Tuesday, 17 December 2013
In the week's leading up to my son's first kindergarten report, I felt myself having more anxiety. My anxiety stemmed from the unknown and the fact this would be his first formal academic evaluation. I didn't have a reason to worry but you just never know. Since I didn't know what to expect I told myself to not have any expectations. As soon as he got home on report card day, I opened the envelope quickly. After a look at the grades, my mind was blurting out "WHAT?!? How on earth could he get 2 C's?!?". My Asian mind was flabbergasted at how a child of mine could even get a "C". Once I calmed down, I took a step back and came away with four important lessons.
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
There are few words in our language that will automatically solicit a smile from the majority of people. Birthdays are memorable and joyous occassions full of celebration with loved ones. It is a day to honour the past, enjoy the present and dream about the future. Birthdays help mark significant milestones. The first birthday celebrates the successful survival of the parents who have managed multiple night wakings, endless feedings, first smiles and first steps. The fifth birthday sees a toddler becoming a young boy or girl with growing independence especially as they get ready to head off to school. The 21st birthday is another milestone. For the parents of a special needs child, this milestone contains much joy but it also brings to the forefront questions about the future. At 21, the public education of the special needs child is finished. Thus, the following questions arise. What will my special needs child do with their time now that their schooling is finished? Will my special needs child be able to find a job? Will my special needs child be able to live on his or her own? What kinds of resources, public or private, are available for my special needs chid?
Hopefully, as a special needs parent, these questions are not being asked for the first time at the 21st birthday. Like all special needs programs, public or private, there are long waiting lists and one wants to be sure find the best fit for their child. Moreover, it is important to dream of the possibilities when your child is younger so your child can work towards the dream. So as a special needs parent what do I need to know about the services offered after 21 years of age and what should I consider as I begin planning?
Sunday, 10 November 2013
Friday, 8 November 2013
- L'Arche Montreal :: community living for adults with disabilities; especially take a look at their videos describing their community life in the right column
- Hayden's World: Hayden's IEP :: a great how to on the IEP
- What I Want You To Know About Having a Child with Autism
- Life According to Sam :: a documentary trailer about Sam who lives with progeria
Thursday, 31 October 2013
Friday, 18 October 2013
- Would you rather your child be able to follow directions or able to count from 1-10?
- Would you rather your child be able to independently get ready for school in the morning or would you rather them be able to read?
- Would you rather your child be able to communicate effectively using visuals or communicate with difficulty verbally?
- Would you rather your child be able to live on their own or would you rather them have a high school leaving diploma?
Saturday, 12 October 2013
- As Normal As Normal Can Be (a mom blog about her journey with her autistic son; she specifically addresses schooling and autism)
- Vision and Reading: Important Information about Why Your Child Might Be Struggling (great information piece with visuals about why reading is difficult for some kids)
- Living with Tourette Syndrome
Thursday, 10 October 2013
If your child is having any difficulty in school what is the first resource you think of? Most parents will begin to look at tutoring for their child. It seems like a simple answer but it's not. How do you find a tutor and what concrete expectations can you have? Do you want the tutor to work on your child's homework or do you want the tutor to work on supplemental teaching material? How many hours of tutoring do you need? What qualifications does your tutor need? Most of all, how do you know tutoring will be effective in helping your child see more success academically?
Saturday, 5 October 2013
- Get In Line and Wait Your Turn; Navigating the System (describes the difficulties of the system specifically in regards to Quebec)
- In Their Own Words: Asperger Love
- Bringing the Early Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder into Focus (one of the better videos I have seen as it does a side by side video comparison of children neurotypical development and possible ASD)
Friday, 4 October 2013
Every new school year brings new expectations of and hopes for new achievements. My oldest started kindergarten this year and by the end of the year I am expecting him to have an excellent grasp of the letters of the alphabet and the sounds they make. I also expect him to be able to write, identify and count his numbers up to at least 20. These are reasonable expectations for his developemental level. By the end of the year, I hope he will be reading. My hope is a possibility but it is not for certain.
Expectations and hopes for schooling change when you have a special needs child. You can't expect the same achievements in the same timeline. It is more difficult to hope because your hope often remains just that. Allowing yourself to compare your special needs child with neurotypical peers is not a fruitful exercise. A seeming lack of progress can cause you to miss the achievements that are there. At times, it seems like moving one step forward only results in two steps backwards in another area.
Today's piece is written for the parent of a special needs child in need of encouragement.