Special Needs Children

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 01.07.2016 | 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 10.27.2015 | 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 10.28.2015 | 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 10.20.2015 | 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 10.09.2015 | 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.

5 Fun Fall Activities For Your Special Needs Child

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 10.03.2015 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

By keeping our kids back from activities, we don't only do them harm by not exposing them to different experiences, we also deprive ourselves and the rest of our family from good, old-fashioned family fun. I used to be one of those overprotective parents when it came to my special needs son. Not anymore. I have to say that our adventures as a family have gotten better for the most part.

Why Autism Isn't a Cause of Divorce

Linda Mastroianni | Posted 09.30.2015 | Canada Parents
Linda Mastroianni

The challenges parents face raising a child with autism is amplified a thousand times over. We often don't know what to do or how to help our child. But even with all the challenges, autism isn't what causes a couple to divorce.

5 Ways I Helped My Special Needs Child Overcome Learning Fears

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 09.25.2015 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

My son is one of those kids that doesn't like learning in school. His anxiety is way up about reading and math, and he wanted to stay home from school the other day. He is very smart, and when challenged in a fun way or in a way that engages him one-on-one, he will sit and learn. But it's hard to find that combination when teaching him in a classroom with other children.

5 Ways for Special Needs Families to Handle Anxiety

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 09.19.2015 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

These five tips can be taught to children and adults. At this time of year, as children and their parents are frazzled with back to school, multiple extra-curricular activity schedules and homework, I think this can be especially helpful. It can be a family's lifesaver in our ever increasingly fast-paced and stressful world.

As a Mom of a Child With a Severe Disability, Facebook Is My Salvation

Her Magazine | Posted 09.10.2015 | Canada Parents
Her Magazine

It is my connection to a world of people who have an understanding of a current challenge I am facing, parents who have experienced something I am struggling with and families who have tried various solutions to obscure problems only those with medically fragile children can relate.

5 First Day of School Survival Tips for Special Needs Parents

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 09.03.2015 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

I think all parents are frazzled at this time of year, particularly special needs parents whose children take anxiety for school to a new level. What can we do as parents to make the first day of school easier? Well, I have found out that the following five things have helped me survive that first day.

If You Have a Child With Special Needs, You Can't Go it Alone

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 08.28.2015 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

No kid comes with a guidebook. Kids with developmental disabilities of all kinds, both physical and neurological, are as diverse in thought, behaviour, strengths and weaknesses as their neuro-typical peers. With the added anxiety of raising very different children from what is expected, stress levels are higher, parenting is harder and divorce runs rampant among special needs parents. That is why it is so important for them to remain on the same side.

3 Things You Need to Know About Autism in Canada

Kathleen O’Grady | Posted 07.31.2015 | Canada Politics
Kathleen O’Grady

Many organizations and affected families across the country have been calling for a national autism strategy. The wide range in disparity of publicly funded services for autism across the country has even generated a kind of "medical migration" with several published accounts of families leaving their home provinces (most commonly, Atlantic provinces, Ontario and Quebec) to move to Alberta or British Columbia where autism services are more readily available and/or more flexible. It is also no longer uncommon to find Canadian families using crowdsourcing campaigns to fund their children's autism and related therapies.

10 Tips to Help Young Adults With Autism Transition into the Workforce

Linda Mastroianni | Posted 05.31.2015 | Canada Living
Linda Mastroianni

Entering into the workforce is a milestone in one's life; a rite of passage that is often identified as the beginning of their journey into adulthood. But for so many young adults with autism, this transition can be the most difficult and stressful time in their lives. Here are 10 tips to help young adults with autism transition into the workforce.

My Child With Autism's Imaginary World Is as Vivid as the Real One

Kathleen O’Grady | Posted 05.21.2015 | Canada Parents
Kathleen O’Grady

Kids with autism are also often singular in their attention to the things they love and the things that give them pleasure; this sometimes makes them wholly present and pure receptacles of joy. In my son Casey's case, he dreamt of city buses.

10 Things Parents Of Kids With Special Needs Want You To Know

The Huffington Post Canada | Anchel Krishna | Posted 05.04.2015 | Canada Parents

My three-year-old-daughter has cerebral palsy. Having a child with special needs means a whole new set of ground rules. And for those parents who don'...

Let's Have a Little Talk About Fair

Merry Kuchle | Posted 05.04.2015 | Canada Alberta
Merry Kuchle

As the mom of a son with some level of special needs, I am often a part of the "fair" conversation. Or at least the whispered conversations that go on around me. "Did you know that he gets to play Lego while the other kids do gym? That doesn't seem to be very fair!"

How I Deal With the Comments People Make About My Adopted, Special-Needs Child

The Purple Fig | Posted 01.10.2015 | Canada Living
The Purple Fig

Sometimes people feel the need to come up to me and tell me how smart she is, as though that was ever in question. My daughter can recognize words on a 12th grade level so yes, she is smart -- but she can't tell when her shirt or pants are on backwards and that the tag almost always goes in the back.