Tag - disability

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Planning For Your Special Needs Child’s Future
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A Unique Teacher Imparts Real Life Lessons
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Sticks and Stones
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Include Classmates Who Have Special Needs
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Let Them Eat Cake—Her Very First Party
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The Lies We Tell As Special Needs Moms

Planning For Your Special Needs Child’s Future

I’m a compulsive planner which means I need like to know what’s going to happen next; and if I can control what that is, even better. FYI — I know what we’re having for dinner every night for the next two months. When it comes to my children, I have to remind myself to stop obsessively looking forward. However, there are some things that really must be arranged in advance when you have a child with a disability.  Though I hope to be around for a long time to care for my family, even I, the master of control, can’t control that. So as unpleasant as it seems, we recently updated our wills and named our children’s guardians and Powers of Attorney.   We also created a document listing all accounts, assets, debts, passwords, and any other crucial information family members would need in the case of, you know, our demise.   We set up an RESP for our son. He’ll need it to help with law and medical school. After that, he’s on his own. I’m sure his astronaut salary and Pulitzer prize money will be enough to get by on. (What? I tend to dream big.)  So with those details in place, I can relax and just enjoy my kids,[…]

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A Unique Teacher Imparts Real Life Lessons

I started watching this video through “teacher” eyes; interested in what makes this particular educator unique. I didn’t expect to be so incredibly moved by his experience as a parent.  I wonder if his parenting a child who has a disABILITY makes him a more compassionate and intuitive teacher? I can’t see how it wouldn’t. It’s clear he has been able to incorporate his personal struggles and strengths into his teaching. He generously shares his positive attitude and can-do outlook with the world and his students are benefitting.  Sometimes even the most seemingly ordinary people live the most extraordinary lives. And they are often the people who teach us the most important lessons about life.  Watch this. It’s truly wonderful. 

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Sticks and Stones

    As the saying going, “Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can never hurt us.” Really? That life lesson seems a little naive, if not excessively violent. Sticks are for roasting marshmallows. Stones are for skipping over a glassy lake on a hot summer day. Of course getting a stick in the eye is going to hurt and a stone to the skull will probably leave you dizzy and in need of an ice pack. Painful granted, but usually temporary. But words? They have a way of getting under your skin and festering for awhile; stinging and burning like a painful rash. I heard my kids playing upstairs when my son suddenly said to his sister, “Where did you get that from? Did somebody say that to you??” He came down to report that Avery had called him “Dumbo Ears.” She didn’t know what it meant and was obviously only repeating what she had heard. She told us somebody said it to her at school. She couldn’t name who. Avery’s ears do stick out and it’s not the first time she’s been teased about it. The thing is, she has no idea. In the face of[…]

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Include Classmates Who Have Special Needs

My child is different. Her genetics make it so. Due to a random stroke of fate, a chunk of her DNA is missing. Nobody knows why.   But old friends don’t search for what is missing. They just see what’s right there in front of them—the joyful light surrounding this happy girl. They love her big laugh and even bigger hugs. They embrace her mischievous streak of curiosity. They accept her just as she is.   But new friends, some adults and children, hesitate. “What’s wrong with her?” they ask in hushed voices…which we can totally hear by the way.    There is nothing wrong with her.    She may have trouble communicating succinctly. She might stumble over her words or repeat herself, but she has something to say. She wants to contribute to the conversation.  She doesn’t always understand when you’re making fun of her or that you’re leaving her out, but as she gets older, she is more aware.  When your child, with a disability or not, comes home from school in tears because they had nobody to play with at recess, it stings.  She doesn’t need to be invited to everything. (Side Note: Number of parties she was[…]

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Let Them Eat Cake—Her Very First Party

The girl who had never been to a birthday party can finally say, “I partied.” She’s been talking about going to her friend’s birthday party since the day she opened the invitation. Which was a very good day by the way.    She excitedly joined right in with the other girls. With a *teeny* bit of mummy’s help, she made jewelry with her friends—a tiara fit for a princess.      A jewelry box, coloured orange, dotted with gems     And a bracelet which she refuses to take off.       Curious about the Princess cake, before I could stop it, she stuck a tiny finger in the icing.      The picky eater who eats like a bird, happily sat (in one spot!) and ate a whole slice of pizza and beamed.     Then out came the cake. And where there is cake, there are bound to be candles. This kid loves the flicker of a flame.      Not like Drew. Birthday candles come with the promise of good times.     As the birthday girl got ready to make a wish, Avery inched closer…     …and closer     ….until she had positioned herself[…]

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The Lies We Tell As Special Needs Moms

I told a lie about my child. You’re probably expecting a joke or a silly pun right about that. Not today.    I brought my daughter with me to the drugstore to buy eye drops (and shampoo and lip balm and a travel sized hairspray and milk. I need to get this impulse buying thing under control). As I stood in the skin care aisle (I also bought hand cream) Avery picked up various bottles and tubes and chattered away. Then she spontaneously hugged the guy who was stocking shelves next to us. She’s tactile and a hugger without boundaries, obviously.    All the while a young female clerk was casting glances our way. Later at the checkout that same clerk was organizing the magazines. She asked, “How old is she?” An innocent question, but one I’ve come to hate nonetheless. I understand why people ask. ALL THE TIME. They’re just trying to figure Avery out. She looks her age-ish physically, but her social graces and immature speech patterns make her appear much, much younger. “How old is she?” is an attempt to make sense of the disparity.    “How old is she?” asked the clerk. “She’s four,” I answered. […]

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