Search Results For -video special sister

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A Video For A SPECIAL Sister
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When People Stare At My Child Who Has Special Needs
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TIFF Kids—special films for special kids
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A Brother Shows His True Colours For His Special Sister
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Do You Have A “Special Needs Script?”
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Is Blogging Dead?
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Super Simple Summer Fun
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Grief-Helping Kids Cope
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Can’t Think Of A Title For This One…
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You’re Not Still Using The R-Word Are You?

A Video For A SPECIAL Sister

  He wanted a way to explain to his peers about how his sister is very different from, yet exactly the same as everyone else. Our son made this video to share with his schoolmates. He said it would be easier if people would just ask him what they want to know, instead of staring or whispering or making ignorant remarks. These are his words.  These are their photos.  This is his thoughtful message. *Over the course of a week he went from class to class to share this video with his schoolmates. He started by introducing his sister who was there with him. Then he played the video and answered questions at the end. Related: Creating a “Special Needs Script“

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When People Stare At My Child Who Has Special Needs

  When strangers stare at my daughter I feel embarrassed, angry, defensive, indignant. I feel all the feelings in no particular order.  Sometimes I make direct eye contact with the starer. Sometimes I call them on it. Sometimes I don’t.  It’s emotional for us when people turn to look at our kids. And when their stares linger, it’s hard to handle.    But I try to remind myself that different draws attention. It’s human nature to be curious. People aren’t generally cruel. They’re just trying to figure it out.  So last week when my son’s gaze fell upon a girl with Down Syndrome and his glance lasted a few seconds too long, and was perceived as a stare, I understand why her mother glared at him.  He looked upset after swim practice. Not only were his eyes stinging from the chlorine, he was feeling the sting of guilt because he’d upset the mother of a girl in his class.  He explained that when he got out of the pool he noticed a girl about Avery’s age standing on the pool deck waiting for her sister. He spotted a school crest on her shirt and he was trying to get a better[…]

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TIFF Kids—special films for special kids

  My eldest child has been making short films since he was old enough to use an iPad. One of his earliest was an iMovie project called, “A Video For A Special Sister.” He showed it class by class at his school in an effort to teach his peers what it’s like to have a sibling with special needs. The technique was amateur, but his message was mature beyond his years. Is it possible to be a doting stage mother if my child is behind the camera? Anyway, like some sort of cosmic cinematic kismet, a fitting showcase is coming to the TIFF Kids International Film Festival this year! My son and I are going to view the Jump Cuts Young Filmmakers Showcase—short films created for young people by young people.   This year’s theme challenges young filmmakers (grades 4-6) to create an onscreen representation of a disability. It will be interesting for my mini Spielberg to watch how his peers approach filmmaking, editing, and story telling. I wish he had known about this earlier and could’ve entered. He’d have won for sure! That was my dramatic stage mother voice again, wasn’t it? Speaking of disabilities (seamless segue, I know)[…]

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A Brother Shows His True Colours For His Special Sister

You know when people comment on a video or a blog post saying, “This brought me to tears” or “This made me bawl”? Sometimes it’s true. But more often it’s merely a sentimental response to an emotional topic. When I watched this video however, I literally sobbed. I cried out loud, which I have to say is both cleansing and bloody exhausting. And now through red swollen eyes I’m attempting to share this amazing tribute by a brother to his sister. This sweet and crazy talented young boy of eleven, the same age as my son, wrote and performed this song (a cover of True Colours by Cindy Lauper) about his sister, eight years old, the same age as my special little girl. Sarah was born with Down Syndrome, but her big brother Matt doesn’t see her as different—he sees her as special in all the best ways. My son loves his sister more than anything. He made a video about her to help explain her differences to his peers at school. I guess this one of the reasons why this story touches me so deeply.  If you watch anything online today, you must watch this video below. It’s simply[…]

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Do You Have A “Special Needs Script?”

Writing a movie script? Fun!   Writing a script for your child to have on hand for when peers, out of ignorance or curiosity, call his younger sibling a “retard“? Not quite as much fun. But it’s important to arm kids who have a sibling with special needs with the words to thwart such attacks. And what about the parents of children with a disABILITY? Parents like me with soft hearts and thin skin. There was a time when I considered having cards made up to hand to strangers who stared or made unsolicited comments. I thought by having the words written out, I’d be better able to explain without getting emotional. Since then, my skin has thickened an inch or two and with time and experience and I now welcome the opportunity to address them directly, and calmly. Usually. More often than not, people are receptive upon hearing the information when delivered in a respectful manner. And yes, the “respectful” tone employed for such exchanges takes effort. Look out Meryl Streep — the Best Actress award goes to… Addressing adults — check. I seem to have that under control. Minus the time when that crusty awful woman shushed us.[…]

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Is Blogging Dead?

I used to have blogging in my back pocket but now I think blogging might be dead or at the very least, in a deep coma. I’ve been blogging (and vlogging on occasion) for years—ten to be exact. I love writing and sharing (*Edited by my husband to “over-sharing”) so when I discovered web-logging when I was home on mat leave with our second child I was like, “This was totally made for ME!” I had no clue about SEO or web design, but I had a story I wanted to share with other parents going through what we were.  In the early days when our daughter wasn’t acting the way “normal” babies do and doctors didn’t have any answers for us, I turned to the internet where I found some amazing blogs and support online. And once I got over the shock of you know, everything, I started a blog about our new reality as parents of a child with medical and developmental challenges. I shared all of it—the ugly moments, the scary thoughts, the fear, the anxiety and PTSD, the mistakes, and the grief. But I made sure to include the sweet stuff and the lessons learned too[…]

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Super Simple Summer Fun

  As Canadians we spend a lot of time indoors. This past winter was especially brutal. Spring arrived just in the nick of time because the Thornburys were getting dangerously close to a “The Shining” situation. Rum—good. Red rum—bad. My kids have been itching to get outdoors and back to nature and that’s exactly what we did last week. We spent seven glorious days with family at their cottage on a lake in New Brunswick— sans wifi or television. No iPhone grafted to my hand? I expected it to be difficult. It wasn’t. It was heaven. Here are a few of the activities we enjoyed: On day one of our vacation, thanks to the last remnants of Hurricane Arthur, we had no choice but to make our own indoor fun. To be clear, the dads coordinated the fun. I sat on the covered porch and read for three solid hours. Bliss. So what fun did the guys come up with? First they played a game — “Super Moose” (Reg. $29.99). It’s a wooden puzzle challenge where players take turns balancing antlers on a wobbly moose head. It’s meant for ages 3+. The older more dextrous and patient kids enjoyed it,[…]

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Grief-Helping Kids Cope

My husband’s mum was a vital part of our lives. There hasn’t been a day since she died that we don’t miss her terribly. As adults who’ve had years to develop coping skills, it’s still tough. So how can a child possibly deal with grief when they can’t begin to reconcile the devastation of loss and moreover, the finality of death? Our eleven year old son experienced anxiety resulting from the loss of his grandmother, so we sought help. Grief counseling has helped him begin to accept the death and has given him skills to cope with the fear of losing his parents and sister.   Avery, our seven year old, seems to be the most profoundly affected. She and her ‘Grandie’ had a special bond (one that my husband and I are convinced has continued in some other worldly way. It sounds odd, but the evidence we’ve seen is impossible to ignore). At first Avery believed her Grandie had gone to the dentist and would be coming back soon. We don’t know where this idea came from. Regardless, the first dental appointment I took the kids to afterwards was difficult to say the least. When it became evident that[…]

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Can’t Think Of A Title For This One…

  This post is about nothing and everything. So unless you’re Seinfeld, how can you title something like that? Today as the kids and I went through our morning ritual of listening to Top 100 tunes while dancing around the kitchen making breakfast, feeding the dogs and the guinea pig, chugging coffee (me, not the kids) and making lunches, “Summer” by Calvin Harris came on. (The video is below in case you haven’t heard it yet). After the first verse my son said, “How is that even allowed? Isn’t that name calling?” How was what name calling? The dude is singing about some chick he met in the summer. The only thing offensive is the video. Could those girls’ shorts BE any shorter? Either I’ve become a prude, or I’m just jealous that I used to be able to rock short shorts, but now without sturdy jeans to cradle my cheeks, I’d have to carry my saggy ass behind me in my handbag. But I digress. He thought Calvin was singing, “With a midget in the summer.” We laughed as I sang him the actual lyrics. (“I met cha in the summah…”) Clearly the kid got his mother’s lyric-challengedness. I’ve[…]

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You’re Not Still Using The R-Word Are You?

  Last year in the school yard, children repeatedly asked my son if his sister was retarded. When he finally told me about it I was ready to bang some heads together. Luckily my child is more mature than his hot-headed mother. He chose to take action by making this VIDEO to present to his peers resulting in meaningful conversations and a greater understanding about what it’s like to have a sibling with special needs. The fact is, children follow so it’s our job as adults to be kind, educated, moral leaders. When adults don’t set a good example we end up with a new generation of ignorant, intolerant adults. Out for dinner recently an adult at our table joked about something retarded they did at work. I was shocked, but I didn’t say anything.  How is this still happening in 2014? If I stay silent I’m part of the problem. This frustrates me. As the parent of a child with special needs am I expected to police the internet and the world around me like an R-word detecting watch dog? I’d really rather not. You might think that retard(ed) is merely a word and that we—the people who love[…]

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