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There are moments when I wonder "Did I do the right thing?" I doubt there's a parent out there who hasn't thought that at some point in time. We are responsible for helping our children learn right from wrong, independence, manners, life skills, etc. We are responsible for keeping them safe, making sound decisions for their health, well being, present and future. Sometimes knowing our decisions are correct is a bit of gamble. I don't know how many times I have questioned myself. ...more
Recently I heard of new technology that gives people with disabilities the opportunity to learn to play an instrument. Developed at the Bloorview Research Institute at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto, the Virtual Music Instrument (VMI) has made what once seemed inconceivable now a reality.
The Virtual Music Instrument made its debut when Eric Wan wowed the audience at Montreal's Place des Arts stage l...more
I have survived the Holiday Hustle!
I have tackled crowds in shopping mania with strategic form.
I have risen from beneath the mountains of cards written and received.
I have moved swiftly to the expandable waistlines allowing for the holiday feasts and goodies galore.
I have devoured chocolate like it was my last meal.
I have survived the Holiday Hustle!
The hugs and kisses, and well wishes were part of the festivities.
There were sleigh rides, presents, songs and reflection fo...more
The funny things children say pop out of nowhere sometimes. As a parent, you think about all the things you express aloud in front of your children. You catch yourself or others saying things you don’t want repeated.
- When your child blurts out the “F” word and their only in kindergarten, you know you have issues.
- When your child suddenly says “Mom take a chill pill”, who taught them that one?
I sit here tonight wondering, "Why is it so difficult to connect with other mothers of children with special needs or people with disabilities?" For six months now I have been typing away at my blog. I have tried to provide helpful information and share what I can. I have been searching the world wide web for others like me. I have joined groups and commented on sites I have seen. I have often noticed that on group sites most of the members haven't posted in years.
Where did they go?
Why did they go?...more
There are moments in our lives when we experience things we never dreamed of. Just as there are moments when our dreams are what we hang onto so dearly. As little girls, we can't wait to grow up, have a career and a family. As adult women we imagine how it will be to give birth to a child. "Will the family be waiting anxiously in the hall? Will the soon to be father help you breath. Will the doctor say push- your almost there." We imagine the day our child would come into this world crying to be comforted by their mother. Seeing their fuzzy hair, chubby little tummies, and teeny tiny toes. Holding their hands for the very first time. We worry "Will we be good parents?"
A few years ago, while my daughter and I were in New York, we were touring around some of the local hot spots. We came across a bustling market place with indoor and outdoor appeal for both of us. As Callie and I were strolling along the boardwalk making our way to the market, I overheard a young lady on her cellular phone. She was staring at Callie and said “oh that poor thing.” I remember feeling so enraged that her comment was loud enough for us to hear, that she felt the need to make it and that it was so ridiculous. I struggled with how to address that with Callie. “Do I mention it at all, maybe she didn’t here? Do I act like it didn’t happen? Do I fire back at this woman for her lack of consideration and obvious ignorance? Did Callie understand what just happened, she was only five?” ...more
A few years ago, I witnessed two children learning to play with each other without language. One had limited mobility and normally communicated through sign-language, while the other was Haitian and didn’t understand English. Yet despite the challenge this could present, these two children didn’t seem to care. They played like they had known each other their entire lives. They found away to communicate and play without support from anyone else. Moral of the story: If we get rid of our barriers, our children won’t have them either.
1. Communicate. Often children with special needs can still indicate their interests and make choices. Ask the child or their parent what things they like to do and discuss any accessibility concerns. This will make your life much easier instead of focusing on the barriers of what they can’t do together. For example: if the child is non-verbal or has limited communication, ask the parent if there are ways to communicate and what types of things their child enjoys. Chances are that parent is going to love helping the children play and will not mind the questions. Beware of getting too personal though. That child’s health history, etc., is none of your business.
2. Ask your child. “Have you seen things Jimmy likes to do?” This is probably better than asking “what do you think Jimmy would like to do” since a child is often going to respond by providing his or her favourite things instead of Jimmy’s. Many children already recognize what another child’s interests are just by watching, at school or other places. Still a word of caution, some children come up with their own conclusions on things a child can’t do when in fact they probably can.
October 12th, 2011 marks an important day for people with disabilities, caregivers, seniors, and parents with strollers. On this day the Rick Hansen Foundation launched the Rick Hansen Global Accessibility Map. This is a moment that for myself I welcome, applaud and mourn.
The Map is an online tool that will raise awareness and essentially join people around the world in the common goal to make our p...more
As the world heard recently, Steve Jobs the Co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc., passed away of pancreatic cancer. He was an innovator, an entrepreneur and a genius. Few could argue about his contributions to the technological world of computers. I wonder if he ever truly imagined the impact Apple would have on so many. Did he know what kind of doors it opened for people with disabilities? IPads are now being used to facilitate learning and communication for adults and children with Autism and other...more