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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.
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Our son used to have a really hard time with summer. It was so bad many years ago that I was scared that I would begin to hate summer, my most favorite time of the year. The solution for our family was gradually introducing my son to all the wonderful things summer could hold, but on his terms. This way he had control, and slowly our family started enjoying this time of year.
Nowadays, businesses are not only more aware of autism, some are willingly offering special accommodations. They are meeting families where they're at -- so kids like mine can enjoy what's on offer along with everybody else. The following autism friendly attractions is by no means exhaustive, and I would love nothing better than to see this list grow.
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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.
I know for my son, when Spring hits, so do more sensory challenges, particularly when the weather zigzags between hot, cold, rainy, humid etc. What's a parent to do grappling with regular spring fever, and not wanting to do homework combined with bigger sensory issues? Though it requires some minor tweaking each year, I have come up with 5 ways that help our family survive Spring Fever each year.
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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.
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Even though you don't want to compare -- comparing is for chumps -- you secretly can't help yourself. A litany of comparisons runs through your mind like a never-ending grocery list. Your child is amazing, but his needs limit his day-to-day life and that of your family. And even after all these years, it stings.
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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.
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.
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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, Andrew, constructed a race car emblazoned with a F...
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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?
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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.
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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.
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.