Posts Tagged ‘special needs’

Exhaustion

February 8, 2016

There are some days, even weeks, that feel like they suck the life out of you.

Thus week has had a few of those. Some of the behaviours and defiance are just enough to make me wish I could crawl under a rock.

I was talking to another parent who has adopted a couple of kids with FASD. I commended her for making it. She said the teen years can be tough, especially with hormones and all of the fun that’s on with that.

There has been so much going on that I just feel wrung out.

In the past couple of months , I came across a new to me blog, Confessions of an adoptive parent, blogged by Mike and Kristin Berry.

They have been wiring for a while. They have adopted some kids with special needs, including FASD.

They have just launched a podcast called Honestly Speakimg, which can be found on their website. It can also be found on iTunes.

They also offer a free resource, “The Weary Parent’s Guide to Escaping Exhaustion”, for subscribing to their email.

I have found several posts to be right where I’m living at the moment.

Exhausting days

August 3, 2015

There are some seasons of life that are exhausting.

I have heard it said that the days are long and the years are short with young kids.

Don’t be afraid to ask parents of young kids, especially if they have kids with special needs, if they need to talk, or have a break. You have no idea the encouragement it could make to someone who may be hanging by a thread.

Acronyms and their impact on our lives

April 12, 2015

This year has been a blur.

Part of it is getting older.  I’ve heard older people say that time goes as you get older.  A few years ago, I didn’t really believe.  And I didn’t really care, because I had lots of time left.

I find winter to be a tiring season, as the days are short.  February was miserably cold this year.

We have been extremely busy over the past few weeks, as we have been getting an educational assessment completed.  It took several trips and meetings to complete the testing and discuss the results.

We received a diagnosis, with an acronym, which we did not expect a few months ago.

It is frustrating to have a diagnosis, but it helps explain some things that we had no explanation for.  It also opens the door for some additional assistance and accommodation, which will be helpful.

We will have to work at teaching and developing impulse control and other other skills that most kids have.

We will have to be constantly in prayer and relying on God for wisdom as we parent over the next few years.

Spread the word to end the word

March 5, 2014

The first Wednesday of March each year designated as the day end the word – the r word.  Check out r-word.org for more details on there campaign.

At times, there has been lots of media attention for celebrities that have dropped the r bomb. Some are apologetic, and others are not.

We are fortunate that we have not been exposed much to the ugliness of labelling with of our child with special needs.  We hope it won’t happen, but it is likely.

Anything we can do to help increase awareness is worthwhile.

Words – Do they really hurt?

November 10, 2013

I read a post on lovethatmax.com – a special needs blog about a “A shocking truth about the bestseller Wonder and its disability dis”

Ellen discusses a book called “Wonder”.  In her post, she mentions that this book has been well received, especially for promoting kindness.

However, there is one spot in the book where one child uses the word “retard” in a derogatory fashion.  For more details, refer to the other blog post.

Sensitivity to those with special needs has increased greatly over the years.

There is ongoing ignorance about how these words are hurtful, both to those with special needs, and love and care for them.

On the positive side, there has been a great deal of progress toward integration for those with special needs.  It is wonderful that many with special needs have been integrated into society, rather than warehoused or hidden away as they would have been in past generations.

There is still an ongoing struggle for integration and accommodation for those with special needs.  Unfortunately, this battle is still not over.

Really busy days

October 5, 2013

There are times when it rains, it pours.

Today was a busy day for us.

Tate had another round of hockey today at 11:00.

Reid had his first trial on the ice in the Ice Pirates program at 12:15.

I took him into change room about half an hour early.  I got all his gear on fairly quickly.

After his skates were on, he took a few steps around.  They were pretty hesitant, but he did pretty well his second time on skates.  We tried once last year, and it did not go really well.

The time on the ice went well.  He spent a bit of time trying to walk and skate.  Much of the time, he was being pushed around on a device early skaters use to hold them up.

When it came time for him to come off the ice, he was not happy.  We weren’t sure if he liked it or not.  He was helping to take the stuff off, which was unusual.

We won’t really know for certain until we take him back next week and start to put the gear on.

After Reid had a much needed nap, we went on to our next activity.

We had been trying to get together with Reid’s birth mother since the summer.  We had made a couple of appointments, which hadn’t worked out.

We agreed to get together this afternoon at Chuck E Cheese.  It was OK, but it seemed like a really long time.  It is a really busy place on Saturday afternoon, and there are tons and tons of kids.  Quite loud.  By the time we left, we were definitely ready to go.

At the end of it all, it was a good day.

First day on the ice.

Another meeting with Reid’s birth mother.

And it all went well.

Special treatment for kids with special needs?

October 3, 2013

In late September, Disney announced changes to their program for guests with challenges.

There were reports of people abusing the system that led to the change.

Others raged that there are programs that allow preferred access.  Some questioned why people with children with special needs would go to a place like Disney.

Ellen at lovethatmax.com wrote about the reasons in this post, Let’s talk about kids with special needs and special treatment.

There is some food for thought there.

There are all sorts of challenges.

Some kids are globally delayed, behind in everything.

Some have physical limitations, such as cerebral palsy (CP) or muscular dystrophy (MD).  Usually, people with these challenges are unaffected mentally.  They may have challenges expressing themselves, but they are still people.  Like all of us.

No two situations are alike.

As busy as life with kids can be, any sort of physical delay just multiplies the challenges.  Kids go through phases.  With delays, normal phases just take longer.  With communication delays, frustration increases for everyone.

Special Hockey

October 1, 2013

There are many programs to integrate kids with special needs.

One program that received a great deal of local attention this past year was the Special Hockey International Tournament, or the SHI tournament.  Sometimes potential acronyms are not fully considered.  But that’s a side point.

Teams from around Ontario, the US, and some from Europe landed in Kitchener and played games.  Fund was had by all.

The point of special hockey is to allow children and adults with special need the chance to play hockey.   The hockey is all about fun, not competition.

The local group, the Ice Pirates, is affiliated our minor hockey association and keeps fees low.  They will work with those of all abilities.  They start with those that have never skated, and work with them until they are adults.   They will take them as young as 3 or 4.

Friends have had their son in the Ice Pirates Program for a number of years.  They speak highly of the program.

We are going to give it a shot with Reid.  He won’t be four until January, but is itching to play.  Tate is getting into his season.

Reid has been saying “Hotey? Me?” (“Hockey? Me?)  He has been shooting a ball around with a mini stick for a while.

We will have to see how it goes, as he has been on the ice once before., about a year ago.

Who knows, we may have the next Sidney Crosby or Wayne Gretzky on our hands.  Actually, Reid is more likely to be an enforcer than a high scoring forward.

Parenting

September 19, 2013

I saw a post from Ellen at lovethatmax.com about those who comment about how great parents of special needs kids are.  Check out “I’m not a great parent just because  have a kid with special needs.”

Ellen writes about the assumption that people make that parents with special needs kids are great parents.

The help we give our kids is just parenting.  All children need to to be parented differently.

There are far too many instance of parents divorcing after a special need happens, often because the father has left.  It is unfortunate that so many in this day and age, often men, but not always, abandon ship with things get tough.

Parenting is a tough calling.  I have heard it said that God has placed children in our lives to help us grow up, as much as it is to help them grow up.  Children can bring out our selfishness and point out our pride at the most embarrassing times.

In these times when we blow it, we can set an important example for our kids when we admit we messed up and ask for forgiveness.  Not that I always do that.  Just do it more often than not.

Ignorance about special needs and ignorant reactions

August 23, 2013

On August 19, 2013 the media around Toronto, ON was reporting that a family had received a very hateful letter telling them to move or euthanize a 13 year old boy, who happened to be autistic.  Here’s a link to one story.

The story went viral, and has receive coverage from all over.

I saw a post this morning on lovethatmax.com, Screw the special needs haters — Let’s teach people well.  Ellen, Max’s mom, described how they dealt with a situation where Max melted down.

It is tough to deal with reactions when a child reacts for whatever reason.  The first thing we rush to do is calm the child, and maintain our sanity.  If we can turn these things into teachable moments, it really is a bonus.  As time goes by, it will hopefully get easier to deal with these things.


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