrum? Its Important to Understand the Difference

  Is it just a tantrum or is it a meltdown?  This is probably one of the most popular searches or hits for my blog. When it comes to Autism, self regulation and figuring out the triggers are major challenges for the whole family.  The OT that works with my son and consults with the…

Special Message To My Son’s Teachers

      I wanted to take a moment and thank the educators  and professionals who have worked with my son and those who work with him today.   Some of you follow my blog to keep up on his progress and others might stumble upon my musings in a happy accident.  So thank you to…

Autism Talent Evening for Autism Awareness

Last week as part of Autism Awareness Day,  there was a talent night highlighting what Autistic children can do and celebrating and nurturing talents at the school boards central office.  Some of Johnny’s paintings were displayed at the show.   He was so proud but wanted to get them back because he painted them for…

Past Triumphs….Let The Words Begin

  Some children who are Autistic are verbal and others never become speakers.  This is one of the harder parts of being a parent raising a child on the spectrum.  As parents, we need to be able to communicate to our child as we raise them so being told during a diagnosis that your child…

Being A Toddler and Autism… “Step Into My Shoes”

  Its another day in Autism Awareness Month and I thought I’d share a post from that I’ve reblogged about Tantrums vs Meltdowns and how we experience it as a family.  When I look at the stats page on WordPress, the most often search for terms that brings people to my blog is meltdowns and…

Autism Symptoms Now….four years later.

Johnny is 7-1/2 years old now and we cannot believe that 4 years have passed already.  So many hours of speech therapy, OT therapy and then attending parent training courses as well.  I want to make it clear that my son will always be Autistic and as parents we have come to accept that.  So when…

Autism Spectrum Disorder…What Happens Now?

re-post from my blog about what happened to us as parents when we received the diagnosis for our son and then the plan of actions we needed to come up with to help him.  Repost: http://wp.me/p1KVmo-c Originally written on January 11 2011~ It’s funny how in life how three little words can change your life forever. “I love you” “It’s…

Flashback 4 Years…Autism Symptoms Then

Since its  officially Autism Awareness month and there might be parents reading my blog who are either beginning their journey raising an Autistic child or they are curious and want more information, I thought I’d share this resource material.  Just like every child is born different and are individuals, its is the same for people that…

He was there even when I was not sure he was

It’s World Autism Awareness Day and this is Autism and acceptance to me and my family I confess that there were times I was not sure if my Autistic child understood what was happening?  When a child is non-verbal and isn’t acting the expected way that a child would about something,  many times there is an…

World Autism Awareness Day

Originally posted on Everything Under the Sun:
Awareness + Understanding = Acceptance and Celebration My Mother n’law says you hear about Autism all the time now on the radio talk shows and in the news.  I agree it feels like there is a lot of awareness around now about Autism.  I have to admit that…

The Winter Woods

  Above is a painting done by my son Johnny that he calls, “The Winter Woods.”  He has painted the stark, barren trees reflecting in the water of the frozen pond.  It is a reminder of the days we leave behind as Spring arrives.  He painted this the day we learned of the tragic loss of…

The Mountain Just Got Higher

  I am sad right now.  I am feeling discouraged right now.  The mountain is always in front of us but we climb anyway.  Advocacy for access to the curriculum despite a disability as a human right continues for our son.  We chip away and stand our ground as our son due to his own determination…