Special Needs

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?

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.

How I've Coped With the Sleep Challenges of My Special Needs Son

Joanne Giacomini | Posted 09.11.2015 | Canada Parents
Joanne Giacomini

Sleep is a word that was hard to come by for me in the first few years of my son's life. The thing is, I want to find a permanent solution to this problem, where he can feel relaxed going to bed by himself, and I can have my personal space back. I also want him to feel secure enough in himself.

Yoga Can Help Kids With and Without Special Needs

Julie M Green | Posted 07.15.2015 | Canada Parents
Julie M Green

Think yoga is just for stressed-out adults? Think again. The benefits of yoga can be reaped by young children, and the practice is gaining popularity with the preschool set. Not just with typically developing kids, either.

My Son's 115-Day Hospital Stay Didn't Stop His Bar Mitzvah

Marcy White | Posted 06.27.2015 | Canada Parents
Marcy White

My son, Jacob, was admitted to the hospital on January 23, 2015 for a respiratory infection complicated by Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD), a degenerative neurological disorder. He would turn 13 years old on May 15 and his bar mitzvah, the ceremony and celebration commemorating his entry into Jewish adulthood, was supposed to be May 18.

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'...

The Real Autism Crisis Is in Our Classrooms

Julie M Green | Posted 05.31.2015 | Canada Impact
Julie M Green

Inclusion is held up as the ideal learning environment, and rightly so. Successful integration is possible, yet it doesn't magically happen when you throw a child with high-functioning autism into a class of 20+ children, cross your fingers and hope for the best. In many cases, though, in schools across the country, this is exactly what is being passed off as inclusion.

How Can This Principal Call Special Needs Kids the 'R' Word?

Linda Mastroianni | Posted 04.13.2015 | Canada Living
Linda Mastroianni

This is another prime example how the rights of special needs children continues to be violated by the same people that are in a position to protect them. The abuser doesn't see these children as whole. They see them as deficient, less than and certainly not worthy of respect and dignity. This principal didn't see them as whole human beings. She saw them as "animals." What message is the school district sending when they fire the person that has reported the abuse?

If Only Students Could Be Moulded Into Pipelines Or Olympic Arenas

Lizanne Foster | Posted 08.15.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Lizanne Foster

If only students were made of concrete and steel that could be moulded into things like roads, bridges, pipelines or sports arenas for Olympic events. Things that would be seen to be worth it, a good investment of billions of dollars of taxpayer money.

Why I Work With Special Needs Children: A Professional's Perspective

Nathalie Garcin | Posted 02.16.2014 | Canada Impact
Nathalie Garcin

I now work with families -- parents who trust us with that which they cherish most of all: their children. All these parents share a common story: they feel forgotten, isolated, frustrated, helpless, and overwhelmed by public sector waiting lists and the lack of support. They are right to worry.

Ask Elizabeth: Sometimes with Caregiving, the Crisis Is How You Feel

Natalie Strouth | Posted 06.11.2013 | Canada Living
Natalie Strouth

In her weekly column, Natalie answers your questions about caring for a family member or friend who needs extra support -- and caring for yourself as a caregiver. "My daughter is the joy of my life but sometimes I feel incredibly stressed by the daily responsibilities and challenges of her disability. What can I do when I feel like this?"

Making Your Kids Love the Classroom

Sara Winter | Posted 05.09.2012 | Canada Living
Sara Winter

Have you ever used headphones that were turned up way too loud? If you were wearing them all the time, how hard do you think it would be for you to be able to you to concentrate on other things? Have conversations? Ask questions like these to help kids understand what autism's like.