Archive - February 2015

1
This Post Is A Total Fluff Piece
2
Security Measures For Families With Young and/or Special Needs Children
3
A Look Inside the Ontario College of Teachers—from a teacher/parent perspective
4
Friends Supporting My Kids—It Takes Village
5
Ten Tips for Playdates With Kids of All Abilities

This Post Is A Total Fluff Piece

People keep talking about what they’re giving up for lent—even if they’re not religious, they seem to dig the challenge. It’s like a pious double dog dare. I’d happily give up a number of things including exercise, doing laundry, unloading the dishwasher and/or working for a living. But that’s not the point though, is it? Lent is a solemn religious observance marked by “fasting, both from foods and festivities. Observers give up an action of theirs considered to be a vice, add something that is considered to be able to bring them closer to God, and often give the time or money spent doing that to charitable purposes or organizations.” source We’re not religious, so no Lent for us. Only lint. Specifically belly button lint. How does fluff collect in a man’s navel anyway? I’m both intrigued and disgusted by this topic. My scientific navel lint theory: A man’s body hair acts like cilia, snagging, then waving stray t-shirt and sweater fibres toward the belly button where it falls in and collects. I can’t tell you how many tiny belly lint tumbleweeds have collected at my feet in our bathroom over the years. I finally snapped the other night and[…]

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Security Measures For Families With Young and/or Special Needs Children

Early this morning a 3-year-old boy went missing from his home in Toronto. Elijah was captured on his apartment building’s security cameras stepping out into the bitter cold at 4:20 a.m. He appeared to be on his own, wearing only a t-shirt, diaper and boots. His family discovered he was missing when they woke three hours later. He was found shortly after 10 a.m. only a few hundreds metres from his apartment and was taken to hospital in life threatening condition. Poor, poor baby. Why did he wake and decide to wander? Was he sleepwalking? Some children do. I did. My son had terrible night terrors as a toddler. Whatever the reason, it’s a horrible tragedy. This story has struck a chord with parents everywhere—our collective parental hearts go out to this family. Life will never be the same for them again. It also resonates with our family personally—as parents of a child with special needs who has a significant history of wandering off, silently, Elijah represents a legitimate fear for many special needs parents. When our daughter gained the ability to open doors, we immediately installed door alarms that chime when any door in our house is opened. We[…]

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A Look Inside the Ontario College of Teachers—from a teacher/parent perspective

From a very young age I knew I wanted to be a teacher. Not because I enjoy organizing everything and everyone at all times. Okay partially because of that *sideways glance at my smirking husband* but mostly because of my grade three teacher. Mrs. MacDonald was kind and creative and funny. She loved children and she made learning so much fun. She made everything fun. I wanted to be just like her. So after university and a bit of globe trotting, I went to teacher’s college to become a real teacher—with a real classroom, brimming with real children. After ten terrific years in the classroom, I left my position as an elementary school teacher to stay home with our second child. She was born with special needs and one of her most special needs is well, me. I miss my classroom, but I don’t miss teaching. I teach every day, but now my class of 24 has become a class of two. My children are subjected to “Mrs. T’s Teachable Moments” on the daily. Sorry kids. It’s what I do. When my son entered grade two (four years ago), it felt strange. This was MY grade—the grade I taught for[…]

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Friends Supporting My Kids—It Takes Village

I wrote a story recently about how one of Avery’s school friends shoed her away on the playground and hurt her little heart in the process. The very next day when we arrived at school, my friend Pat was there waiting at school drop off with this sweet calendar in hand for Avery to cheer her up. (Avery hung it beside her bed and adds a sticker every night before she goes to sleep to mark the days. Sweet AND educational. Gotta love that.)       Then I shared a story with tips for including children with special needs in play dates. The next day this Facebook message appeared. A few private messages back and forth and bam! We have a very special play date on Avery’s new calendar.   I’m not saying you have to be a mom to care about other people’s kids. My friend Ali loves my kids and takes a genuine interest. She has the cutest banter going with Sebastian. She is constantly threatening to “take him down” on the Wii playing field. He laughs and rolls his eyes and loves it. He loves her too. And so does Avery. When I told her Ali had invited[…]

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Ten Tips for Playdates With Kids of All Abilities

My daughter has a personalized CD from Name Your Tune that she just loves. She plays her favourite song “Oh How I Want To Go” over and over. Her brother always laughs at the last line saying, “Mum, that’s like SO inappropriate. They just called Avery special!” Ha. Well, she IS special. In many so ways. The song goes… “They tell me down at your house, it’s always so much fun. You laugh out loud and play a lot and skip and dance and run. Oh I just want to go to Avery’s house. Oh how I want to go… to this house I know… back to my special friend’s home.” Avery is a special friend who may have special needs, but this doesn’t mean she isn’t interested in socializing with her atypical peers. Just the opposite—this girl is one of the most social people I’ve ever met. For many parents, the idea of having a special kiddo to their house for a play date, can be a little scary. In the early days, I accompanied Avery to friend’s houses or to a party. If a parent is nervous, I’m always happy to do it. But honestly, parents don’t have to be[…]

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