As a mother, I will never give up on my child. As a mother of a child who has autism, I will never give up hope.
I look into his eyes and I see all the potential that he has to offer to this beautiful world and I just know that one day the world can see what I see.

Follow my blog as I share my life and my experiences as a person who loves someone with autism.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

One week till school starts

School starts in a week and I’m not ready to let go of summer! I’m honestly not looking forward to this school year, at least not the first couple of months. We will have a new SEA, new teacher, new classroom and classmates, and even new administrative staff, and it’s not even a new school! That’s the school system for ya, eh?

While Bryce is pretty good at transitioning, it’s just a lot of ‘new’ for him (and me) to take in at once, and I’m hoping it doesn’t affect either of us too much. Bryce was really attached to the staff that worked with him over the last couple of years. Hopefully everything will work out.

Back to school

We’re going ‘Back-To-School’ shopping tomorrow. With summer almost over, I’m hoping that buying Bryce’s school supplies will get him ready, or at least aware, to start getting back into the school routine.

I’m still not ready to let go of summer!

Thanks for reading,

Monday, August 30, 2010

Temple Grandin: Different, not less.

“On behalf of all the parents like myself who have a child with autism, you are our hero,” said ‘Temple Grandin’ producer Emily Gerson Saines.

On Sunday night's 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy broadcast, viewers heard the same name over and over again as the awards were announced: Temple Grandin, which was nominated for fifteen awards and took home seven of them:

  • Outstanding Made For Television Movie
  • Outstanding Lead Actress In A Movie: Claire Danes
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Movie: David Strathairn
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Movie: Julia Ormond
  • Outstanding Directing For A Movie: Mick Jackson
  • Outstanding Music Composition For A Movie
  • Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Movie

The HBO biopic ‘Temple Grandin’, tells the true story of Grandin's life with autism. Claire Danes, who portrays Grandin, absolutely captures the spirit and character of this incredible and inspiring woman who fought autism to become a well respected scientist and author.

Temple Grandin HBO

But for many Emmy viewers the movie's high-profile wins were the first they'd heard of the extraordinary woman with autism named Temple Grandin.

So who is Temple Grandin?

Temple Grandin has become a prominent author and speaker on the subject of autism because “I have read enough to know that there are still many parents, and yes, professionals too, who believe that 'once autistic, always autistic.' This dictum has meant sad and sorry lives for many children diagnosed, as I was in early life, as autistic. To these people, it is incomprehensible that the characteristics of autism can be modified and controlled. However, I feel strongly that I am living proof that they can.”

Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin, who was diagnosed with autism in 1950 at the age of 2, went on to earn multiple advanced degrees, including a doctorate in animal science from the University of Illinois. She is considered one of the top advocates of both autism-spectrum understanding and animal welfare, and might be best-known for her invention of more humane slaughterhouse practices, for which she has been recognized by PETA.

Temple Grandin was named a "Hero" of 2010 in TIME Magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

She's not like other people. But "different" is not "less.”

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Global “Corn”ing Issue

With all the issues in the world today like global warming and oil spills, you wouldn’t think it would be difficult to feed your child!

It shouldn’t be an issue, but it can be with Bryce. Luckily for us, Bryce is turning into an excellent little chef!

We have found that if Bryce helps out with the preparation of the food, he is more likely to munch it. If he isn’t involved in the preparation he would rather not eat at all.

Bryce loves to participate in many activities around the house as well. He enjoys preparing food, putting laundry away, and making beds. Today we had barbeque corn, and as you can see Bryce enjoyed it.

If your children are picky eaters, try getting them involved in choosing a nutritious dish and helping prepare. You may be surprised.


Saturday, August 28, 2010


Bryce is into the TV series Waybuloo.The series transports children into a magical land called Nara – a real world, which is inhabited by animated characters called Piplings. Taking a completely original approach, Waybuloo focuses on children’s feelings, and the Piplings embody a range of emotions including love, wisdom, happiness and harmony – all in search of Waybuloo.


This show has a very simple and easy to follow dialogue that provides a lot of opportunities for children to learn through mimicking and copying, while having fun. The Piplings practice yogo, a gentle form of exercise similar to yoga so that the viewers and their parents can participate. Ever since Yoga for Autism, Bryce has taken a very keen interest in stretching, and yoga-like poses, and even meditates, or at least copies the actions from the characters.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, August 27, 2010


Bryce came up to me and gave me his magna doodle and said, “Draw a fortress.” So, I started to draw what my interpretation of a fortress looked like, a castle. Apparently I was wrong.

For awhile now Bryce has adapted the word ‘fortress’ into his everyday vocabulary. Everything is a fortress! He’ll show us a drawing and say, “Fortress!” and we’ll look at him all confused because moments before he showed us another drawing and said it was a fortress too, and they didn’t look anything alike.

We don’t know where he learned this word or why he’s using it to label things he draws that he thinks is a fortress, but we are trying to teach him what a fortress actually is so he can use it in the proper context.

Has anyone else encountered a fascination or fixation on a word or phrase?

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Who, what, where, why, how

In yesterdays blog I mentioned how I took the opportunity to ask Bryce about his colours. “What colour is your shirt?” “Blue!” “What colour is your shorts?” “Blue!” “What colourare s your eyes?” “Blue!” We ask him the W questions: Who, what, where, why, how. We do this for everything. Colours, shapes, letters, articles of clothing, body parts, people in his life, things we see, just everything.

We ask him a lot of questions that we know he will get right to encourage positive reinforcement and we ask him a lot of questions that we know he won’t get right to encourage him asking us the questions like ‘Who’s that?’ ‘What’s that?’.

This not only engages him in conversation and interaction, but it helps to keep refreshing what Bryce has learned. We take advantage of every opportunity to ask him these questions and labeling things so he knows the words. After all, if you don’t know what something is, or how to say it, how can you ever talk about it?

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dirty Laundry

In a previous blog I talked about how Bryce had attached himself to a specific long sleeved shirt, pair of jeans, and black socks. While he still insists on wearing that outfit everyday, I have come up with a solution that I hope will gradually get him into some other clothes.

Laundry! Dirty laundry is the key to wearing something else. If what you wanted to wear was dirty, you would have to wear something else, right? So I’m trying to teach this concept to Bryce. Now originally when I came up with this idea, the outfit wasn’t actually in the wash, but I was hoping that if he thought it was, that maybe he’d forget about it and be ok in whatever else he was wearing, and for a while, that worked. He’d be fine with it and for the rest of the day he’d tell me “washing first, then wear it” or “drying first, then wear it”, depending on if I told him it was in the washing machine or the dryer.

After a couple of days, I felt bad saying it was still in the wash when in fact the washing machine wasn't even on, so to prevent any more distress for him and lying from me, I actually decided to wash them.

Today was laundry day for his specific long sleeved shirt, pair of jeans, and black socks. I gave Bryce a different outfit to wear, and asked him to gather his clothes and bring them to the laundry room to be washed. I had him help me put it in the washing machine, so he’d see where the outfit was and that seemed to make it easier on him. He was a little upset, but he put them in and let me know that they were “washing first, then wear it.”

I smiled and gave him a big hug, and praised him, “Good job!” I turned him and faced him to the mirror we have in the den and said, “Look how cute you look in your shirt and shorts. You’re so cute.” My words put a big smile on his face, and he giggled and said, “so cute, so cute.” I took that opportunity to ask him about colours. “What colour’s your shirt?” “Blue!” “What colour’s your shorts?” “Blue!” “What colour’s your eyes?” “Blue!”

When his laundry was finally done, I had him help me take the clothes out of the dryer. I gave him his jeans, and some socks, and when I was looking for his specific long-sleeved shirt he pointed to a different one saying, “blue shirt, please, blue.” I don’t know what triggered him to want to wear the blue shirt, but to me it was great progress that he wasn’t wanting to wear his specific long-sleeved shirt.

He immediately put on his new outfit and his whole attitude shifted. He was more happier, more energized, and couldn’t stop smiling.

He even helped me put away the rest of the laundry.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Eating Habits

It was a warm night tonight, and we were in the mood for ice cream. We all drove to Dairy Queen and I got my favourite, a Peanut Buster Parfait with no peanuts, and got Bryce what I thought was something he’d enjoy, a chocolate dipped cone. When the cashier handed us our ice cream, Bryce said, “No cone, no.” and grabbed my ice cream instead.

We have discovered as of late, that all we knew about Bryce and his eating habits have changed. A child who would request nothing but French fries and ketchup when we were at a sit-down restaurant, now was asking for burgers, salads, and soups too. Whenever we ordered pizza we’d always order a side of some sort because he would never eat the pizza, and just the other day, he ate the pizza.

Our meals have always revolved around what we knew Bryce liked, or a second meal was made just for him if we were making something we liked, and knew he didn’t. I find that we eat a lot of chicken because that is one thing that we all can agree on. I’m hoping that when we are strictly on the GFCF diet alone, that we all can sit down and enjoy the same meal together.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, August 22, 2010

“I will not let autism define him” -A fathers point of view

“As an autistic adult, I have been finding more and more that parent's of autistic kids are trying to find a way to fix them. I implore you to consider the idea that there is nothing at all wrong with your son. What needs to change for him to have a great life is the viewpoints of society. A society that can't or won't understand that autism is not a plague. Without autism your son would not be the fantastic person I assume him to be.”

Thank you for your comments, they are appreciated.

However, from my point of view Bryce is not an autistic child, Bryce has autism.

I believe no one should be defined by their disability. Everyone as an individual should be able to define themselves. Who you are is a philosophical question, and everyone will have their own life experiences to draw from. As autism is a spectrum disorder there are varied degrees of effect, and many children struggle with some aspects and excel at others. A disability that makes children struggle understanding tasks such as personal hygiene, toileting, reading and mathematics, social interaction, educational participation and a reliance on others should not be looked on as who they are, but instead what adversity they happen to be faced with.

When they are standing in a room with 50 other children, people often ask “What is wrong with him?”, why? Although many children and adults with autism can be amazing people, and many people without autism can be amazing or disappointing, I would like my son to have the best opportunity he can during his short time, and if he can be treated for his symptoms and reduce the struggle he has every day of his life, we will do anything.

You may say that an individual unable to walk defines him, but if there we’re a simple corrective surgery to allow them to walk, should they refuse because that is not who they are? What if the injury was from an accident, is the inability to walk re-defining them against their will?

What if you are diagnosed with cancer, would you refuse the medical standard of care for risk that the cancer may better help define you as a person, even in death. You can certainly point to people in history who have used their illness/disability to perpetuate change in their lives and the lives of other, but there are also those who have become destructive and wasted their opportunity at life.

I would like to believe that Bryce will be an amazing person whether he has autism, or not. As a parent I will make every effort to make his life better, make his life easier, allow him to grow. I will not let autism define him.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Game Over

Bryce has been taking over the TV lately playing New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Despite how well he plays the game, whenever he can’t figure out a part in the game he gets angry and screams in frustration.

Usually when this happens, he asks Daniel or I to help out. If it gets to a point where Bryce is continuously getting upset, then we take a break from the game and it’s turned off. This gives Bryce an opportunity to calm down and ground himself.

The great thing about this game though is that when it’s Game Over (when you’re out of lives), it just gives you a new set of lives and then you just start from where you left off which helps motivate Bryce to try again.

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Singing Slugs

Bryce has officially moved on from his caterpillar craziness and has grasped onto a new thing to draw, the singing slugs from the movie Flushed Away. Today he drew about a dozen slugs and taped them onto his art wall in his art room/playroom. They now are displayed next to the previous interest.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


We finally got the bed home that my brother and Daniel made and put it together tonight. It’s a full/double, fir bed that should last a very long time and grow with Bryce.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, August 16, 2010

Artists and Autism

I am a big fan of Artists and Autism, a Facebook Page dedicated to promoting autism awareness through the arts. I love all the artwork that is submitted and the positive energy the group has. I recently had the privilege of interviewing Jeffrey Michael Kellen, the creator of Artists and Autism.

Here’s the interview:

Jeffrey, I'd like to thank you for this opportunity and allowing me to ask you about this page. As a member, I like to think of the page as a community that brings two worlds together, art and autism. What inspired/motivated you to create this group?

Artists and Autism is a group that I started to help promote what I call "autistic positivism," in other words, everything that is good and unique about the disorder of autism. Too many times in the media, even on Facebook, the negative traits are thrust into the spotlight instead of celebrating the wonderful attributes autism can offer our society. Also, another primary motivator for me creating the group was the simple lack of anything like it on the Internet, much less Facebook. I was very shocked that there were no forums at the time for this kind of sharing, so I decided to take the bull by the proverbial horns and create one.

What kind of art is submitted?

I pretty much have seen and have allowed every type of art that is possible on my page. This includes the visual arts, writing, and even musical offerings from time to time. However, by and large, the greatest quantity of submissions usually come in the form of paintings, drawings, and photographs followed by poetry of many different types.

Artists and Autism submission
Artists and Autism submission: Abstract Mind by Wlo

Artists and Autism submission
Artists and Autism submission: Elisa

Artists and Autism submission
Artists and Autism submission: ‘Sensory Overload’ by Katie

Now with over 6,000 members, what are you hoping to accomplish with the Artist and Autism Facebook Page? What do you see for this group in the future?

As A and A [Artists and Autism] continues to grow, there are nearly limitless possibilities for where the group could go. There have been many conversations about offering the artists a venue for selling their work or even producing a book form of the group. There have even been calls to create t-shirts and bumper stickers to help share awareness. However, the main goal is and always will be to celebrate the autistic diversity that exists through the arts.

Jeffrey, thank you again for taking the time to respond to my questions. I wish nothing but success for Artists and Autism Facebook Page. Is their anything else you’d like to add?

I'd like to thank my team of moderators who have helped to keep A and A [Artists and Autism] a safe and bully-free environment for all to enjoy: Jen Hayes, Jackie O'Reilley, Lisa Ligon, for a brief time, Debbie Hosseini, and last but not least, my wonderful wife, Kara Stewart Kellen.

I also have a few favorite websites [Facebook Pages], including your own wonderful site, that are listed on the A and A [Artists and Autism] webpage that we like to help promote, as well.

ArtSync Magazine A quarterly publication that features up-and-coming artists of all genres and is directed toward artists of all types and skill levels, art lovers, and those with a casual interest in the arts throughout North Carolina.

ASD Support Network This page is for all those affected by Autistic Spectrum Disorder and their families and friends. Our aim is to raise awareness for Autism and in sharing our stories and ideas help support each other.

Aspergers Support Network A page connecting people with Aspergers.

Autism Creations Making and sharing tags and snags. A great way to spread autism awareness.

Bubbles Make Him Smile The Official Facebook Page for

Jordan Lake School of Arts A private K-12 school with a nature and arts based hands on experiential educational program specializing in children with ASD and out of the box thinkers.

I also asked the members of Artists and Autism to tell me their thoughts about the page. Here's what people are saying about the group:

“I say its fab” -Tracy

“This page is brill. I have aspergers syndrome myself.” Lisa

“I LOVE IT!!!! its the best place in my opinion to show off your kids or your own art! plus i have made some wonderful friends from this group who has helpd me out alot.” Misty

“It offers a safe platform for those who have 'little voice' (shy away from society), to show work that would otherwise might never be seen.. it opens up a door to a friendly, new generation of people/thinkers, who live parallel lives who thought they were alone.. it offers a new tool of building self confidence, that I hope they can take with them into their own environment and know they are 'special' without the word 'needs'. It opens the eyes of others that have been blinkered by myths.. and helps raise awareness on a level that many can understand, regardless of their circumstances, environment or culture. :)” Jackie

“I posted my grandson's Tylers painting the show of affection and love was overwhelming..We printed the page to add to his book so he could see the love there is in the world. I so enjoy the art and poems. I am so happy to have found the page.” Carleen

“i am diagnosed with classic/moderate autism. i find this page very supportive of those who have autism and like to express our feelings whatever they may be. this page serves as an outlet not only to express our feelings but so that others can truly have a grasp at what autism is like for us and what it truly means through our own expressive work.” Melody

Whether you have a passion for art, or love someone with autism, you will agree, this group brings two worlds together, creating a beautiful duet. I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to this blog. You are who make this group as successful as it. Thank you again, Jeffrey, for your time and for creating this inspiring group.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Autism brain scan

New autism brain scan cuts cost, time of diagnosis

I read this article in the newspaper, and have subsequently seen various arguments online as to the positives and negatives of the scan.

Whether or not this will materialize into a useful tool or not to help diagnose autism in the earliest years over the next few years’ remains to be seen, however, it is encouraging to see that there are companies hard at work exploring and developing diagnostic tools.

If you have gone through the “traditional”, testing process for autism, you would know that there are generally wait lists, no conclusive tests for very young children, and rely heavily on observation and interpretation of a clinical examiner. There are many global development disorders which may appear to be autism.

Even once there has been an official diagnosis of autism, there cannot be 100% assurance. In our community because families of children have access to government funded programs for early behavioral intervention, there is always a push (financial benefit) to confirm the diagnosis of autism. Another issue with these programs is that due to long wait lists for testing (due to so few registered testing facilities), the children who need the treatment the most end up losing half or more of the treatment funding due to delayed or late diagnosis.

The causes of autism are still unknown with certainty and you can read some of our previous posts for a few of the popular concepts, but it is inspiring that people are working on diagnostic tests, even if the initial test parameters and cases are configured to provide positive results, without early positive results there would be no funding, and no development.


Source: The Vancouver Sun

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Extremely helpful, educational, and resourceful websites for children with special needs Contains a variety of activities and worksheets Special education resource for autism Online newspaper for students with special needs or struggling readers Create your own online puzzles Everything you wanted to learn about sexual health and more Great resource for teaching students with autism Provides parents and professionals with practical tools that will aid their children and students to become more independent in school and in society Innovative learning materials for children and adults with special needs Fun site with educational activities Interactive math site – very busy format Interactive site that covers a variety of subjects Fun math for kids The site that swims with learning fun National Library of Virtual Manipulatives K-12 math site K-12 interactive math site Compilation of hundreds of websites and resources by parents Sample drills, educational tools, data collection forms Software and hardware for individuals with special needs ABCs and learn to read with phonics The fun place to learn Looking for Dora the Explorer, Diego, Backyardigans, or Blue’s Clues – this is where you find them Interactive site with games Check out the articles under ‘Resources’ Music, games, colouring, and favourite characters Zone for Autistic Children - Internet browser specifically designed for children living with variants of autism spectrum disorders

Have an extremely helpful, educational, and resourceful link for children with special needs? Leave it as a comment, and I may add it to this list.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, August 13, 2010


A friend of ours asked us for a hand-out with information about our website and our cause so she could give out copies of it to her friends and family. We didn’t have one, so today I made one.

Bubbles Make Him Smile Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) hand-out

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Negotiator

“First this, then that.” We’ve been using this phrase for years with Bryce for everything from rewarding him to planning the day to help with transitioning. “First eat your broccoli, then have chocolate milk.” “First brush teeth, then Magna Doodle.” You get the idea.

First Then Next

Admittedly, I have used this for my own personal gain and have made broken promises like “first this, then something super great” that I know he wants and he’d do whatever the first thing was just to be able to do the next. It’s usually to make a situation less stressful, like if he’s upset over something that he would like, I’ll tell him he can have it if he can does “this first, then you can do that/have that,” and so forth. That being said, I do usually give in and end up giving him whatever it was while acknowledging that he did do the first thing in order to get it.

But lately, I’m finding that this is backfiring on me and with his great parroting skills turning into communication skills he’s now telling me how it is. He comes up to me and says what’s first and what’s next. “First eat sausage, then play bubbles!” “First bath time, then movie Nintendo DS.” “First swimming, then home time.” He’s now the negotiator. And while I have to sometimes change what the rewards are, or what’s happening next, it makes me smile knowing that he understands the concept of “First this, then that.”

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Summer Drive-in Movie Night

A local shopping centre sectioned off some of it’s parking lot to host Summer Drive-in Movie Nights by a $10 donation which 100% proceeds went to a local family and community service.

Tonight we went there and watched Iron Man. It wasn’t the best seats in town, but it was a beautiful and warm night, and for a great cause.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

IEPs According to Dr. Suess

With school just around the corner and Individualized Education Plan (IEP) close behind, are you prepared?

I found this poem today and couldn’t help but laugh. I’m sure any parent that has a child with an IEP can agree that almost nothing but a headache comes from them. Enjoy!

cat in the hat

IEPs According to Dr. Suess
author unknown

I do not like these IEPs
I do not like them, Jeeze Louise
We test, we check
we plan, we meet
but nothing ever seems complete.

Would you, could you
like the form?

I do not like the form I see.
Not page 1, not 2, not 3.
Another change,
a brand new box, I think we all
Have lost our rocks.

Could you all meet here or there?

We could not all meet here or there.
We cannot all fit anywhere.
Not in a room
Not in a hall
There seems to be no space at all.

Would you, could you meet again?

I cannot meet again next week
No lunch, no prep
Please here me speak.
No, not at dusk and not at dawn
At 4 p.m. I should be gone.

Could you hear while all speak out?
Would you write the words they spout?

I could not hear, I would not write
This does not need to be a fight.

Sign here, date there,
Mark this, check that,
Beware the student’s ad-vo-cat(e).

You do not like them
so you say
Try it again! Try it again!
and then you may.

If you let me be,
I’ll try again
and you will see.


I almost like these IEPs
I think I’ll write 6,003.
And I will practice day and night
Until they say
"You’ve got it right."

Thanks for reading,

Monday, August 9, 2010

Blame Autism

I was just about to start writing today’s blog when my husband called me into the living room to watch something on TV that mentioned autism. It was from a HBO TV series called ‘Life and Times of Tim, Episode 19: Personality Disorder’. Here’s the synopsis:

Stu's three-piece Halloween costume - Tim as a hot dog, Amy as mustard, and Stu as the bun - not only offends Amy but also causes static at Tim's office. When Stu shows up late to work, everyone thinks Tim has dressed up as a penis. The boss is thrilled with Tim's penis costume, but Marie from HR (who is dressed as a sexy nurse) tells Tim he needs to remove his getup before he gets fired.

After helping Tim out of the costume, Stu suggests that he get a note from a doctor to explain the bad behaviour, so Tim visit's Stu's childhood psychologist for an awkward therapy session involving candy and a toy truck. When Tim returns to work with a diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome, Marie and the boss have a breakthrough; Since Tim suffers from a disease that prevents him from respecting the feelings of others, they can now put him to work sharing inconsiderate feedback with company employees. Tim tells a coworker that he smells bad, informs the boss's wife that she's gained weight ... He even belittles two girls on a school soccer team. But when Tim is asked to tell Becky to wear a sexy sweater, Stu overhears and is overcome with jealousy (he secretly loves Becky) and arranges for the boss to find out that Tim lied about his disease. Instead of firing Tim, however, the boss assumes he must be a sociopath and tasks him with killing his neighbour's cat.

I felt disgusted that this series writers would even come up with this idea and joke about autism like that. I did not find it funny at all.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Just chillin’

It was raining today our plans changed so we decided to take a break from everything and just chill.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS)

Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS) is an educational tool used frequently with applied behavior analysis (ABA) to measure the basic linguistic and functional skills of an individual with developmental delays or disabilities.

The ABLLS are split into 25 different functional areas, each corresponding to a letter in the alphabet. The assessments cover four key areas:

Basic Learner Skills Assessment 
The largest portion of the test, covers 15 categories from cooperation and reinforcer effectiveness to imitation and social interaction. The 381 assessment tasks range from requesting items, making sounds, or finding matching items to telling stories, answering novel questions and working only for the accomplishment of task completion.

Academic Skills Assessment
Tests how your child is doing in basic academic skills in math, reading, writing, and spelling; 63 assessment tasks.

Self-Help Skills Assessment
Dressing skills, eating skills, grooming, and toileting skills; 42 assessment tasks.

Motor Skills Assessment 
Assess both fine and gross motor skills; 58 assessment tasks.


  • Can be conducted by most people with a minimal understanding of ABA
  • Addresses basic language, academic, self-help, classroom, and gross and fine motor skill sets


  • Skill lists are not exhaustive
  • Skills are mostly in order of childhood development, but every child learns differently
  • No age normalization is provided
  • Not a standardized assessment (it is still subjective to the assessor's interpretation or ability to elicit behaviors)

Right now our Behavioural Consultant is assessing Bryce using ABLLS. They are on B. Visual Performance, the ability to interpret things visually. This includes seeing if he can put a jigsaw puzzle together with X number amount of pieces, sorting objects by functions (food, vehicles, clothing, etc), and delayed replication of a sequence. He’s mastered most of the Visual Performance assessments and Daniel and I are very proud of him.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, August 6, 2010

Just Bead It

The instructions say, ‘Place beads on pegboard and iron’. 15,000 beads. 8 pegboards. Hours of fun.

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Magna Doodle

Bryce loves to draw. Ever since he could pick up a pen, he has been drawing. We bought him a Magna Doodle about 5 years ago, and he’s been using it ever since. Here are some of his creations.

The singing slugs from the movie Flushed Away

Characters from The Backyardigans and Vancouver 2010 Olympic Mascots

Olympic torch bearers

Characters from the movie Shark Tale

Facebook Like our Facebook Page to see more of Bryce’s drawings.

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

“I’m right and you’re wrong!”

Daniel and I are not perfect parents and sometimes we disagree, but we work through it, and come to an agreement (most of the times), and in the end, I think we make a great team.

I found these 8 very helpful tips for when parents disagree and wanted to share them with you.

Tip #1: Reach an agreement to support each other publicly (or at least remain neutral).
You’ve heard about the importance of presenting a united front so your child can’t divide and conquer and it’s true. It’s confusing to your child when you argue about consequences in front of them. Children with a manipulative nature will use the situation to their advantage. Usually what happens is that you get embroiled in your own debate and the discipline action gets forgotten. It also undermines your spouse’s parental authority in front of your child, which is something you don’t want to do.

Tip #2: Develop a signal.
Let’s say that you strongly disagree with the other parent’s choice of discipline. Agree ahead of time on a signal that you can give that means, “Take a break. Let’s talk about this.” Perhaps making a T sign with your hands to signal a time out would be a good choice.

Tip #3: Talk privately about the child’s offense and how it should be handled.
There are few discipline actions that can’t wait for a few minutes. Taking the time to leave the room and talk privately with your spouse about how to handle the situation is a respectful way of communicating to your spouse that there may be other options to consider. Regardless, you are setting a much-needed boundary that this is an adult matter and that the two of you will handle it accordingly.

Tip #4: Check in with the other parent to see if they’ve already made a decision.
Many children will use the one-liner, “Dad said that I could” to get what they want. When hearing this line from your child, a wise thing to do is to actually ask the other parent if s/he has already given approval to your child’s request. Again, this demonstrates to your child that as parents you are united and will support each other. Usually your child starts back peddling if s/he is trying to manipulate you.

Tip #5: Develop 3-4 family rules that you can agree to follow up with consistently using the same discipline method.
One of the best methods for two parents to be consistent is to develop a few family rules for behaviors that are most important in your family. For instance, all families should have a rule that “No one’s body will be hurt by hitting, kicking, biting, etc.” A consistent discipline action should be applied by both parents when physical aggression occurs. For complete details on creating family rules and consequences refer to this article.

Parents will never agree on how to handle all offenses, but if parents respond consistently to the top three behaviors, it will make a significant impact.

Tip #6: Agree that smaller offenses can be handled at the discretion of the parent in charge.
Once you have your family rules in place, try not to sweat the small stuff. It can be beneficial for children to learn different methods of problem-solving and communication, so if your spouse parents a little differently, it may actually benefit your child. For instance, some parents are better at using humor to move through tough situations and if you’re open to it, you can learn what works more effectively with each child.

Tip #7: Never say, “Wait ‘til your father (or mother) gets home!”
When a statement like this is made it undermines the authority of the parent who says it and makes the other parent the “bad cop.” It’s important that you both share equally in disciplining your children.

Tip #8: Use positive discipline methods that work.
Many parents use time outs, yell or take away privileges as their top three discipline options. If those methods aren’t working for you it can be frustrating and lead to more arguments if you’re not feeling successful. If you feel like you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work, you can learn 10 positive discipline methods that work by checking our this resource.

Thanks for reading,

Source: Tips when parents disagree

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

When you’re here, you’re family

Since we were at my brothers this past weekend, we missed Daniel’s mom’s birthday, so to make it up to her, we took her out to the Olive Garden last night. Happy birthday, mom!

Thanks for reading,