Special Needs Children

Autism Plus Insomnia Equals A Cry For Compassion

Stacey Haley | Posted 11.22.2016 | Canada Parents
Stacey Haley

We should have known from their birth that this was going to be a lifelong battle. I remember after the twins were born, listening to other new moms brag how their kids were sleeping through the night at three months old and secretly hating them. I remember trying all the same things I had done with my first and wondering why it wasn't working with O and W. 1 to 3 hours of sleep for their first 18 months would destroy the strongest of men but somehow we survived it.

We Are Pioneering The Way For Our Children With Special Needs

Stacey Haley | Posted 11.17.2016 | Canada Parents
Stacey Haley

People with autism are not all violent, unthinking, unfeeling or uncaring, incapable of progress or love. When supported in a loving environment and by people who believe in them and their potential locked within, most of the kids can go on to be very successful and lead fulfilling lives with loving relationships.

Please Stop Asking What My Son's "Special Talent" Is

Tanis Shaw | Posted 11.15.2016 | Canada Parents
Tanis Shaw

He doesn't have a "special" talent. In fact, less than 10% of the autistic population have some kind of savant talent. When you ask about his "talent" and he knows that he doesn't have one, he feels less. He feels as though he is being judged for being "wrong" yet again. I hug him and tell him that you mean well, and that the drawing he did of Spider-Man really did rock! What I wish you would ask instead, is this.

Autism Gifted Me By Turning Me Into A Real Grown Up

Stacey Haley | Posted 11.07.2016 | Canada Parents
Stacey Haley

Autism officially entered our lives on June 7th and then again June 14th, 2005. Not only was this new territory -- it was no man's land. Scary quicksand territory. Never before had our parenting skills been put to the test as it was in the latter half of 2005. Not just our skills, but our belief in ourselves as parents.

I Won't Let 'Autism Fatigue' Make Me Give Up On Halloween

Stacey Haley | Posted 11.04.2016 | Canada Parents
Stacey Haley

Recently, I have become aware that something seems to be happening in our little autism family bubble. I'll name it Autism Fatigue. After 13 years of nothing coming easy, 13 years of aforementioned preparation and coaching, and teaching and coping and surviving and striving and advocating and fighting and praying.. I got tired. Christmas had fallen to the wayside, and Halloween was next.

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 12.03.2016 | 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 11.26.2016 | 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 11.26.2016 | 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 11.25.2016 | 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.”