Special Needs Children

How To Make Halloween Autism-Friendly

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 10.20.2016 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

Halloween is a fun time of year for most children. They love getting dressed up in costumes, going to parties, as well as going trick or treating where they get the best thing of all, candy! But for many children with autism this is a very difficult holiday. What can a parent do?

To The Police Officer Who Helped My Autistic Son

Alexandra Samuel | Posted 10.24.2016 | Canada British Columbia
Alexandra Samuel

When my husband answered the phone you gently took over the job of restraining my son...something that no public servant has ever dared to do. We've had teachers and support workers tell us that they're not allowed to touch a child, even when it's a matter of keeping our son safe. But you held him firmly and respectfully, as gently as you could, without a trace of anger or fear on your face. "I have a lot of experience with autistic kids," you told me, and it showed.

5 Special Needs Myths A New Sitcom Breaks Down

The Huffington Post Canada | Anchel Krishna | Posted 10.24.2016 | Canada Parents

The groundbreaking comedy is here to shed some light.

I Just Did What I Swore I'd Never Do With My Child

Julie M Green | Posted 10.05.2016 | Canada Parents
Julie M Green

What kind of mom drugs her kid? The mom who is tired of walking on eggshells, wondering who her child will hurt today. The mom who is tired of watching her baby suffer inside his own skin. The mom who, fighting back tears, dutifully takes the scrap of paper from the doctor with the round glasses.... What mom does that, anyway? The kind who will do whatever it takes to help her child feel better, even if it means doing precisely the thing she vowed never to do.

Co-Parent Amicably For The Sake Of Your Special Needs Child

Anna Giannone | Posted 08.08.2016 | Canada Parents
Anna Giannone

Children whose parents do not work together to co-parent amicably, maturely, and fairly, have children who feel overwhelmed, neglected, and stressed. It's time for the adults in the room to take the next step in acknowledging what they need to change in their lives to give their children all they've got.

What Real Inclusion For Kids With Autism Looks Like

Kathleen O’Grady | Posted 07.19.2016 | Canada Parents
Kathleen O’Grady

Our son, Casey, has autism, a neuro-developmental disorder that is often characterized by rigid and repetitive behaviours, difficulty with social communication and uneven intellectual development, among many other challenges. Regular participation in an integrated public school has not always been easy for him.

Cutting Stress Can Curb Your Child's Problem Behaviour

Stuart Shanker | Posted 06.21.2016 | Canada Parents
Stuart Shanker

None of us are at our best when we're tired or stressed out, especially kids. In fact, much of what we see as "misbehaviour" in kids is actually "stress behaviour" -- the result of being over-stressed, unaware of it and unaware of what to do about it.

ADHD Deserves More Respect, Recognition And Resources

Patricia Tomasi | Posted 05.30.2016 | Canada Parents
Patricia Tomasi

As the debate rages on in Ontario over access to provincially funded Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) therapy for children with autism over the age of five, let's not forget about autism's close cousin, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Leaving My Severely Disabled Son To Go On Vacation

Marcy White | Posted 05.25.2016 | Canada Parents
Marcy White

It's been almost a year since Jacob last attended school, his immune system too weak to risk exposure to even a simple cold. Nothing with Jacob is ever simple. Life goes on, days stretch into weeks and before I realize it, nine years pass without time away for my husband and I to unwind and relax together.

Blogging Helped Me Find Myself As A Parent Of A Special Needs Child

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 05.20.2016 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

Blogging became my way to connect to other parents in a natural way, and connect as a writer and artist to something else on a deeper level, my creativity, and need to share my own learning and growth as a result of my son.

Life With An Autistic Son Gave This Mom A Voice And Strength

Melanie Braga | Posted 05.17.2016 | Canada Parents
Melanie Braga

Adele noticed changes in her youngest son, Aidan, who was only 14 months at the time. The changes she noticed were: he completely stopped talking; he would not respond to his name; had many night terrors; made no eye contact and he would get much more frustrated.

Homecare Nursing Problems Affect The Whole Family

Marcy White | Posted 02.26.2016 | Canada Parents
Marcy White

The past half-year has been hard on all of us, each family member affected in different ways. I can only begin to imagine how uncomfortable and awkward it must be for Jacob to have so many strange caregivers, some with questionable skills, performing intimate tasks including bathing and suctioning.

6 Ways To Help Special Needs Children Understand Valentine's Day

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 02.10.2016 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

For a parent of a special needs child, many of us are faced with the challenges of a day when our children, many of whom don't like touch, affection or cannot understand the meaning, and wonder how to go about celebrating this day. What's a parent to do?

It's More Than 'Venting' When I Speak Up For My Special Needs Son

Marcy White | Posted 01.21.2016 | Canada Parents
Marcy White

Sharing the obstacles I encounter as an advocate for my son with severe medical issues is done with the hope that people will begin to experience a bit about what I, and many others, deal with on a regular basis. My objective is that if people know and empathize with our tribulations, change will be more likely to occur.

My Son's Autism Does Not Limit His Career Possibilities

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 10.26.2016 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

There is no need to think that, with autism and other anxiety related issues, my son cannot go on to do a job he loves, have friends and even live independently or semi-independently. It's all in how much he is encouraged and given opportunities to explore what he loves to do.

Make The Holidays Happier For A Family With Autism

Linda Mastroianni | Posted 12.03.2015 | Canada Parents
Linda Mastroianni

When my son was a toddler, I remember a few events that I declined to attend simply because it was too complicated -- I just didn't have it in me. Looking back at the earlier years, I realize just how little people new about my son and his autism. I think our experience would have been different had others been more aware.

Holiday Survival Tips For Sensory Sensitive Children

Julie M Green | Posted 11.26.2015 | Canada Parents
Julie M Green

Take my little man, for instance. If the mere sound of nail clippers is 'painful' to him, you can imagine how torturous Christmas is. Before he was diagnosed with autism, we spent the better part of a gathering holed up in a bedroom away from the very family we were there to visit.

Why I Find Halloween Scary

Marcy White | Posted 11.26.2015 | Canada Parents
Marcy White

Designing Jacob's Halloween costumes is an annual project in our house. One year, we built a drum set around his wheelchair. Another year my husband,...

How To Prepare Your Special Needs Child For Meeting Santa Claus

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 11.25.2015 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

Ah, that first visit to Santa. Remember how your little one cried and was scared, clinging to you? But you knew that this was temporary. Next year, he/she would be fine with the Santa visit, a rite of passage for most North American children today. But what if your child is not like all the other children?

Why Parents Of Kids With Autism Are Opening Their Own Schools

The Huffington Post Canada | Patricia Tomasi | Posted 11.26.2015 | Canada Parents

“I just assumed that the school board would be receptive to working with our team, willing to create the best educational plan available for my son. Boy was I wrong.”

How To Pick The Right School For Your Special Needs Child

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 11.09.2015 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

Some children need smaller classes sizes, more one-on-one attention, or other services that more specialized or private schools can usually offer. For special needs children with all types of learning issues and challenges, the situation can become even more complicated.

5 Ways To Help Your Special Needs Child Enjoy Halloween

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 10.27.2016 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

Halloween is a magical night for parents and their children. There is no reason why special needs children can't have as much fun as their neuro-typical peers. They may just need a few tweaks in the tradition to make it a happy event for them and their families.

What A Difference A Year Makes

Marcy White | Posted 10.27.2016 | Canada Parents
Marcy White

Last year at this time, I was helping Jacob settle in to his new school, working closely with his teacher and the school's Vice-Principal to ensure a smooth transition. This year, instead of arranging Jacob's uneventful passage to grade seven, my energy is focused on ensuring that Jacob remains healthy and strong.

How to Teach Your Special Needs Child to Ride a Bike

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 10.20.2016 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

Watching my son take off at top speed down our small street yesterday filled me with a feeling of awe that I can't explain. You see, he struggles with gross motor skills a lot, though he does with fine motor skills. Lots of kids with autism do. And though he has always been interested in learning to ride a bike, it came slowly.

How to Have a Happy Thanksgiving With Your Special Needs Family

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 10.09.2016 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

Thanksgiving used to be just another long holiday weekend for us dealing with my son being out of routine and having lots of behaviours. This was difficult for all of us. What has helped now as he has gotten older is talking about this holiday and what we will be doing that weekend.